We are working our way through Exploring Creation with Astronomy this year, and a few weeks ago we laid out a scale model of distances in the solar system. We were all blown away by the vastness of our solar system!
We followed the directions on this page, but instead of merely putting slips of paper on the ground we taped them to fence posts. That made them easier to see.
We started at the edge of our yard by the paddock and headed toward the road at first. When we got to the road before we got to Neptune, we realized we had to go the other direction! So, we started over again at the hedge by the road. This first picture shows the Sun, Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, and Jupiter is in the creek.
Here is Saturn, and the boys are heading to where Uranus should be.
Looking back from Uranus to the sun—see those tiny white spots between the house and the bush, right in front of the hedge? Assuming the sun is the size of a dime, these are the distances!
Now, the boys are at the Kuiper Belt (I’m assuming that’s where Pluto is; it’s no longer considered a planet, but we haven’t gotten to the chapter about that area yet.) Can you see my boys? They are barely visible in front of that shed, past the fence and the bathtub. I took this picture from Uranus.
I couldn’t believe these distances! So incredible. Then, a day or two later, we came across a video we had watched before, but it was well worth watching again, about the size of the solar system. Watch this and see how someone else portrayed it.
[vimeo 139407849 w=640 h=320]
To Scale: The Solar System from Wylie Overstreet on Vimeo.
We also came across this video, the day we started the chapter on Saturn. My boys found it fascinating!
One thing I’m getting from this study is how amazing our God is! The planets are just incredible. So different from each other, and so incredible. I really appreciated the chapter on Earth, which showed so many ways our planet is perfectly suited for life—but none of the others are. The vast distances in space are awe-inspiring, too; if God’s creation is so vast—what about Him?
Cordially Barbara says
Wowwwww. It’s been years since I’ve done something like this in homeschool (when I was homeschooled haha), but it’s crazy to relive it through your photos. I rarely take the time to sit back and marvel at God’s creation because I’m so busy with what’s directly in front of me. Thanks for this reminder!
NZ Filbruns says
You’re welcome! I was blown away by this project. So amazing!