How to build a solar system model


Step 1. Determine the scale of your solar system, for example. Use the solar system scale web page at http://www.exploratorium.edu/ronh/solar_system/

For example, you could set the size of the sun to 50mm and then mercury would be at 2 metres away!

Step 2. You might like to try and just make a model of the sizes of the planets in the solar system.

Step 3. Choose some objects around, for example you could buy a big beach ball and then cover it with glue and newspaper. Then paint it the colour of Jupiter. Do a search on the web for what jupiter looks like.

Step 4. Determine scale of beach ball (see diagram to the right). This will help determine the size of the other planets.

Step 5. Find or make some other spherical objects that fit your scale. Things like a table tennis or pinp pong balls, tennis ball, but you should paint them

Be up to date and to scale

Check the references below for more information. But remember scale is important. So include a ruler and what each value is equivalent to.

The Solar system is really big! so you might want to show the planets to scale OR the distances between planets are to scale.

If you choose distances it might be a good excuse to go outside and demonstrate the scale.

scaleplanets

Using a street map or a screen capture of google maps

The other option is to use a street map and show how big the solar system would be if say the sun was about 39inches diameter then pluto would be about 13937 feet (4.2km) away! 

References sources:

  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Planets
  • http://clearlyexplained.com/nature/space/planets/index.html
  • http://www.exploratorium.edu/ronh/solar_system/