Solar system

2014-11-28

Here is something for astronomy geeks: Our solar system as a DIY papercraft kit. The set contains all eight planets, sad little pluto who not too long ago got demoted to ‘dwarf planet’, and – of course – our home star, the sun.

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Each planet has its name, diameter, distance from the sun and mass printed on the bottom, which makes the whole set somewhat educational. Honestly, though, for my kids it just was a lot of fun tossing the planets around.

Here are more details: First, the sun, wearing – wait for it – sunglasses.

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Next up – as sorted by orbital distance from the sun – is Mercury, who is a bit too close to the sun for his own good:

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Next is girly Venus:

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And the blue planet, Earth:

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Followed by grumpy Mars, the god of war:

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So much for the inner planets. Next comes Jupiter (if you want to be really accurate, you have to include the asteroid belt РI suggest pouring copious amounts of sugar or salt on the table):

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And Saturn, complete with ring (actually, this is a ring system, consisting of more than 100,000 separate rings):

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Then we have freezing cold Uranus:

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Neptune is even colder, but being named after the Roman god of the sea, I gave him a trident instead of winter attire:

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And finally, here is Pluto, who is not exactly happy about his lost status as the ninth planet:

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As you may have noticed, the planets differ in size, roughly indicating their relative sizes. However, this is by far not to scale. In fact, size differences are vastly compressed, so that – for example – Mars is as big as Earth, whereas in reality it is about half of Earth’s size. By the way, if you want to place the planets at a distance relative to the sun’s size, you would have to place Earth 11.8 m away from the sun, and Pluto about 466 m away!

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Here are the PDF templates:

 

Update: I have turned the planets into Christmas baubles, and so can you (it’s very easy).

 

 

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