Nevada – To understand how massive is our solar system, two filmmakers built a seven-mile long scale model of it at the Nevada desert. The Black Rock Desert offered the kind of area necessary to construct the scale model. The project was documented in a seven-minute short film named “To Scale: The Solar System.

The duo of filmmakers, Alex Gorosh and Wylie Overstreet, claimed they got frustrated by pictures, as the distances they portrayed of the solar system were inaccurate. Because of this, they decided to build the huge scale model in the Nevada desert.

5th grader solar system space project on a TV screen made with school materials. Credit: Pics About Space

“Every single picture of the solar system that we encounter is not to scale,” Overstreet stated. “If you put the orbits to scale on a piece of paper, the planets become microscopic, and you won’t be able to see them.”

The team said that they were inspired to elaborate the project because of a quote from James Irwin, the fourth man to land on the moon. Irwin said, “As we got farther and farther away, the Earth diminished in size. Finally it shrank to the size of a marble, the most beautiful marble you can imagine… seeing this has to change a man.”

Designing our Solar System

The scale model took the team 36 hours to be created, and all the process was recorded from the top of a nearby mountain.

Each planet was illuminated and placed in their respective orbits. Once the sun went down, they lit the planets and sun up and filmed an awesome time-lapse. Credit: Test Tube

To mark the orbit of each planet in the ground, they drove across the desert and attached LED lights to glass spheres, which represented each planet in its scale size. With the resulting model, one can imagine the Earth being the size of a small marble.

In the scale model Mercury, Venus and Earth are, respectively, 224 feet, 447 feet and 579 feet away from the Sun. At this scale, the sun measures about 5 feet across – the size of a small weather balloon. “The only way to see a scale model of the solar system is to build one,” Overstreet said.

Source: Tech Times