The size of the solar system Main Index

The size of the solar system

You can read about the diameters of the Earth, Sun, Moon and Planets in thousands of kilometres and the distances between them in millions of kilometres, but the only real way to understand the size of the solar system is to make a model.

Once you have made the model you will understand why you cannot make a scale drawing of the solar system, unless you happen to have a piece of paper bigger than a football field....

This model assumes you and your friends are all about eleven years to thirteen years old - if you are all much older or younger the number of paces between the planets will be different.

You will need

You all start together in one corner of the field. Label the pieces of card as you go.

Neptune is therefore more than 1000 paces from the Sun. On this scale it will take you at least a month to walk to our nearest star!

You can find out more about the planets by going to the Planets Page of my Web Site. This Page also explains why Pluto is not a Planet any more.


© Barry Gray September 2008