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Solar system

How Big Is Our Solar System? Make an outdoor model.

Looking up, it’s easy to see that the sky is vast. But just how expansive is hard to gauge. Do this activity to see how our size compares within the universe. What do you look like from Jupiter? What does an ant look like from the Mars?

Materials To See How Big Is Our Universe

  • 11 blank 5 x 7 cards
  • felt marker or crayon
  • tape measure
  • 11 forks

On the first card, color a two-inch circle, and mark the card: “Sun.” This is actually one billionth of the sun’s actual size!

To shrink the rest of the planets to the same scale, place a small black dot on each of the remaining cards, labeling them: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Asteroid Belt (the region of space filled with small chunks of rock between Mars and Jupiter), Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto.

Go to a large grassy area such as a baseball field or a city park. Thread the “sun” card through the tines of a fork. Plant the handle of the fork into the ground.

Pace off six feet and plant the “Mercury” card into the ground. For the remaining cards, pace the number of feet given and stick that card on it’s fork into the ground. You are on your way to see how big is our universe.

11 feet – Venus

15 feet – Earth

24 feet – Mars

43 feet – Asteroids

80 feet – Jupiter

148 feet – Saturn (You have just traveled one billion miles in space!)

294 feet – Uranus (You have just traveled another billion miles!)

446 feet – Neptune

611 feet – Pluto (Can you still see the sun card? What do you think

the Sun looks like from Pluto?)

Think About How Big Is Our Universe

Romans 8:38-39 says, “I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Have you ever wondered how big all creation is? Genesis 1:1 says, “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.”

Take a look at the solar system model you created in the field with the forks and index cards. Now imagine how vast the area would be to hold the planets that are not just a dot on a paper, but full size.

This model represents only our solar system, and our solar system is a mere dot in the discoverable heavens. All creation is bigger than we can comprehend. And the God who is so grand that he created all creation promises that nothing can separate us from his love. That’s a big promise and a lot of love.

For more projects like this, see the Art/History unit studies by PeggySue Wells on the Shop page of this Single Mom Circle website.


Meet PeggySue

We’ve heard of soccer moms and stage mothers. I’m a writer who trailers my kids and horses across the nation. My Apple computer, fondly christened MacBeth, is the essential I bring along.