Some friends and I made a 7 mile wide scale model of the solar system complete with planetary orbits. It was a relatively simple idea, but making the model was a lot harder than it seemed.
  1. We calibrated our model to this marble for the size of earth.
    D8f56fbf 9430 4f3c 8630 872ffb31ea99
    It's 0.59 inches (1.503 cm) in diameter.
  2. Neptune, the farthest planet, is 3.5 mi (5.6 km) from the sun.
    6d49308b d4cc 48e9 b29b 939e3c46a7dc
  3. The closest location to us with enough empty space to make this a reality was the Black Rock Desert in northern Nevada.
    D288651f 8751 475c 91c5 4d2c1ec824da
    It's where Burning Man takes place.
  4. At this scale, earth is 579 ft (~176 m) from the sun, which is about 5'5" (164 cm) diameter.
    3e5e0b06 000b 4e61 9c86 26ce7f33a2d9
  5. You can tell we got the proportions correct by standing on earth's orbit and looking back at the sun(s).
    623fd81c 0b1b 4b53 865e b7d2654e23a1
    If the proportions are correct, they should be the same size in the sky.
  6. Other scale models of the solar system exist, but as far as we know ours was the first one to include complete planetary orbits.
    4dcbc607 f96b 4d34 84a5 a4e20dfafe35
  7. It took us 36 grueling hours to make the model. In between my paid projects, it took almost a year to edit the accompanying short film.
    23725ca4 d6e7 4841 bd55 40f488cb658b
    Was it worth it? You tell me - http://bit.ly/1YrqjgM