Welcome to the Washington State’s only solar system geocache, scaled to a 5 foot Sun, located on Bainbridge Island! Below you will find fun facts about our model solar system, as well as the GPS coordinates of each planet, including Pluto. When you collect stamps from each location you can turn in a finished passport book for a fun finisher patch to iron onto your backpack, jacket, or wherever your imagination takes you!
Neptune is completely missing. Maintenance is planned to replace these items, as well as replace the plastic treasure chests with cloth zip bags.
Updates planned for 6/21/17
Bainbridge’s scaled solar system model is based on a 5-foot wide sun. This is about a 1:1,000,000,000 scale model – what would the other planets look like if they were scaled down the same way?
Mercury would be a typical LED.
Venus would be a small marble.
Earth would be a dime. (If the moon were in our model, it would be a mere foot away!)
Mars would be a wooden bead.
Jupiter would be a dollar bill.
Saturn would be a DVD.
Uranus would be a pool ball.
Neptune would be a pool ball.
Pluto would be two pinheads.
Planet 9* would be slightly smaller than a pool ball.
Alpha Centari is the nearest star to our Sun. It lives 4.22 light-years away from our Sun. For comparison, Earth lives 8 light minutes (or 0.000015 light-years) from the Sun. Where in the world would Alpha Centari reside based on our 5-foot model?
Right where you are standing. Yes, you read that right, the nearest star would be right where you are. What’s the catch? You would have to circumnavigate the entire Earth.
Andromeda is the nearest galaxy to our galaxy, the Milky Way. It lies 2.54 million light years away. For comparison, Pluto lives 327 light minutes (or 0.000624 light-years) from the Sun. Where would Andromeda reside based on our 5-foot model?
Really, really, really far away. Even when we shrink the Sun down to 5 feet in diameter the nearest galaxy resides at unfathomable distances to us. In this scale model, Andromeda would reside four times farther than Pluto…the real Pluto, not the one in our model. Four times farther than the tiny dwarf planet 4.5 billion miles away…
Getting to Bainbridge Island:
From Seattle you can take the WADOT ferry to Bainbridge Island. The Sun and inner planets are walkable from the ferry. Jupiter and Saturn can be walked from the ferry terminal with a bit of extra effort. Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto will require a car.
From Kitsap County you can drive across the Agate pass bridge onto Bainbridge Island and follow highway 305 into the town center where the Sun resides.
About the Battle Point Astronomical Association:
The Battle Point Astronomical Association is located at Battle Point Park and houses a 27.5 inch reflecting telescope. The observatory is open to the public on second Saturdays with BPAstroKIDS shows at 4 and 5pm and adult shows at 7:30pm. Membership to the observatory gives you access to all public events, our telescope check out program, private star parties, and more. Join us today!
Annual Family Membership – $30
Annual Individual Membership – $20
Annual Junior Membership – $10
Email Dr. Erica at BPAstroKIDS@BPAstro.org if supplies are missing at any location.