Traveling to outer space may not be a realistic achievement for the average person, but the Lethbridge Astronomy Society it is bringing a small part of the solar system to Earth.
About 17 years ago, member Klaus Jericho came up with the idea to create a reduced solar system model that would fit the city of Lethbridge.
“We are now in 2021, and it is finally coming to fruition, so this is very exciting for me,” he said.
“If you have a dream or a concept, just do it and hope that some people will join you.”
With the help of various organizations, the project has come to life.
Strange lights seen in the skies over British Columbia, Washington and Oregon probably remnants of the SpaceX rocket
Tom Anderson, president of the Lethbridge Astronomy Society, said the concept uses the dome of the clock tower on the historic post office building at 4 Avenue S. as a starting point.
“The basic idea is that we imagine that we would shrink the sun to the size of the dome of the pole building,” he explained.
“So if the sun is that big, it is five and a half meters in diameter. So if that’s the case, how big would the planets be in relation to that? Where would their orbits be in relation to that? “
The answer: throughout the city.
Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars all reside in close proximity to the city center, represented by solid steel spheres less than 1: 253,000,000 in size.
Jupiter is across the river at the University of Lethbridge, while Uranus is at Broxburn Vegetables and Café. Neptune is located in Park Lake Provincial Park.
A complete, Saturn will sit at Chinook High School. The gaseous planets were built with hollowed-out steel instead of solid steel.
At each location, visitors can scan a QR code to learn more about each planet.
These astronomers have a new way of finding distant planets, including some like Earth.
“This is not only exciting for people with an inherent interest in astronomy, but the place where they have placed the planets or balloons is in some of the great local attractions of the city,” said Stephen Braund, director of marketing. for Tourism Lethbridge.
“It really is an educational tool for knowing where we live,” added Jericho.
Daniel Heaton, director of facilities services for the Lethbridge School Division, said Saturn is taking longer to complete due to the scale and complexity of the model.
He said it should be completed in the next two weeks.
“We are looking to try to use lighter materials for the rings, like a plastic,” he said. “(But) it wouldn’t survive the winds or winter. So we went back to stainless steel, and we are actually water cutting the rings in the stainless steel to mount on a column in front of the main doors at Chinook High School.
“We could see the educational value of participating in this. Math, science, all of these things can be taught with it, and it’s really cool. “
Saturn and Jupiter were funded by the Lethbridge School Division and the University of Lethbridge, respectively.
The Lethbridge Astronomy Society is looking to install official plaques at each of the locations before they celebrate the project’s grand opening.
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