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Sagan Planet Walk

Discover the Solar System

Take an out-of-this-world visit along the Sagan Planet Walk! This 1,200-m-long (3/4-mile), 1:5 billion, scale model of the solar system was built in 1997 as a memorial to Ithaca resident and astronomer Carl Sagan.

The walk begins with the Sun station at the downtown Ithaca Commons and ends at the station representing the dwarf planet, Pluto, located at the Sciencenter. Each station has a scale model of the planet and an informational plaque.

Along the way, you might discover that the sunny side of Mercury is hotter than a pizza oven, or that it rains strong sulfuric acid on Venus, or that a year on Pluto takes 248 Earth years. Planning to land on Jupiter? Forget it - this planet is hot and gaseous, and has no solid surface.

New York State Learning Standards for Mathematics, Science and Technology:

  • Standard 1 - Analysis, Inquiry and Design (Scientific Inquiry)
  • Standard 3 - Mathematics (Measurement)
  • Standard 4 - Science (Physical Setting, The Living Environment)
  • Standard 6 - Interconnectedness (Systems Thinking, Models, Equilibrium and Stability)

Passport to the Solar System

You can download the "Passport to the Solar System" for free below. Please note that the downloadable passports do not qualify for free admission to the Sciencenter.


Free Audio Tour with Bill Nye, The Science Guy

You can download and listen to a free audio tour of the Sagan Planet Walk on your computer, iPod or mp3 player. Join Bill Nye, The Science Guy, as he takes you on an inspirational audio tour of the sun, eight planets, and dwarf planet Pluto.

Sagan Planet Walk Podcast