Planet Trek Dane County: You have reached Pluto

 © Photographed October 18, 2015
Erected by Washburn Observatory, Madison Parks Dept.,
WI Dept. of Natural Resources, Monona Terrace, Nick Schweitzer,
and Jim Peterson
Mount Horeb, Dane County, Wisconsin

You have reached Pluto in the Planet Trek
Dane County Scale Model Solar System

Pluto is a tiny object,
much smaller than Earth's
moon, and so distant that
we know little about it.
We do know that it has
three companion moons,
which we call Charon,
Hydra, and Mix.

Avg. dist from Sun
39.2 times Earth's distance
(3,680 million miles)

19% of Earth's diameter
(1,430 miles)

Period of orbit ("year")
248 Earth years

Light travel time from Sun
410 Minutes

What is Planet Trek Dane County?
Welcome to Pluto within Planet Trek Dane County! You're now part of a scale model of our solar system centered near Sonoma Terrace in Madison. In this model, we shrink the sun to a sphere abut 24 feet in diameter and shrink all other sizes and distances by the same factor (which is about 200 million to one). This is one of 11 stops along the trail. Although our trek ends here, our scale solar system would need to stretch perhaps another 23,000 miles to encompass the most distant comets. UW Space Place partners designed Planet Trek Dane County to help you visualize the vast scale of our solar system. So whether you're headed in towards the sum in out towards the edge, we're glad you paused 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
The marker is located along the Military Ridge State Trail and is accessible from northbound South 2nd Street, at its intersection with Military Rodge State Trail and north of its intersection with East Lincoln Street, Mount Horeb, Wisconsin 53572.

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 the Military Ridge Mount Horeb Station visible to the left.

Cool ceramic artwork at the depot parking lot.

The marker is located in Mount Horeb, Wisconsin.

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