Make a scale model of the Solar System and learn the REAL definition of "space."


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  • Fill in the diameter of the Sun you want your model to be scaled by. You can fill in either the red bordered inches box or the green bordered millimeters box. Important: Only fill in one box. If both are filled in you will get a dialog box asking you to clear one of the boxes. Use the Clear button to clear the entire form.

  • Click on the "Calculate" button.

  • Notice that the distances and sizes of the planets will automatically fill in. I've also provided some other interesting scale comparisons at the bottom of the chart.

  • You can now build your scale model. You can do this with a long tape measure, or you can measure the size of your pace and walk it off counting the number of steps you take. To mark a planet's place you can use a piece of paper on a post that you stick into the ground, or you can use a flag, or even a person. Be prepared for a long walk!

  • If you build your solar system on a roll of toilet paper, you can make the Sun about .4 inches (10 mm) across and still fit the entire solar system on the roll. A standard roll of toilet paper has about 450 sheets that are about 4.375 inches long, hence the roll is about 164 feet long. You should check your toilet paper for length. Some are longer.

  • You can click on the names of the planets and satellites to go the the Nine Planets web site page about them. LOTS of info there!


Body Body
Diam
(km)
Body
Diam
(in)
Body
Diam
(mm)
Orbit
radius
(km)
Scaled orbit
radius
(ft & in)
Scaled
orbit
radius
(meters)

Sun 1391900

Mercury 4866 57950000 ft in m
Venus 12106 108110000 ft in m
Earth 12742 149570000 ft in m
Moon 3476 384403 ft in m
Mars 6760 227840000 ft in m
Phobos 22 9408 ft in m
Deimos 12 23457 ft in m
Jupiter 142984 778140000 ft in m
Metis (XVI) 40 128000 ft in m
Adrastea (XIV) 20 129000 ft in m
Amalthea (V) 188 181400 ft in m
Thebe (XV) 100 222000 ft in m
Io (I) 3642 421900 ft in m
Europa (II) 3130 671200 ft in m
Ganymede (III) 5268 1071000 ft in m
Callisto (IV) 4806 1880000 ft in m
Leda (XIII) 16 11110000 ft in m
Himalia (VI) 186 11470000 ft in m
Lysithea (X) 36 11710000 ft in m
Elara (VII) 76 11740000 ft in m
Ananke (XII) 30 20700000 ft in m
Carme (XI) 40 22350000 ft in m
Pasiphae (VIII) 50 23500000 ft in m
Sinope (IX) 36 23700000 ft in m
Saturn 116438 1427000000 ft in m
Pan (XVIII) 20 133583 ft in m
Atlas (XV) 30 137670 ft in m
Prometheus (XVI) 92 139350 ft in m
Pandora (XVII) 84 141700 ft in m
Epimetheus (XI) 114 151420 ft in m
Janus (X) 178 151470 ft in m
Mimas (I) 398 185540 ft in m
Enceladus (II) 498 239040 ft in m
Tethys (III) 1060 294670 ft in m
Telesto (XIII) 30 294870 ft in m
Calypso (XIV) 26 294870 ft in m
Helene (XII) 33 377400 ft in m
Dione (IV) 1120 377420 ft in m
Rhea (V) 1528 527070 ft in m
Titan (VI) 5150 1221860 ft in m
Hyperion (VII) 286 1481000 ft in m
Iapetus (VIII) 1436 3560800 ft in m
Phoebe (IX) 220 12954000 ft in m
Uranus 46940 2870300000 ft in m
Cordelia (VI) 26 49752 ft in m
Ophelia (VII) 32 53764 ft in m
Bianca (VIII) 44 59165 ft in m
Cressida (IX) 66 61767 ft in m
Desdemona (X) 58 62659 ft in m
Juliet (XI) 84 64358 ft in m
Portia (XII) 110 66097 ft in m
Rosalind (XIII) 54 69927 ft in m
Belinda (XIV) 68 75255 ft in m
Puck (XV) 154 86006 ft in m
Miranda (V) 472 129400 ft in m
Ariel (I) 1162 191800 ft in m
Umbriel (II) 1170 267200 ft in m
Titania (III) 1578 438600 ft in m
Oberon (IV) 1522 586100 ft in m
Neptune 45432 4499900000 ft in m
Naiad (III) 58 48200 ft in m
Thalassa (IV) 80 50000 ft in m
Despina (V) 148 52600 ft in m
Galatea (VI) 158 62000 ft in m
Larissa (VII) 193 73600 ft in m
Proteus (VIII) 418 117600 ft in m
Triton (I) 2706 353100 ft in m
Nereid (II) 340 5900000 ft in m
Pluto 2274 5913000000 ft in m
Charon 1172 17500 ft in m


Other interesting distances and speeds
Quantity Real
Quantity
Scaled
Quantity
(English)
Scaled
Quantity
(Metric)

Speed of
light
299792 km/sec in/sec mm/sec
Light
year
9.46051E+12 km mi km

Distances to Stars and Galaxies
To Alpha Centauri 4.03964E+13 km mi km
To Sirius 8.17388E+13 km mi km
To Deneb 1.32636E+16 km mi km
To Galactic
center
2.62151E+17 km mi km

Sizes of Stars
Hottest star
(Type 05)
12527100 km ft m
Coolest star
(Type M5)
222704 km in cm
Red giant
(Betelgeuse)
521962500 km ft m
White dwarf
(Sirius B)
13919 km in mm
Neutron star 20 km in mm


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© 1997; Ron Hipschman , Exploratorium