The National Solar Observatory marks the NASA Year of the Solar System with the Sunspot Solar System Model, produced with a generous grant from the New Mexico Tourism Department. With the maps posted here you can make your own solar system ornaments to hang on a tree or as a ceiling mobile. Of course, we have to give you a little educational background first -- a bit of history and geometry. To make his globe, Waldseemuller used some mathematics -- trigonometry and geometry -- to convert a rectangular map into a series of curved shapes that showed the outlines and places without being distorted. The more gores the map has, the closer the land and ocean sizes are to their real shapes on Earth -- and the more work to draw the map and then make the globe. The lines drawn from North Pole to South Pole are meridians (from Latin meridies, or midday). The gores join each other at a common line, the equator (equal parts) that encircles Earth exactly between the poles. Parents and teachers should talk with children about this so they do not get the wrong ideas about the relative sizes of the planets. To bring the planets down to Earth, the Sunspot Solar System Model shows the planets 250 million times smaller than their actual sizes.
A 3-inch foam ball fits perfectly inside a 80mm (3.15 inch) clear plastic ornament ball, and thus holds the paper just right. The Moon ornament is almost to the correct scale for a 12-inch globe of Earth (0.25 model vs.
In addition, you can print Mars on three pages and wrap it around a 6-inch foam ball to have it to scale with Earth and Moon.
Technical notes about scale: The purpose here is not to provide absolutely accurate models of these worlds, but reasonably close models.
You can cut costs by using cheap Styrofoam balls from a craft store or the craft section of a discount store or from Hobby Lobby, Michael's, and other craft stores. The gas giants are made much the same way, but note the difference in their maps: each has four white lines at the equator.
To cut the rings, hold a piece of blank white paper in back so you can see the rings easier. Finally, add a few tiny ornaments -- without maps -- to represent some significant small bodies. The most important bodies are the four Galilean moons of Jupiter: Io, Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto. We'll add two more moons because they are larger than Pluto, once thought to be the end of the line for the solar system.
Use three more small ornaments for Ceres, an ice-covered dwarf planet between Mars and Jupiter, and Pluto and Eris, two of the closest and largest Plutoids, icy bodies that populate the outer solar system. We provide a blank set of gores so your students can use their imaginations and make their own worlds. Feel free to experiment with ornaments of various sizes, especially around Christmas when large plastic ornaments are on sale. In the near future NSO will provide similar maps of the Sun taken in different wavelengths to depict various aspects of solar activity.
National Space Science Data Center: This web site includes planetary fact sheets with a range of measurements of the planets, many of them also expressed in terms of Earth = 1.
The National Solar Observatory is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy under a cooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation, for the benefit of the astronomical community. Fear not – all the code you need is below, and you can follow through the step by step for how to add cute social media buttons to your site, in the tutorial video. If you need to make your icons smaller so that they will all fit in one row, set the size using width=XXpx where xx might be typically 40-62 pixels, or smaller if you have a narrow sidebar or a lot of icons.
So good to know how to do this myself (I’ve been hiring people to do the design work for me). I’d love for you to share this at the Pinterest Power Party – it goes live Wednesday at 5:00 pm {PST}! July 17, 2013 by Jessie · 5 Comments I saw an episode of I Hate My Bath on the DIY Network the other day where they built the coolest open bottom vanity and it got my wheels spinning for a DIY version for our own future bathroom. Minecraft is one of the most successful independently developed video games of all time, and it is now available for computers, Xbox and some mobile devices. Everything in Minecraft is based on one cubic metre blocks that can be stacked according to a three-dimensional grid. These examples of Minecraft architecture could have been made in either mode, though obviously creating these things in survival mode is much more difficult. That is impressive dedication to minecraft, the biggest thing I have ever built is a massive TARDIS.
Many of us have experienced prolonged stretches of driving where we're seemingly oblivious to our surroundings, and we're left dumbfounded that we didn't get into a serious accident. Your average user doesn't pay much attention to security vulnerabilities in software, but when they affect something like 7-Zip, one of the most popular compression tools available, it has a way of cornering the raised eyebrow market. Painting a wall is boring because it takes so much time and requires so much preparation to not get paint everywhere.

We fit the solar system onto the Sunspot Scenic Byway, NM 6563, which leads to NSO's Sacramento Peak Observatory at Sunspot, NM. It started as a flat map made of slices of paper that were carefully cut and glued to a ball so it now looks like Earth. Like peeling an orange skin into slices from stem to bottom, the gores of a globe start at the North Pole. Like Waldseemuller's first globes, most globes today have 12 gores, enough to look right and not so many that it is too hard to cut and paste together. If the maps could be printed with infinite perfection, the gores would barely kiss at the equator.
The maps offered here come from NASA images of the planets taken by a variety of satellites and deep space probes. It depicts just enough of something complex to fit inside your mind and help you can grasp a larger truth.
Many people think that the planets are all the same size or that they are evenly spaced away from the Sun or both.
The only tools are scissors, a table knife (a plastic picnic knife will do), and a ruler (to check the size of the printouts). You no longer need the CD or DVD protector disks, or to cut the Styrofoam balls in half, for the ringed planets, although you may consider this to keep the rings from sagging with age. Principally, they eliminate the need to cut the Styrofoam ball and use a clear plastic disk to make the gas giants (although the rings will sag with time). Thin-base inkjet photo paper will yield the most vibrant colors; ordinary paper on a color laser printer will work.
Line up the map so the white mark on the equator touches the equator of the ball, and so the tips of the first gore touch the poles. Hold a sheet of white paper behind the transparency when cutting so it is easier to see the lines.
For Uranus, place the hangar near the ring plane because this planet's axis is so tilted that the north pole points slightly south of its orbital plane! If the size is given on the label, divide by pi (3.14159) to get the circumference of the ball and thus the width of the map that must be printed. These can be printed to make a series of models of the Sun as we see it in different wavelengths. They are fragile and will shatter easily and quickly slice skin, especially a child's hands. Copy and paste this into your widget and then replace the capital letters with your own social media addresses, the link for your icons and the hover text. I agree – having the buttons in a nice and neat row or grouping makes a huge difference on the sidebar!
We would love for you to share this at our Kitchen Fun & Crafty Friday link party…just posted it!
I was struggling all day with adding social media icons to my blog (I’m not techy at all), and then I came upon your site with a google search–your instructions finally did the trick! Perhaps what makes it so powerful is that it allows users to create entire worlds based on their own designs: players can dig deep into virtual earth to discover caves and mine precious materials, they can build structures that stretch far into the sky, and they can explore a map that is virtually infinite.
Each block is wrapped in a low-res texture that suggests material properties such as stone, wood, gold, or even fire, although the fact that the game is independently produced means that there is much opportunity for modifying these textures and other aspects of the game — opportunities that have certainly been taken advantage of by the game’s hardcore fanbase.
In survival mode, players must fend off hunger, falls, and monsters that lurk in the woods while mining, processing, and placing materials carefully, making it much more of a game with objectives.
It is readily apparent just how much this game allows players to experiment, despite the pixilation arising from the grid limitation. A new study suggests that a specific brain function protects us from these bouts of absent-minded driving -- but that it completely breaks down while texting. But what if it could be exciting and done quickly and the point was to get paint everywhere?
They expand until they reach at Earth's equator or mid-section, then shrink until they meet again at the South Pole. Textbooks often depict them this way just to get the pictures all on one page without everything being out of balance. Or, you can take an out-of-date globe and cover it with a printout of Earth as seen from space. Note that the gas giant planets are assembled in halves so you can attach them to the rings. Because printers can have small variations in the sizes of their outputs, print a check sheet and measure the map. Carefully wrap the map around the ball and connect the white dot at the other end of the map to the first dot. Cut the material away from the outside of the rings, and then cut the pattern from the inside.
This is in scale for a 3-inch globe and is the only grouping where the planet and moon models are in the correct scale. That's not the true color of the Sun, but it's the crayon we grab first when told to draw a picture of the Sun.

Some teachers have printed map gores on full-sheet adhesive labels (Avery 5265, no precut) for large spheres, even to recover old globes. This is important to understanding the Sun as a dynamic, three-dimensional body that changes with time, and not a flat floodlight in the sky. And before you know it, blog prettiness (and practicality), and social media followers can be yours.
I am always so grateful when someone takes the time to share their experience with newer bloggers like me! The open bottom leaves the room feeling more spacious and I love the cozy look of big baskets and clean white towels rolled up underneath.
Creative mode is more of an open sandbox experience, allowing players infinite resources and making them invincible. Some have even gone so far as to attempt to recreate the entire world of Game of Thrones in Minecraft, an effort which thus far 4000 users in collaboration have not been able to complete (although their rendition of King’s Landing is awe-inspiring). Like what if you blew up some paint buckets to see if the explosion of colours could paint a room? For example, in 1569, Gerardus Mercator, a Flemish mapmaker, developed a way of making globes more efficiently using papier-mache). On Earth, the prime meridian passes through Greenwich, England, in part a result of England's dominant role at sea when seafaring nations met in 1884 to standardize maps.
Geological Survey composited these into Mercator project maps, and Mitchell Charity developed a small computer routine that rendered them as Waldseemuller projections. This model of the solar system lets youngsters of all ages hold the beauty of the planets in their hands and appreciate the immense wonders that lie before us in space as well as on Earth. You will have to attach the ornaments to the top and bottom of ecah ringed planet, and thus will need adhesvive picture hangers to hang them. These are important because they are the ones that Galileo observed were orbiting Jupiter, and not Earth, and thus powered the scientific revolution that became modern astronomy. Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune together have more than 100 moons, but most are quite tiny, so including them in the model would be a mess. Considering that it's smaller than even our own Moon, and that we know little of its surface, it doesn't get a large globe like the other worlds. The picture on the front page has red holiday ribbons representing coronal loops in a more fanciful fashion that they actually appear.
Waldseemuller believed that Amerigo Vespucci deserved credit for discovering the New World. NSO has edited them slightly, setting the sizes to match the 3-inch foam balls we discuss presently, and adding alignment marks.
The correct size of a model would be 6.36 inches, close enough to use a 6-inch sphere (94%) for a model. As an alignment guide, each map has a small white spot printed on the equator at each side. Some kids may find it easier to cut the maps into four sets of three gores each, and then tape them one by one.
Use a knife (ordinary dinner knife or a plastic picnic knife) to cut into the ball under each slot. When you hang the planets, try to have the moons of the giant planets be in line ("in plane") with the rings, just as they are in real life.
In the next few weeks, NSO will add detailed instructions on how to build a model of the Sun with more accurate representations of filaments (the real ribbons that sometimes seem to wrap the Sun), sunspots, magnetic field lines, and other features. They may be reused, free of charge, so long as credit is given to Mitchell Charity and to NSO. Styrofoam balls come in several sizes in craft departments (including green "frogs" in the floral department).
Although Columbus got there first, in 1492, Vespucci was first to recognize it as a new continent, the New World, rather than India, as Columbus believed. The maps are presented free of copyright or royalty, and released under the creative commons.
Take a small ruler and check the size as one batch was mislabeled as 4-inch balls (#6379192). Gently press the tip of one gores into place, then the next, being careful to align the edges. These will help students get a qualitative understanding of the structure of our local star. The name stuck -- even though Waldseemuller had second thoughts -- and the continents became known as North and South America.
When it is noon at Greenwich, it is midnight at the meridian on the opposite side of the world.

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