This practical activity, from the Royal Society, helps students to visualise the scale of our solar system by drawing out the planets' orbits around the sun in a scale model. One astronomical unit is the distance between the Earth and the sun, and this is used by astronomers to describe distances in space.
A table is provided with the distance of each planet from the sun given in astronomical units, which students can use to calculate a suitable scale for their model solar system based on the area they have available – the playground is ideal.
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