Welcome to The Arizona Scale Model Solar System, where you can stroll from the Sun to Pluto.
The size of each object and the distances between them are shown at a 1 to 5 billion scale. The model extends 0.68 miles along the University of Arizona Mall, starting with the Sun, located outside the Kuiper Space Science Building on the east, and beyond west Main Gate. The Arizona Scale Model Solar System was inaugurated in 2023 and is brought to you by the University of Arizona, the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory and the Arizona Space Grant Consortium.
To know the universe and understand our place in it is a fundamental pursuit of humankind. Science, and space science in particular, has arisen to directly look for answers. Developing an intuitive grasp of astronomical scales is challenging, even for those who study it. Artwork has the power to engage our minds in powerful ways. Public art, in particular, has the potential to enrich lives, contribute to cultural dialogue, and enhance the community's identity. It can reshape perceptions and forge a deeper connection with a place. The University of Arizona has a rich history of contributing to NASA space missions, including the Apollo program, which led to humankind taking its first steps on another planetary body in 1969. Our exploration of space through these missions combined with the important fundamental research conducted at LPL and the University of Arizona has contributed significantly to our understanding of each of the planets in our solar system. This project stands as a testament to this legacy.