How to make a scale model of the Sun and the Earth

  • The Sun is about 100 times wider than the Earth and the Earth could fit into the Sun over one million times.

  • It would take 500 years for the fastest person on Earth to run the distance from the Earth to the Sun.

  • It is difficult to imagine the difference in size between the Sun and Earth, or the distance between them. This activity will help you to visualise it.

Have a go

Click to see a step-by-step slideshow

Click to see a step-by-step slideshow

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If you create this model, the Earth and Sun should be about 23 metres apart.

If you wanted to walk to the edge of the solar system (where the planet Neptune would be) you would have to walk thirty times further than you have done. That is nearly half a mile away!

Imagine trying to throw a pebble to hit your bit of sticky tack half a mile away, it would be very difficult indeed!

Rocket scientists face a similar challenge when they send spacecraft to explore these distant planets. Their calculations and models need to be very precise to achieve these ambitious goals.

Where next?

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