# how to draw the solar system to scale on paper

To calculate the scale planet sizes, discuss proportions and ratios with students.

This is your model’s scale value. However, most spreadsheet software will paste using relative cell values, meaning the values will change and the calculated results could be incorrect. Example not-to-scale images of the solar system, Spreadsheet software (e.g., Excel or Sheets), Distance markers (cones, ground stakes, etc. Students predict the scale of our solar system and the distance between planets, then check their answers using fractions. Note: When Earth’s scale diameter equals 1 cm, the scale distance to Neptune will be about 2 miles.

Students will use the scale Earth diameter and proportional ratios to find the scale distances to the other planets by rearranging the equation below. And that’s an understatement. Ask students to guess how far away Earth would be from the Sun in a scale model if Earth were 1 cm in diameter.

Have students use various tools (ruler, compass, string, protractor, etc.) There are scale solar systems all over the world. Lead a discussion about why images often show size and distances this way (referring to talking points in the Background section). Student spreadsheets should accurately calculate the scale size of and/or distances to all the planets. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech | + Expand image. One au is equal to the average distance between the Sun and Earth, about 150 million kilometers. The solar system is huge! A scale model – a model with sizes and distances proportionally reduced or enlarged – is a great way to correctly display the size of and distance between planets, giving students a better visual representation of the solar system than they could otherwise get from an image in a book or on a computer. Earth is a little more than a meter away. Represent proportional relationships by equations. A spreadsheet multiplication formula follows this format: =B3*10, where B3 is the cell with a planet’s au distance and 10 is the scale value. What's important to take from this is that even though the objects are small, the distances gets to be very very large. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech | + Expand image, In this artist's rendering, the planets are shown orbiting the Sun, however, the size of the planets, their distance from each other, and the shape and inclination of their orbits are not-to-scale.

To calculate the scale solar system, discuss proportions and ratios with students. Students should determine another scale value (e.g., 15 cm = 1 au) and create an additional column with which to calculate and compare the distance to each planet. Jupiter 5.55, and then we start really getting far away from the sun. If students change the scale diameter of Earth in the spreadsheet, it will cause the functions to recalculate the scale values for the other planets.

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