Mmmm... Jovian Clam Chowdah
June 13, 2003 3:11 PM   Subscribe

From the Sun to Pluto. And beyond lurks the Lobster Nebula...

Aroostook County in Northern Maine has created North America's largest scale model of the Solar System, to be officially unveiled tomorrow (Saturday - June 14, 2003). The model runs along 40 miles of highway with a scale of 1 mile to 1 AU. The project took four years to complete and did not have a budget.
posted by ursus_comiter (10 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Could this be some sort of reaction to that Arsenic poisoning case? No, it was started long before that story broke. Still, it's odd. These are the two biggest news bits I've heard from Aroostoock county in the last year or two.

Arsenic. Giant scale model of the Solar System.
posted by troutfishing at 3:19 PM on June 13, 2003

"hattie! i gots us a disco ball fer ta hang in the livin' room!"
posted by quonsar at 3:37 PM on June 13, 2003

Hmm. The Sun in this model is 50 feet in diameter, which would make it about 40% larger than the current record holder in Peoria, Illinois (& environs.)

Personally, these types of "world's largest" roadside attractions always seem a little silly to me; but at least this one has more educational value than, say, having the world's largest kielbasa.
posted by Johnny Assay at 3:37 PM on June 13, 2003

That is very cool. I thought this picture of "earth" was classic.
posted by modofo at 3:41 PM on June 13, 2003

Gardner, Mass. used to have The World's Largest Chair which teenagers would climb up on to get stoned.
posted by troutfishing at 3:42 PM on June 13, 2003

Wonder if there are a bunch of rocks strewn across Route 1 about mile or two past the Mars model.
posted by DakotaPaul at 3:53 PM on June 13, 2003

Hmmm...I wonder if Miss Potato Queen will be part of the festivities tomorrow?
posted by madamjujujive at 4:29 PM on June 13, 2003

Great post and project; written up in a recent Smithsonian.
posted by TedW at 5:25 PM on June 13, 2003

I have a feeling Bridgewater, Maine is going to be the butt of a lot of jokes.
posted by TimeFactor at 6:00 PM on June 13, 2003

This is fantastic - it's the first time I've been able to grasp the relative sizes of the planets, although I've seen numerous representations of them before. And while I've always wanted my own orrery, this thing in Maine beats that hands down.
posted by Lynsey at 11:01 PM on June 13, 2003

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