The Solar System to Scale

811 - Space Shuttle Atlantis Viewed from the ISS
The launch of the Space Shuttle Atlantis, as soon from the ISS, is also a wonderful glimpse into the scale of space.

You have probably seen this video already because everyone is sharing it, but I had to share it too. I have always wanted to do exactly this: go out to some giant field and set up a scale model of the Solar System and just wander around and try to drink in the sheer scale of it all. Little did I know that, starting with an earth the size of a marble, you’re going to need 7 miles of empty space to do the setup to scale, and that’s without including Plutos’ orbit. (It only goes out as far as Uranus.)

I’d really love to see this done as a permanent installation somewhere. I want to spend an entire day walking around, watching the planets move, imagining the delicate art of sending tiny craft across immense gulfs of emptiness to deliver rovers (or astronauts!) to alien worlds.

(If you’re receiving this blog post via email, you’ll have to visit the site to watch the YouTube clip. Sorry, they don’t embed in the emails for some reason.)

1 thought on “The Solar System to Scale”

  1. This was done back in the 70s or 80s out in Wisconsin or Iowa or some place like that. Corn fields. We watched it on 16mm in elementary school. And now to YouTube…

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