How do I make a scale model of the Solar System?
Hi, I teach 8th grade science and I wanted to take my students outside onto the football field and have them represent the solar system. My questions are: If we go out to the field and make the earth the size of a marble, how big and how far away should the other planets and the sun be? I looked at solar system live and I will be able to place the planets from there, but I don't know how far apart they should be? Do you have any suggestions?
P.S. Our field is just a little bit larger than 2 football fields.
I worked out what a scale model of the solar system would look like with the Earth the size of a 1 cm marble, but I don't think it'll fit in your space! Here's what I got:
|Object||Diameter (cm)||Distance from Sun (m)|
|Earth||1.0||118 (387 ft)|
|Jupiter||11.2||610 (2000 ft)|
|Pluto||0.18||5800 (3.6 miles)|
So, it doesn't look like this particular scale will work. To fit it on the space of two football fields, I think you will have to use something very small, like sand, or points on a piece of paper, for the smallest planets. I found a site that will calculate the scale model for you if you input the Sun size. I would just try putting in different sizes for the Sun and see if you can get something that will work for you.
Two other sites that have information about building scale models are a site with a huge number of links about scale model solar systems and a site with teachers instructions for model solar sytems for different middle school age groups.
Get More 'Curious?' with Our New PODCAST:
- Podcast? Subscribe? Tell me about the Ask an Astronomer Podcast
- Subscribe to our Podcast | Listen to our current Episode
- Cool! But I can't now. Send me a quick reminder now for later.
How to ask a question:
If you have a follow-up question concerning the above subject, submit it here. If you have a question about another area of astronomy, find the topic you're interested in from the archive on our site menu, or go here for help.Table 'curious.Referrers' doesn't existTable 'curious.Referrers' doesn't exist
This page has been accessed 30794 times since March 5, 2003.
Last modified: March 5, 2003 2:23:23 PM
Ask an Astronomer is hosted by the Astronomy Department at Cornell University and is produced with PHP and MySQL.
Warning: Your browser is misbehaving! This page might look ugly. (Details)