The Solar System

Most images of the solar system available on the net are not scale models. This results in students developing several misconceptions about the solar system:

  1. The distance from the sun to Saturn is actually less than the distance from Saturn to Uranus! Most images show the planets at equal separations from each other!
  2. Planets are too small to be seen on any realistic model of the solar system. Images however show planets much larger than they actually are!
  3. We have no way of visualizing distances like 150 million km (the distance to the sun), let alone 4.25 light years (the distance to Proxima Centauri)! Hollywood movies give the impression that going to another star (or even galaxy) is as easy as taking a flight to another city!
This model helps in building better mental images of the solar system by providing an accurate scale model of the distances. Students also realize that on the scale of this model, even the sun appears as a dot (approximately 1.4 mm in diameter), so there is no question of showing the planets!

The model is available in two forms: a teacher version, in the form of a vinyl poster and a student version, in the form of a card printout. The student printout is pre-labelled using a scale of 1 million km = 1 mm. The model stretches to 5.0 m but can be assembled into a strip that fanfolds into a small model that is 10 cm x 25 cm that fits into a pocket. The model can be decorated by students with pictures of planets and information about them. The teacher version is available as a poster of dimension 2m x 2.5m with a scale of 1 million km = 2 mm. Made of vinyl and laminated, images can be stuck on the strip and removed at the end of the year for re-use with a new batch of students.

The recommended use of the model is to ask students to research about the various planets, download images and information and paste them in the appropriate areas in their own strips. After discussions, the best images can be selected and pasted on the teacher strip.


ItemCopies/SetPrice (INR)Price(USD)
Teacher Set: Vinyl Poster 1 5000 USD 70
Student Cards: 10 A4 15 5000 USD 70

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