The Solar System Perspective Project
Stinson Beach
September 23-24, 2006

(apologies for picture quality, these are screen grabbed from a scratch video)

So, we forgot the shovel again this year.

But we did bring an improved version of the wagon.

And we figured out an easier way to pull it.

The most exciting addition this year was this:

New sun by Christina! Note the gold lame.

It starts with a sturdy frame made of metal pipes.
(Crazy emergency backup sun in the background, in case we ran into even more trouble than we expected.)

We dig trenches and bury the frame, with the vertical pipes at the corners sticking out.

No electric pump this year, so we had to inflate the sun by hand.

Hoisting the sun up on tentpoles and slotting them into the pipes is much easier if you have four people.

Pluto got demoted to "dwarf planet" this year, and everybody was asking us what we thought and whether we had taken it out of the exhibit. But we didn't; Pluto sits on the bar at Smiley's across the lagoon as always, albeit with a slightly revised sign. What we did do was add an asteroid to the model - Ceres, which is the largest one in the asteroid belt. You can't really see it in this picture, it's a cupcake sprinkle.

We also included a post about visualizing the speed of light, which, in the scale of our model, would be considerably slower than walking speed. Here's Dave demonstrating, while Anna laboriously digs the hole for the sign (located 10 light-minutes from the sun).

By the time we had set up the inner planets, the beach was already filling up.

"Look, you can see the sun from here!"

The kids enjoyed the exhibit as well.

These two said they were messengers of the gods and they were running to Neptune and back.

Speaking of Neptune, yet another exciting development this year was that we were able to coordinate with the homeowners association at Seadrift, to ensure that the security forces out there would make an exception for Uranus and Neptune and leave them in place over the weekend. Dave and Pat would like to thank general manager Dick Kamieniecki for his cooperation and efforts on our behalf, as well as Vivian Broadway and Katie Beacock for helping make the connection. The future is a bright and wonderful place. Like the sun, but slightly less likely to incinerate you instantly.