The Solar System – in Northern Maine
The idea of traveling through the solar system is the stuff of childhood dreams. Many can dream of the life of the astronaut, but it may prove difficult to plan a family vacation to see the rings of Saturn.
Unless you’re in northern Maine.
The Maine Solar System Model extends 95 miles on Route 1 along the eastern border of the state. It starts with the Sun at the Northern Maine Museum of Science at the University of Maine at Presque Isle and extends to the dwarf planet Pluto in Topsfield. The model has a scale of 1 mile equaling an astronomical unit with both distances and diameters at the same scale. It is the world’s largest model of its kind.
Completed in June 2003, the model is the world’s largest and was built entirely by the power of volunteers. You can visit this website to learn more about how the model was built.
Along with our to scale model of the solar system, Northern Maine offers the chance to see one of natures’ most rare and breathtaking phenomenon: the Northern Lights. The Northern lights, or Aurora Borealis, were named after the Roman goddess of dawn, Aurora, and the Greek name for the north wind, Boreas. Their majestic swirls of green and red are well documented throughout history but rarely seen. Located between 68 and 46 °N, Northern Maine offers one of the premier places to view the Northern Lights in the lower United States.
(Photo Courtesy of VisitAroostook.com)