PLACING THE PLANET MODELS ON THEIR SCALED ORBITS
Of course each planet can be placed at an infinite number of locations along its scaled orbit. Armed with the model Orbit Distances table above you can work our where to place any of the planets.
Here we show a positioning for each planet along a north-west axis from Naas to Dublin, generally following the N7 road.
The maps show firstly (on the map of Ireland) the location of Dublin and Naas.
There are two others maps showing further detail.
The first, showing a 1 km scale marker, covers a distance approximately 10 km from Naas, and that allows the first six planets (to Saturn) to be shown.
The second map, showing a 5 km scale marker, covers the full distance to Dublin, and this allows both Uranus and Neptune to be displayed.
On the map above the four planets closest to the Sun all cluster within the Naas area on the model. Mars appears outside Johnstown village close to the interchange at Junction 8. Mercury, just 375 metres from the "Big Ball" is easy to place in view of our model Sun. (See photo below). Venus, in this example, is placed along the Monread Road just before the Larchfield Nursing Home.
Earth, as mentioned earlier, appears just opposite the front houses in the Gallops Estate along the main Dublin Road in to Naas. It could also be placed anywhere along the orbit shown in the map above. Is there anywhere you could place the Earth (with its scaled 968 metre orbit) where the "Big Ball" is visible from?
Further out are Jupiter and Saturn, placed along the N7 towards Dublin.
This map is scaled out further to capture the orbits of Uranus and Neptune on the model. The exact location of Neptune on the model is on the Samuel Beckett bridge over the river Liffey in the centre of Dublin, some 29 km from the model Sun. (See photo below). Uranus, with a model orbit of 18.6 km, is positioned at Newlands Cross
So if the "Big Ball" at Naas represents the Sun, the furthest planet in our solar system, which is Neptune, is positioned right in the centre of Dublin on the river Liffey.
All of the distance calculations for the model placement on the maps were derived using the excellent distance calculation utility for Google Maps designed by the talented people at DaftLogic.
Some sample screenshots showing the final locations for the placement of Neptune and Venus are shown below. The red line reaches back to the "Big Ball", and the distance to the point shown is displayed below the map.