A Scale Model of the Earth-Sun System

  • Dimensions of the Earth-Sun system

    • Radius of the Sun: 7.0 x 105 km
    • Radius of the Earth: 6.4 x 103 km
    • Separation between Earth and Sun: 1.5 x 108 km

  • Make the Sun a sphere with a radius of 20 cm (about the size of a basketball)

    • The Sun is 110 times larger than the Earth


      • The model Earth should be 1.8 mm in radius (that is, 110 times smaller than the 20 cm radius basketball which represents the Sun - about the size of a pea)

    • The separation between the Earth and Sun is 210 times the Sun's radius.


      • The model Earth should be 210 x 20 cm = 4200 cm = 42 meters from the model Sun.

  • Jupiter would be the size of a golf ball and would be located 200 meters from the model Sun

  • The next nearest star would be another basketball located in Honolulu.

  • A model of the Milky Way Galaxy on this scale would just fit between the real Earth and Sun!


Updated September 2, 2009