How to Draw the Orbit of the Planets

Written by eric michaels
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How to Draw the Orbit of the Planets
Draw a scale model of the solar system. (Photos.com/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Our solar system is huge, but with a little calculating of ratios, you can draw the orbit of its planets on a single page in an appropriate scale.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Drawing compass
  • Coloured pencils
  • Sketchpad
  • Meter ruler

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Measure the length of your paper. Because the solar system is so spread out, it is best to measure the page in millimetres.

  2. 2

    Figure out the actual distance of each planet from the sun. Charts with the actual distances are available online. Find the distance of the planet farthest away. Divide that by half the length of your paper in millimetres. This will give you a ratio of how many miles one millimetre represents. Use the ratio to calculate the other distances.

  3. 3

    Put a dot in the centre of the paper to represent the sun. Measure out from the sun the distance of each planet in millimetres. Place two dots for each planet, one on either side of the sun. Place the compass point on the sun, and draw circles to connect the dots for each planet.

Tips and warnings

  • Draw each orbit a different colour. This will make them easier to differentiate. Colour-code the lines by the planet's colour.
  • The job will be easier if you use a page from a sketch pad, as it is larger than a regular sheet of paper.

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