Planet Trek Dane County: You have reached Earth

© Photographed April 23, 2017
Erected 2009 by UW Space Place and the Board of Visitors
of the UW-Madison Department of Astronomy
Madison, Dane County, Wisconsin
43°03'54.0"N 89°23'20.7"W
43.064992, -89.389080
Google Map

You have reached Venus in the Plant Trek
Scale Model Solar System
Dane County
In our scale model, Earth would be the size of a medium apple. The moon would be the size of a marble, 6 feet away!
What is Planet Trek Dane County?
Welcome to Venus within Planet Trek Dane County! You're now part of a scale model of our solar system centered near Monona terrace in Madison. In this model, we shrink the sun to a sphere about 24 feet in diameter and shrink all other sizes and distances by the same factor (which is about 200 million to one). At this scale a person walking normally is moving at about the speed of light. This is one of ll stops along the trail to Mt. Horeb, home of Pluto. We designed Planet Trek Dane County to help you visualize the vast scale of our solar system. So whether you're headed in towards the sun or out towards the edge, we're glad you passed for a moment to contemplate the immensity of our home star system. Have a great trek! For more information and to share your Planet Trek experience, visit
"Look at that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives . . . It underscores our responsibility . . . to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we've ever known." -- Carl Sagan

Ave. dist. from Sun
1.0 Astronomical Unit
(93 million miles)

7,930 miles

Period of orbit ("year")
1.0 year
(365.2425 days)

Light travel time
from Sun
8.3 minutes

The marker is located along a bike path that runs adjacent to northbound North Shore Drive / U.S. Route 151, south of its intersection with South Bedford Street, Madison, Wisconsin 53715.

University of Wisconsin Space Place

Dane County Planet Trek Scale Model Solar System
Planet Trek Dane County (PTDC) was constructed in April 2009 as a celebration of the International Year of Astronomy by UW Space Place and partners. PTDC is an installation uniting science education, art, and outdoor recreation. PTDC is, at heart, a scale model of our solar system: We shrunk the Sun, planets, and other bodies by the same factor so that the sizes and distances are represented to scale relative to each other. In our model, the scale is about 200 million to 1. This means the Sun is a sphere about 24 feet in diameter at Monona Terrace, and Pluto the size of a marble in Mt. Horeb.

With a cove of Lake Monona in the background.

The marker is located in Madison, Wisconsin.

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