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written by Guy Ottewell
Make a model of the solar system--all you need is a thousand yards and some objects, most very small. All model planet sizes and locations are provided.
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- Solar System
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Access Rights: Free access
Restriction: © 1989 Guy Ottewell
Has a copyright or other licensing restriction.
Keywords: Scale, Solar System Size, planets, separation in space
Record Creator: Metadata instance created January 5, 2004 by Kara Lehman
Record Updated: Sep 26, 2021 by Lyle Barbato
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This ia a Great Exercise

Author: John Baitinger
Posted: March 5, 2006 at 3:38PM
Source: The Astronomy Center collection

I made scale models instead of using the peppercorn, walnut, etc.  The WOW factor is worth the time.

» reply

How Big is the Solar System? (Editor: National Optical Astronomy Observatory)
Date: 10/19/2005
Date Description: How Big is the Solar System?

If you have the fortitude to hunt up some materials, find a 1,000 yard patch of ground to work with (you can double back), and invest some time, you can make a model of the solar system that will give you a new perspective on its scale. In this model, the Sun is an 8" diameter ball and Mercury, the first planet, is but a pinhead located ten paces away. It gets better--Earth is a peppercorn 26 paces from the Sun, and, jumping out a bit, Jupiter, a chestnut, is 135 paces from the Sun. Among other things, walking along this model can give you a sense of the vast emptiness of space, interrupted occasionally by tiny model planets.

The Thousand Yard Model is presented by the National Optical Astromony Observatories.

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G. Ottewell, (1989), WWW Document, (
G. Ottewell, The Thousand Yard Model (1989), <>.
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Ottewell, G. (1989). The Thousand Yard Model. Retrieved May 21, 2024, from
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Ottewell, Guy. The Thousand Yard Model. 1989. (accessed 21 May 2024).
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Ottewell, Guy. The Thousand Yard Model. 1989. 21 May 2024 <>.
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@misc{ Author = "Guy Ottewell", Title = {The Thousand Yard Model}, Volume = {2024}, Number = {21 May 2024}, Year = {1989} }
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