After looking at A Tediously Accurate Map of the Solar System the other day, I was reminded of a much bigger model of the same system. It’s found in Sweden, and it makes perfect sense when you see Globen – the building in Stockholm chosen to represent the sun.
The official name for is Ericsson Globe, and the original name was Stockholm Globe Arena, but the popular name has always been Globen. Globen is the largest spherical building in the world, and to plasma physicist Nils Brenning and astronomer Gösta Gahm the symbolism was obvious: – let Globen represent the sun, and use it to create a scale model of the solar system that spans the country of Sweden.
That’s Globen pictured above. Here’s a map of the Sweden Solar System (SSS), linked to a full size image:
Because Globen is 110 m (328 feet) in diameter, Mercury becomes a 25 cm (9.8 inches) sphere located at the Stockholm City Museum, located 2,900 meters (9,514 feet) from Globen. Pluto ends up in Delsbo, 300 km (186.4 miles) from Globen. The sizes of the planets (and objects) and the distances between them are at a scale of 1:20 million.
The SSS actually extends the entire length of Sweden, as it also contains several minor planets and comets. I’ve seen a number of the planet models and can confirm that this is Sweden at its best: playful, irreverent and smart, educating through a palatable combination of culture and science.