Solar System

A boy is playing with black markers on a series of blue rings that represent the solar system. In the background is a blue information panel.
Two boys are playing with a blue disc with black markers that represents the solar system. In the background is a blue and white information panel.

Planets in the Solar System orbit around the Sun, with planets furthest away from the Sun taking many years to complete one orbit.

How it works

Move each planet around the Sun and check the red lines (indicating Earth months) and white lines (indicating Earth years) to find out how long it takes each planet to orbit the Sun.

Things to try or ask around the exhibit

Which planet takes almost the same length of time to orbit the Sun as Earth?

Background

It takes Mercury about 88 Earth days to completely orbit the Sun, while Neptune takes 165 Earth years and Pluto takes about 248 Earth years to orbit the Sun.

Finding the science in your world

Astronomical months and years tend to drift and not exactly match human-created calendars, so many human calendars create 'leap' events such as a leap year by having 29 days instead of 28 days in February every fourth year in the Gregorian calendar.