In the summer of 2005, Bill Loney and Steve Irvine designed and constructed a scale model of the solar system in the field next to the Keppel Henge site. The scale for the solar system model is based on the 400 meter distance from the Sun to Pluto in the field.

The sun and planets, on display posts, are set out at their proportionate distances along a nature trail which visitors can stroll along (at the proportionate speed of light if they like!) and visit all of the solar system. Each stop along the way has a brief description of the planet.

The Sun and planets are made of high fired stoneware and are sized in relation to the Sun/Pluto distance.

The Sun

The Sun at the start of the trail. At the scale of this model, it is 12.2 cm in diameter. It has several layers of 23k gold leaf covering it.

Securing the Sun

Here Steve secures the Sun in place. Steel bond epoxy was used to hold the Sun and planets to their display posts.

Distance to venus

Here Bill is standing next to the location of Venus, preparing to attach it to its display post. Venus is located 9.3 meters from the sun.

Yard sitck measurement

The distances for the inner planets, Mercury to Mars, were measured out with a yardstick.


Earth, located 12.9 meters from the Sun. At this scale it's just a few millimeters across, about the size of a BB! The planets are mounted on pennies to set them off from the display posts.

Using a GPS unit

The distances for the outer planets, Jupiter to Pluto, were measured out with a GPS unit.


Jupiter, located 56 meters from the sun. Note the "Great Red Spot" on our model!


Pluto, 400 meters from the sun. The nature trail continues on from here back to Keppel Henge. At the scale of our solar system model our closest neighbouring star, Proxima Centauri would be the size of a ping-pong ball, and it would be located 3,125 kilometers away! A gold leaf scale model of Proxima Centauri is being located in a friend's garden on Vancouver Island.

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