Solar System

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Construct a scale model of the solar system using toilet paper to mark the distance from the sun and various fruits to mark positions of the planets. Then use the fruit to make smoothies!


Toilet rolls x 4 (at least 280 sheets!)
Small grapes or other mini fruit, the size of peppercorns x 4
Small fruits the size of cherry tomatoes x 8
Blueberries (larger than grapes, smaller than cherry tomatoes) x 4
Watermelons x 4 (OK, 2, plus 2 equivalent sized footballs)
Large grapefruit, or similar x 4 (OK, 2, plus 2 equivalent sized balls)
Apples x 4
Limes or kiwi fruit x 4
Something tiny for pluto (about 1% the size of a cherry tomato – grain of salt) x 4
4 sets of 9 flags on cocktail sticks, with the names of the 8 planets plus Pluto on them, for sticking in the respective fruits
In addition to the above fruit (including additional of the above):
More apples, grapes, blueberries, bananas, milk
Blender / smoothie maker x 2 if possible
4 x jugs (big ones…)
Knives and peelers, chopping boards, for chopping fruit
Flexi-straws for drinking, plus cups


Distances from the sun and sizes of fruit:
Solar System – a study in fruit and toilet paper; 1 sheet = 10 million miles
Planet/body Sheets of loo roll from Sun Sheets of loo roll from previous planet Fruit representing planet
The Sun None None Note that the Sun is 109 times the diameter of Earth
Mercury 3.6 3.6 Small grape/mini fruit the size of a peppercorn (we used redcurrants)
Venus 6.7 3.1 Small fruit the size of a cherry tomato
Earth 9.3 2.6 About same as Venus
Mars 14.1 4.8 Blueberry
Jupiter 48.4 34.3 Watermelon (or football)
Saturn 88.7 40.3 Large grapefruit or similar (or ball)
Uranus 178.7 90 Apple
Neptune 279.7 101 Lime or kiwi fruit
Pluto From 270 to 410ish From -9 to 130 Tiny grain of salt – less than 1/100th the size of Earth!

Meanwhile construct the 'real' solar system.

Then make smoothies from the fruit!!



Badge Links

  • Astronomer - Model or draw