Geek Trivia

The Largest Model Of The Solar System Ever Built Is Located In?

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Sweden
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The center of the massive Swedish building-based model.
Bengt-re/Flickr

Answer: Sweden

The largest permanent scale model of the solar system this side of, well, the actual solar system, is located in Sweden. How large is the model? If you guessed the size of a whole museum, a city block, or even a city itself, you’ll need to think a wee bit bigger. The model is set to a 1:20 million scale and spans the entire country.

The center of the model and the stand-in for the Sun is the Ericsson Globe, the largest hemispherical building in the world, located in Stockholm, Sweden. Radiating out from that central point are to-scale representations of the inner planets located around the city of Stockholm. Mercury is located in the Stockholm City Museum. Venus is located at Vetenskapens Hus at KTH (Royal Institute of Technology). Earth is located in the Swedish Museum of Natural History (Cosmonova). By the time we get to Mars, the most remote of the inner planets, we’ve ended up just outside the city limits in the suburb of Danderyd where the model for Mars is located at the Mörby Centrum shopping center.

From there, the distances increase quickly. Jupiter is located 40 kilometers from the Ericsson Globe at the Stockholm Arlanda Airport. By the time we get to Neptune, we’re 229 kilometers from the Ericsson Globe in the coastal fishing town of Söderhamn. The furthest of the dwarf planets, Sedna, is located at Teknikens Hus, a science center in Luleå, a whopping 912 kilometers from the center of the model. To date, the furthest object in the model is the foundation for a future sculpture representation of the Termination Shock (the edge of the heliosphere where the Sun’s supersonic solar winds slow down to subsonic velocity) set at 950 kilometers from the center and located at the Institute of Space Physics in Kiruna.