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Message Subject Rosetta Comet Orbiter -** 120 Icy Patches ** Philae Phones Home ** Ceres Fly Over Video ** New Coma Discovery ** Picture MOTHER LODE !
Poster Handle K Hall
Post Content
"Space is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big it is."

If you have kids, have a go at making a scale model of the solar system.

Here is a calculator page to help out.

[link to www.exploratorium.edu]

If you start of with an orange to represent the Sun, then around 8m away you can place a pin head to represent the Earth. Jupiter on this scale is a small pea about 42m away. Make sure you have enough space because Neptune is 1/4 km further out and the outside of the Kuiper belt 1/2 km away.

( edit, just remembered this )
No one has enough time for the tediously accurate map of the Solar system.
[link to joshworth.com]

So what about Rosetta and 67P well first of all how big is Rosetta's body, life size. It's around 3m x 2m x 2m so about the size of this shed.

[link to cdn.worldstores.co.uk (secure)]

Just to remind you what Rosetta looks like, the shed would be the gold coloured box in the middle.

[link to upload.wikimedia.org]

Rosetta has to operate in the darkness out by the orbit of Jupiter so it needs very large solar arrays to catch enough light to power it. Its "wingspan" at 32m is nearly the same as this 737 jet.

[link to glostransporthistory.visit-gloucestershire.co.uk]

The body of comet 67P is around 4km long, this gives you a pretty good idea of scale.

[link to i.imgur.com]

Now if we want to get an idea of how far away 67P is we have to change scale. Luckily there is image of everything on the internet. When 67P was first spotted people likened its shape to that of a rubber duck, so if we shrank the city sized comet 67P down to the size of this duck.

[link to www.tallshipsfestivalla.com]

Rosetta's span would be around 3/4 mm, like a tiny grain of salt. 67P is currently about 410 million km from the Earth. On our rubber duck scale that is the equivalent distance of New York to Beijing or London to Buenos Aires. But Rosetta hasn't travelled directly to 67P, it has gone the long way. Rosetta has travelled 6.4 billion km so far. On our rubber duck scale that is equivalent of the grain of salt travelling four and half times round the Earth's equator.

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