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Outing #13: Whales on Tour

Our Solar System


Today, we pulled a Ms. Frizzle,got on the Whale Bus, and took a tour of our solar system. To join the class, start with National Geographic’s Solar System 101.

Then, ooo and ahh at these beautiful real images of our Sun and planetary neighbors.

To get a feel for how large and far apart the planets really are, watch a scale model of the solar system come to life in the desert.

If you can’t get enough, you can also learn about the origin of the solar system.


  • What strikes you as interesting or beautiful about the planets in our solar system?

  • If you could really visit another planet in our solar system, which one would it be? Why?

  • If you were designing a science mission to another planet, what would you want to study?


Make your own solar system models. Start with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s Solar System Scroll illustrating the relative distance between the planets.

Then, bust out your scissors to cut out scale models of the planets from Norwood Science Center. (Note: the planets are scaled appropriately to one another, not the scroll above). Color or paint the cutouts based on real images of the planets. Try using watercolors to get the cool swirls on Jupiter and waterline on Mars.


Post a photo of your beautiful planets or thoughts on traveling the solar system in the comments below, via Facebook, or by email!

Image credit: Created by Eli Kellett using PicsArt

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