The Planet Walk at MCCC
What is the Planet Walk?
Where is the Planet Walk?
The Solar System
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What is The Planet Walk?
The Planet Walk is a scale model of the Solar System. Each planet is represented by a sign describing that planet. The distance between the signs is directly proportional to the distance between the orbital paths of planets and the Sun. Each sign includes a picture of the planet, a brief description of that planet, a pale yellow circle that is the size of the Sun on a scale with this model, and a small, sometimes tiny, picture of the planet that is in the same scale as this model. (Here are the Planet Walk Signs)

The Chemistry Faculty built this model to teach students in our Physical Science Concepts class, PHY 111, and others about the immensity and beauty of the Solar System and the Universe. Mercer County Community College invites you to come and enjoy a walk across our beautiful campus while you learn more about your Solar System and the other planets that circle our Sun.
Where is The Planet Walk?
The Sun is located near the center of the Mercer County Community College campus, near the west entrance of the BS Building. The planets are along the walk-way going east between the LA and MS Buildings, and out to the far side of the West Student Parking Lot at the Loop Road.

The actual distance from the Sun to the planet Pluto is 3,660,000,000 miles but in this model of the Solar System the distance from the Sun to Pluto is 1700 feet, or about one third of a mile. This gives a scale for the Planet Walk of 1 inch = 180,000 miles.

We have arranged the Planet Walk so that the planets are in a nice neat line, or in astronomical terms, the planets are in conjunction. The distances between signs are the average distances between the orbital paths of the planets. The planets themselves are commonly spread around the Sun, somewhere within their orbit, and thus the planets are almost always farther from one another than represented in this model.

The distances between signs and the picture diameters in the model are accurate to 2 significant digits. All information was correct as of June 2000.

If you notice any problems, or have any suggestions, comments, or corrections please e-mail us at, or by phone at 609-586-4800 x3369, or by writing to Michael Dorneman, Chemistry, MCCC, PO Box B, Trenton NJ 08690.

I would like to extend my thanks to Dr. Frank Slezak; without his help the Planet Walk would not have been possible. I would also like to thank Professor Carlo Alfare, Dr. Edward House, and Dr. Frank Slezak for their help in planning, proof reading, and layout, Kenneth Miller for the excellent job done in constructing the display signs, and Dr. Albert Porter and Dr. Patricia Barchi for their support.

All photographs in this book and on the Planet Walk are courtesy NASA and NSSDC.

The following link to copies of the Planet Walk signs for:
The Sun