Models to visualize size and distance in the universe

JOB 3: The Sun a grain of fine sand

     To bring our entire galaxy into our model, let us scale everything down a bit more, still. Now let the grain of fine sand, with its diameter of ¼mm represent the sun.

Step 1. Establish a scale for your JOB 3 model
Make a ratio of the actual diameter of the sun to the diameter of the model of the sun
(Be sure units are the same in the numerator and denominator before canceling them)
SCALE = ____________ / _____________    =    [ ___________ ] : [1]

The SCALE of this model is: [ _____________ ] : [1]
The Scale factor is _________________


In your JOB 3 scale model, the size of the sun will be the size of a grain of fine sand. All other distances and sizes will be shrunk in the same proportion, that is, their actual size divided by the scale factor that you have calculated.
Question (A): How far will the Earth be from the Sun in your JOB 3 model?
The distance in the JOB 3 model will be the actual Sun-Earth distance, divided by the scale factor.
Solution: Sun-Earth distance in your model is: _____________ / ___________ = _________

In your JOB 3 model, the distance from the Sun to the Earth will be _____m or ____cm.


Question (B): What will be the diameter of the solar system in your JOB 3 model?
Diameter of the solar system in your model is the actual diameter of the solar system, divided by the scale factor.
Solution: Diameter of the solar system in your model is:___________ / __________ = _______

In your JOB 3 model, the diameter of the solar system will be________meters.


Question (C): How far is it to Alpha Centauri in your JOB 3 model?
Distance to Alpha Centauri in your model is the actual distance to Alpha Centauri, divided by the scale factor.
Solution: Distance to Alpha Centauri in your model is: _____________ / ___________ = _________

In your JOB 3 model, the distance to Alpha Cenaturi, the nearest star (other than the sun), is ________m   or ______miles.


Question (D): What is the diameter of our Milky Way galaxy in your JOB 3 model?
(You will have to convert the actual diameter from Light Years to meters)
Diameter of the Milky Way galaxy in your model is the actual diameter divided by the scale factor.
Solution: Diameter of the Milky Way galaxy in your model is: _____________ / ___________ = ____________

In your JOB 3 model, the diameter of the Milky Way galaxy is ________m  or _______miles.


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Go to the NEXT JOB: A scale for the whole Universe.

Return to 'Scale Models of the Universe' home page.
Return to 'JOB 0' Get started on scales and models.
Return to 'JOB 1' The Earth a size E ball.
Return to 'JOB 2' The Earth a grain of fine sand.
Go to 'JOB 5' The Universe an exploding 4th of July firecracker.
Go to 'JOB 6' What happened in the Year 500,000?

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