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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
Uploaded: 16/12/2010
Updated: 25/09/2014
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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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