Welcome to the website of the Otford Scale Model of the Solar System. One of the reasons for building the Solar System was to show just how big space is. If you walk as far as Pluto and look back towards the recreation ground, you get a sense of the vastness of space.
The scale of this model is 1:4,595,700,000 (ie 1mm = 4,595.7km). The Sun is represented by a 303mm diameter dome and each planet by a scale engraving on a flat disc. On this scale, the nearest star is 8,844km away, near Los Angeles USA! And if you were to cross the Milky Way, our local galaxy, you would have to stay on board the jet for twenty four years.
At this scale, the model does not represent the largest depiction of Solar System - there are many other model Solar Systems around the world (see Links page), some of which are larger. But the Otford Model is unique in three respects:
- Planetary position at a moment in time - The positions of the pillars accurately depict the positions of the planets at midnight on 1 January 2000.
- Orbits - The model accurately shows the orbits of the inner planets (within the contraints of the Parish-owned land)
- Nearest stars - The model also includes four of the nearest stars as near to the same scale as practical, which makes it...