The Viking solar system trail

Trail Overview

The Viking Solar System Trail is a scale model of our solar system. The trail consists of painted disks representing the Sun and each of the eight planets in our solar system. The trail accurately represents the relative sizes of the planets, as well as their relative distances from the Sun. An accurate representation of both sizes and distances cannot be accomplished in a conventional diagram because of the difference in scales. The Viking Solar System trail solves this problem of scales by spreading the solar system model out over more than 4.3 km (about 2.7 miles) of paved trail.

The trail represents our solar system on a one billion to one scale. On the scale of the trail, one light-second (the distance light travels in one second) is equivalent to about one foot.

The trail is maintained by the Berry College Department of Physics, Astronomy, & Geology. For comments/suggestions, please email  Dr. Todd Timberlake.