
Let
Us Know
How
did this activity work for your family?
Email us at:




What
to Do 

Cut
out the planet printouts provided,
or using the measurements in the table above, use your compass to
draw circles on paper. Note that this activity uses two scales: one
for the printouts and cutouts (larger), and one for the distances
between the planets (smaller). This is due to the enormous distances
involved. The planet cutouts would be too small to use in our scale
model.


If
you choose to draw your own circles, label each planet. Cut the circles
out and use them as your planets.


Choose
a point at one end of a hallway, large room, or outdoor space as the
Sun and mark it as your starting point.


Without
looking at the table, place each planet in order of the distance you
think they are from the Sun. As a reference, use 22.4 inches (57 centimeters)
for the distance between Earth and the Sun.




Using
the table, measure the distances by rolling out the toilet paper.
Mercury is 1.9 sheets relative to the Sun, Venus 3.6 sheets from the
Sun, etc. See how well your family did at estimating the distances.
Move the planets to their proper distances, and you've built a scale
model of the solar system. 
What's Going On
This
activity helps demonstrate the immense scale of our solar system.
The sizes of the planets vary greatly as do the distances between
planets and their distance from the Sun. The size of the Sun at
larger scale (which isn't included in printouts) would have been
76.7 inches (195 centimeters) in diameter (38.4 inches in radius).


Derived
from "A Toilet Paper Solar System Scale Model": from Project
Pulsar, St. Louis Science Center. 
