Mercury and the Sun, fully-to-scale
Sol Chicago is a proposed temporary education installation for the city of Chicago and the greater Lake Michigan area. It would be a fully-to-scale (73,660,000:1) model of our Solar System. The model would feature the AeroBalloon, a popular summer tourist attraction located at the base of Navy Pier, as the Sun. It is over 60 feet in diameter and rises over 30 stories in the air. "Sol Chicago" is this project's tentative name.
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This model would have several unique features:
Big: It would be the largest in the United States -- and largest in the world to include spherical representation of Jupiter and Saturn.
Real: The Sun can be seen on the horizon from each planet. Because the model is fully to scale, this means that the apparent size of this Sun from each location is the same as it would be while standing on the surface of each of these planets.
Interactive: Visitors can “ride” the Sun and use binoculars to spot the planets. From this vantage point the true vastness of our Solar System can be appreciated as never before. Furthermore, a leisurely bicycle ride along the lakefront trail at 9 mph (4 m/s) would recreate light's journey to each planet.
Conspicuous: The planets are located in popular public spaces along Lake Michigan, thus drawing in many people who are simply enjoying a sunny Chicago summer.
Inner Solar System (Downtown Chicago)
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