A detailed full color model of each of the first six planets (out to Saturn) and major moons of the Solar system, to (logrithmic) scale.
(Note: the full Solar System set of planets and moons is available as a set here
All surfaces are reproduced from NASA imaging.
For size reference, Jupiter is 22mm (0.9 inch) diameter, and Earth is 11mm (0.45 inch) diameter.
This set is designed for use in orrery or other models of the solar system, and so to best present all planets while preserving scale, the scale has been compressed - a logrithmic scale instead of a linear scale. This means that if the model of a moon of Jupiter is larger than the model of Mercury but smaller than Mars, then you know that the real moon really is larger than Mercury and smaller than Mars, But the size diference is compressed - Jupiter, which is really more than ten times Earth's diameter, becomes only twice Earth's diameter, etc. This logrithmic scale allows all planets to be clearly visible together, while at the same time still indicating their sizes relative to each other.
The set contains six planets, and nine moons:
[In order of appearance in the photo above, right to left]
- Moon / Luna
- Europa (attempt no landing there)
- rings of Saturn
All objects have a 1.3mm (0.05 inch) hole at the south pole, about 3mm deep, for a brass axle (or a toothpick).
What color is a planet - is it color of its surface materials, or the colour of its atmosphere from space, or the color of the surface being colored by the atmosphere filtering light from the sun? The appearance in this set attempts to be that of the surface with moderate atmospheric influence, (with the gas giants depicted as the atmosphere and surface being the same thing). For example, this means that Venus depicts the features of its surface, but they are tinted somewhat by its atmosphere. Similarly, Earth and Titan show ground features, but some areas are tinted and obscured by atmosphere.
In areas where the model surface is more detailed than the most detailed NASA photography, the overall surface appearance conforms to what is known, but finer textural details are speculative. (Or, if there is an atmosphere, it is shown as particularly thick and opaque over the unmapped area.)
Due to hard limitations of the Shapeways 3D printer, the moon Dione is using the surface map of Rhea. I chose Dione because the surface is very similar to Rhea, and it is the most minor moon in the set. The alternative was simply to remove an object, but I preferred the set to include four of Saturn moons, like it does for Jupiter.