Astronomy Society launch campus model of solar system

Photo credit: www.york.ac.uk
Photo credit: www.york.ac.uk
Photo credit: www.york.ac.uk

The University of York’s Astronomy Society (Astrosoc) have launched a scale model of the solar system on campus. The  permanent art installation aims to inspire the university’s staff, students and visitors to enquire further into space and astronomy.

Starting from Mercury, which is located at the Astrocampus, and concluding with Pluto, placed at Constantine College on the East Campus, the project features an information board for each planet, allowing visitors to learn as they “walk the solar system”.

The innovative project was funded by a grant donation from YuFund as well as crowd funding through YuStart. It took nine months in total to realise, with the production process involving each planet being hand-sculpted in clay before being cast in fiberglass and finally painted by the North Yorkshire Props Department.

Mathew Hawkridge, the Chair of the University Astronomy society (AstroSoc), commented:

“We are so happy to see this project come together after so much time and planning. The University has been incredibly supportive of us, and the amount of hard work involved by many different people has been astonishing. The planets and the plinths that they sit on, designed by the University Mechanical workshops, all look amazing and we really hope they will inspire a whole range of people to get involved in astronomy.”

The British astronaut Tim Peake had an early preview of the installation, when he visited campus as part of the UK Space Agency’s Schools Conferences programme, as was previously reported in The Yorker.

You can find out more about the University of York’s Astronomy Society, including their series of outreach activities, at http://www-users.york.ac.uk/~socs220/index.html.