Alright, so, it’s been a while. We were just at Venus, and now it’s back down to Earth, as they say.
The Earth location of the Maine Solar System Model, the largest 3D to-scale model of our solar system on planet Earth, is found in Northeastern Maine. It was installed in 2003, and was put together by the University of Maine at Presque Isle. Local schoolchildren participated in its creation, as well. It truly is, in my opinion, the premiere “roadside attraction” in the United States. Screw the big rubber band ball and the upside down thumbtack or whatever else you may find… this meta-experience is where it’s at! It’s 40 miles long, so you can drive it in a day, or spend a few days and really take it in (if you’re a space cake like me, that is).
You can read my first entry on the MSSM here, and that link will take you through the entire tour (or what I have written of it already).
There really isn’t much to say about this here Earth and Moon, folks. We’re on it. It’s pretty cool, though, to stop at Earth… while you’re on Earth… before jumping off to one of the other planets.
The UMPI site on the MSSM for Earth gives us the following technical information:
Diameter: 5.5 inches (14 cm)
Location: Percy’s Auto Sales (1.0 mile or 1.6 km from Sun)
Construction: Styrofoam ball with fiberglass cover
Constructed by: Caribou Tech Center (Caribou High School)
Painted by: Jeanie McGowan, Curator of Collections at the Northern Maine Museum of Science and student at the University of Maine at Presque Isle
Posts constructed by: Northern Maine Technical College, Sonny Michaud and students
Base constructed by David Tardie and his students, Loring Job Corps, Cement Mason Program
Moon: (diameter 1.5 inch or 3.8 cm, 16 feet or 4.9 m from Earth axis)
Next up: Mars! Stay tuned.