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Solar System Scale Model

Scale drawings of the solar system, both to size and distance, are never shown in science textbooks. This video answers why and shows one attempt of such a model.

Note: This is an update from a previous post. This video is at a higher resolution. Here are the details from the previous post:

Google Maps has recently developed “My Maps” where Google Maps can be annotated with pictures, lines, shapes, and points. I incorporated this new tool with one of my all time favorite lessons: The Solar System Scale Model. This model shows the Sun and the nine planets (yes I still include Pluto for comparison reasons) to scale in both size and distance. For details download the student (word document) and teacher handout (word document). You can take a look at the model in action by going to Google Maps or download the Google Earth kml file to look at in Google Earth.

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Reader Comments (5)

Hi Darren,
The problems of students appreciating the size of planets in the solar system are very real... a bit like students trying to get to grips with the size of the atom! Have you seen that 'Talk to Ted' video Just how small is an atom?
Here in the UK we teach basic information about the solar system in primary/elementary schools. This idea is great and could definitiely be adapted for younger kids. A good excuse to get out of the classroom in Science lessons and walk a mile outside school ( or maybe 2 miles- they have to come back again!)


May 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSteve Shipton


That atom video is terrific. I showed my students it and they loved it.

May 31, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDarren Fix


That atom video is terrific. I showed my students it and they loved it.

May 31, 2013 | Registered CommenterDarren Fix

I love this video! I can not wait to use this during my astronomy unit. Thanks for sharing.

July 31, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKeri Mills

Glad you found it useful :)

July 31, 2013 | Registered CommenterDarren Fix

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