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Sweden Solar System (wikipedia.org)
224 points by lelf on Aug 12, 2014 | hide | past | web | favorite | 40 comments

I went on a hunt for a few of these when I was in Stockholm recently and it was a bit disappointing. We couldn't find a sign at the globe and lots of places were shut. Venus is now a building site and we couldn't find Jupiter at the airport. We found the Earth and moon, Mars and Mercury (from a distance). It is a good way to explore and you get good value out of a T-bana pass.

Edit: If anyone is interested I can write up the hunt. Got some good photos. It was this or a visit to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ytterby and I think the solar system was the best choice. They should really promote these attractions more.

> If anyone is interested I can write up the hunt


OK, will do. I also checked out http://www.atlasobscura.com/places/pionen-data-center in Södermalm. It was shut but you can see a bit through the glass doors. Missed out on http://www.atlasobscura.com/places/r1-nuclear-reactor though :(.

Just to have an idea how sparse space is, the closest star at this scale would be about 5x the (actual) distance to the moon.

Solar Systems in scale are really impressive. We usually see them in books, where all the planets are close. The amount of space is astonishing. I saw one in Brazil in a Astronomy Museum http://www.mast.br/, the Sun is smaller than a golf ball and you have to walk dozens of meters to get to Uranus. The nearest star would be in a city more than a thousand kilometers away. This is what I call a humbling experience.

Zagreb also has this, albeit a mini version ...

The system is at scale 1:680 000 000. Earth's model is about 1.9 cm in size and at 225 m distance from the sun's model, while Pluto's model is 7.7 km away from it...


We have one in Australia too - I drive it several times a year. Distance sun to pluto is 190 km unfortunately - I visited the wiki link ready to hurl abuse


I shouldn't laugh, I really shouldn't...

"Uranus (2.6 m in diameter) was vandalized"

If it's in Gävle, it would be a logical guess that it was vandalized due to the local population's decades-long tradition of vandalizing monuments.


Destroyed 27 times in 48 years. That makes the recreation seem like a bad idea.

It's an absolutely fantastic idea, best publicity that town gets all year. The whole country is engaged in the burning of that thing.

Unfortunately, due to its name, Uranus has been the butt of many jokes.

Sorry -- had to share that. Got it from the wonderful "Great Courses" intro to astronomy series (See? I managed to throw in some good hacker stuff and tell a corny joke at the same time.) Highly recommended.

We should rename it, to end this stupid joke once and for all. Maybe to "Urectum"...

I think you have mistaken us for Reddit :-)

Previous discussion on this: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=2220903

There's one in Denmark as well, although much smaller (1: 1 billion). One thing that I thought was really cool when I visited was that if you stood by the fake earth an looked at the fake sun it appeared precisely the same size as the real sun. Also very cool to walk for a couple of hours and reaching tiny Pluto.


That should be the case for any model that is to scale. The moon and all planets should be real-sized (in steradians), too.

Not on the same sort of scale at all, but York (UK) has a scale model along one of the Sustrans cycling routes: http://www.york.ac.uk/solar/

SkyRide do free regular guided public rides down the route (or sometimes a subset there of for people who don't feel up to the full length and back) which is a pleasant way to spend an hour or two if you are in the area.

How accurate is it? It seems that a lot of locations were picked because of them being in museums and other significant places. I guess if it was really accurate they would end up in more inconvenient spots.

Earth's distance from the Sun varies by +/-~2% at its current eccentricity, and the eccentricity isn't constant. So at a distance of ~7.5 km (1:20 mil of Earth's average orbit) you've got a ring about 300 m wide around the Sun to find a museum in.

Other planets further away give you larger rings to search in; you could place Jupiter in a ring ~4 km wide ~39 km away, and it would be within the range of its orbit around the Sun.

That said, while the task is easier than you might think (since there isn't One True Position for each planet), I don't know how well they did.

Maybe the museums were placed first?

Stockholm is actually jam packed with museums. You could spend a week there.

http://pages.umpi.edu/~nmms/solar/ is another version of this idea.

I pass through Ericsson Globe almost daily but never realized that I'm travelling in "Solar System"

Technically, all of us are travelling in the Solar System.

Does anyone have a decent photo of the one (Saturn) in Uppsala? Surprisingly, I can't find any photo on the internet (searching in either English or Swedish), I lived there in 2012 and don't remember seeing a 6.1m circular object in Celsiustorget at all.

It was a temporary thing during the "year of astronomy"; the mat was on the shopping street just outside the old Celsius observatory. For the time being there is no Saturn as far as I know. But its moon Titan should still be hanging at the same spot, a ~40cm semi-translucent sphere to represent the thick atmosphere.

Oh, I didn't realise it was temporary, thanks. (I walked past Celsiushuset many time but never noticed the moon. :( )

From the article:

> the model is a mat with a picture of Saturn, but will eventually grow to crown a school planetarium at the city

I didn't notice a mat with a picture of Saturn (and I walked past the place many times); but, ivh notes it was just temporary.

This page contais more information and photos as well: http://www.astro.su.se/english/about-us/the-sweden-solar-sys...

That's a good page if a little out of date. We followed http://ttt.astro.su.se/swesolsyst/stations.html but the wikipedia page is better and more accurate.

That's great, I'm going to Stockholm in November so I'll check out Mercury. Thanks for sharing.

It'd be even better if there was an international solar system which involved several countries, to make it an even larger scale.

I seem to recall reading about a scale model of the solar system somewhere in the northern hemisphere that 'included' the nearest star in Australia somewhere... Anybody else heard of this?

We have one in Maine as well, scale 1:93,000,000:


The Smithsonian Institute (Washington DC, USA) has a walking model along the capital mall.

Our local (Boise, ID) Discovery Center has a model, too. Fun stuff!

Munich has one, too with a much smaller scale, with the sun central at the technology museum 'Deutsches Museum'

Ithaca, NY has one of these too : )

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