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.
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    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.
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  3. The closest location to us with enough empty space to make this a reality was the Black Rock Desert in northern Nevada.
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    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.
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  5. You can tell we got the proportions correct by standing on earth's orbit and looking back at the sun(s).
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    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.
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  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.
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    Was it worth it? You tell me -