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Amazing scale model of the solar system in the desert


Solar system (not to scale) by NASA/JPL

You probably know that our solar system is a really big place, right? We’ve all seen images of it in books - the planets all lined up, radiating out from our large Sun in the middle. We’ve even seen some fantastic computer generated scenes of the planets and flying through space in many of our favourite science-fiction movies. But do you know just how enormous it really is? Probably not.

Just how close is the Moon to Earth? How far is Neptune - the furthest planet in our solar system - from the Sun? What do the planetary orbits look like? How big is the Earth in comparison to the Sun?

These were just some of the many questions that Wylie Overstreet and Alex Gorosh set out to answer when they went out into Nevada’s Black Rock Desert. Using an empty (well, other than dirt) 11 km area of a dry lakebed, they built a scale model of the solar system.

It’s an amazing sight to see. Oh, and the question of how big Earth is? Turns out it’s just the size of a small marble.