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The planet Saturn near Westfield, Maine, USA
USA

A scale model of the planet Saturn sits at the side of US Route 1 near Westfield. The Maine Solar System Model is scaled at 1 to 93 million with the sun at the University of Maine in Presque Isle and Pluto, forty miles (64.4 km) away in the town of Houlton. It is said to be the largest complete, three dimensional scale model of the solar system in the world at its unveiling in 2003. All the planets except for Pluto can be seen from the road although most are easy to miss if you aren’t looking for them. The model serves as a tourist attraction and an educational tool.
Since the sun at this scale would be a sphere 50 feet (15 meters) in diameter, its surface is represented by an arc that is installed in the stairwell of the Northern Maine Museum of Science. Pluto at 1 inch in diameter (2.54 cm), looks like a little wooden ball and is mounted in a frame inside the lobby of the Holton tourist information center. Some of the planets have a moon included in the display at the appropriate size and distance.

Saturn was constructed by students at the Caribou Tech Center from aluminum ribs, foam and fiberglass. It is 51.9 inches (132 cm) in diameter and is located 9.7 miles (15.6 km) from the sun. The diameter of the outer ring is 117 inches (297 cm). Saturn’s moon Titan, located 43 feet (13 meters) from the planet and is only 2.2 inches (5.6 cm) in diameter.

For more information about the Maine Solar System Model, go to http://www.umpi.maine.edu/info/nmms/solar/

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Copyright: Tom Sadowski
Type: Spherical
Resolution: 11000x5500
Taken: 24/09/2010
Uploaded: 16/12/2010
Updated: 07/03/2015
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Tags: model; scale model; solar system; roadside attraction; titan; saturn; aroostook; us route 1; astronomy; parking lot
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More About USA

The United States is one of the most diverse countries on earth, jam packed full of amazing sights from St. Patrick's cathedral in New York to Mount Hollywood California.The Northeast region is where it all started. Thirteen British colonies fought the American Revolution from here and won their independence in the first successful colonial rebellion in history. Take a look at these rolling hills carpeted with foliage along the Hudson river here, north of New York City.The American south is known for its polite people and slow pace of life. Probably they move slowly because it's so hot. Southerners tend not to trust people from "up north" because they talk too fast. Here's a cemetery in Georgia where you can find graves of soldiers from the Civil War.The West Coast is sort of like another country that exists to make the east coast jealous. California is full of nothing but grizzly old miners digging for gold, a few gangster rappers, and then actors. That is to say, the West Coast functions as the imagination of the US, like a weird little brother who teases everybody then gets famous for making freaky art.The central part of the country is flat farmland all the way over to the Rocky Mountains. Up in the northwest corner you can find creative people in places like Portland and Seattle, along with awesome snowboarding and good beer. Text by Steve Smith.