A detailed full color model of each of the planets, gas giants, and major moons of the Solar system, to (logrithmic) scale.
This set includes the 20 largest objects in the solar system (bar the sun).
All surfaces are reproduced from NASA imaging.
For size reference, Jupiter is 25mm (1 inch) diameter, and Earth is 12.76mm (1/2 inch) diameter.
(A photograph of some of the planet models can be seen on th page for this subset of planets
. Photos of this full set coming soon.)
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 all planets, a dwarf planet, and eleven 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 1.6mm (1/16th inch) hole at the south pole, 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 (such as Pluto), 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 production, these minor moons are sharing the same surface map. They were chosen because they have a similar surface, and/or their surface is largely unknown.
**For the same reason, Pluto and Triton, which have a similar icy surface and not much photographic detail known, also share their surface map.
(The alternative was to not include those moons)