Astrologer’s Tour of the Maine Solar System Model #7: Jupiter

So, after leaving Mars, we finally cross over the asteroid belt (which in our Model is invisible), and reach the first of the gas giants, Jupiter. Now, as we were driving through the “little” planets, we pretty much hopped to each one within the space of 1.5 miles. But, because this model is to-scale, it takes quite a lot longer to get to Jupiter. He is almost 4 miles from Mars. You are not going to want to walk these outer planets, I’ll tell yah. But, in this case, bigger IS better. Our gas giants, being as huge as they are, become much more notable roadside attractions.

You can find Jupiter on Google Maps here.

Jupiter of Maine Solar System Model
Jupiter of Maine Solar System Model

Driving from Mars, south on US-1, Jupiter is on the right. You can see how Jupiter has its own clearing and bench. The location also features 4 moons: Io, Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto.

Jupiter of Maine Solar System Model
Jupiter of Maine Solar System Model

Myself and my dog had a nice jog along some paths in this huge wildflower field. At the time, there was a person operating a ride-on lawnmower. They’re probably used to seeing tourists get out and stretch their legs, I guess. We waved at each other.

Sign at Jupiter of Maine Solar System Model
Sign at Jupiter of Maine Solar System Model

At this point, looking at how spaced apart the planets are on this map is starting to “get real.” You notice that you’re only at mile 4, and there are 36 miles to go. Holy shit! Seriously, I said this before and I will say it again: it doesn’t matter how many times you see the numbers or look at a visual representation of it, even a diorama. The only way to really experience the actual distance differentials is to LIVE the distances. We’re at the largest planet and we haven’t even begun! Better have a few handfuls of trail mix here. We have a long way to go.

Jupiter of Maine Solar System Model
Jupiter of Maine Solar System Model

The University of Maine at Presque Isle’s page on Jupiter is here, and you’ll find the following information about its production:

  • Diameter: 61.4 inches (1.52 m)
  • Location: 5.3 miles (8.5 km) from Sun
  • Construction: Metal structure, fiberglass cover
  • Constructed by: Caribou Tech Center (Caribou High School)
  • Painted by: Limestone High School
  • Moons:
    • Io (diameter 1.6 inches, 15+ feet from Jupiter axis)or(diameter 10.2 cm, 4.6 + meters from Jupiter axis)
    • Europa (diameter 1.3 inches, 24+ feet from Jupiter axis)or(diameter 3.3 cm, 7.32 + meters from Jupiter axis)
    • Ganymede (diameter 2.3 inches, 38+ feet from Jupiter axis) or (diameter 5.8 cm, 11.6 + meters from Jupiter axis)
    • Callisto (diameter 2.1 inches, 67+ feet from Jupiter axis)or(diameter 5.3 cm, 20.4 + meters from Jupiter axis)
  • Moons constructed by Central Aroostook High School (Dellas Adams, tentatively) Base constructed by David Tardie and his students, Loring Job Corps, Cement Mason Program
Jupiter of Maine Solar System Model
Jupiter of Maine Solar System Model

Next stop: Saturn! Pack a practical lunch!

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