Here in Silver City, New Mexico, we have a one-of-a-kind scaled solar system along a stretch of Swan Street's sidewalk. The system starts with our sun near the 50 yd line of Fox Field by the corner of 32nd & Swan St., and finishes with Pluto 1.2 miles away, across Highway 180 (don't worry there's a stoplight.)
Our Solar System, which includes the sun and all nine planets, is accurately scaled in both distance from the sun and actual diameter. Small spheres, representing the sun and each planet, are set into bronze plaques (95% copper) which, in turn, are imbedded into the sidewalk at measured intervals. Written on these plaques is the planet's name, size in comparison to Earth, and distance to sun in miles.
This project is part of Physical Science 485 at Western New Mexico University in conjunction with the NF Observatory. The original proposal was submitted to the town of Silver City in the Fall of 1996. We hope our sidewalk solar system will host many awe-inspiring fieldtrips and will help students to realize the incredible dimensions of our solar system and universe.
To make your own sidewalk solar system.
To walk the route and view the plaques:
Or jump to:
View Our Calculations
See Map of Site