Resource 6: A scale model of the solar system

Teacher resource for planning or adapting to use with pupils

MERCURY1 mm poppy seed12 metres12 centimetres
VENUS3 mm pin head23 metres23 centimetres
EARTH3 mm pin head30 metres30 centimetres
MARS1. 5 mm mustard seed50 metres50 centimetres
JUPITER30 mm ball 167 metres1. 67 metres
SATURN30 mm ball300 metres3 metres
URANUS 10 mm marble600 metres6 metres
NEPTUNE 10 mm marble900 metres 9 metres
PLUTO 1 mm poppy seed1. 25 kilometres12. 5 metres

N.B: On this scale, our moon would be slightly smaller than a poppy seed and would be 8 cm from the Earth.

All the sizes and distances are approximations.

For practical reasons, you may wish to use this ‘shortened’ distance scale for your pupils’ model, but you will need to point out that the size of the planets is now disproportionately large.

Resource 5: Solar system – facts and figures