Attention Deficit Disorder Prosthetic Memory Program

Sagan Planet Walk

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Sagan Planet Walk - © Attention Deficit Disorder Prosthetic Memory Program

The Sciencenter’s Sagan Planet Walk is a walkable scale model of the Solar System, located in Ithaca, New York. The model scales the entire Solar System—both planet size and distances between them—down to one five billionth of its actual size. Consisting of eleven obelisks situated along a 1.18 km (0.73 mi) path through the streets of downtown Ithaca, the Planet Walk leads from the Sun at Center Ithaca to Pluto at the Ithaca Sciencenter.

The exhibition was originally created in 1997 in memory of Ithaca resident and Cornell Professor Carl Sagan. In 2012, the model was expanded 7,630 kilometers (4,740 mi) to include a representation of Alpha Centauri, the Sun’s closest neighboring star, at the ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center at the University of Hawaii. The addition of the Alpha Centauri Obelisk made it the world’s largest exhibition.

In 2014, the inner planets and Sun were removed as part of extensive construction being done to the Ithaca Commons, but have since been replaced. In 2015, a grant was approved to further expand the exhibition by installing an exoplanet Kepler-37d station on the Moon 384,500 kilometers (238,900 mi) away.

History of Expansions :

1997 Original Planet Walk created in Ithaca, with ten obelisks for the Sun and nine planets
2000 Carl Sagan Bridge built across Cascadilla Creek on the way to the Neptune Obelisk
2006 Audio Tour narrated by Bill Nye added
2009 Asteroid Belt Obelisk added between the inner and outer planets
2009 Newly designed Passport to the Solar System
2012 Station depicting Alpha Centauri erected in Hawaii
Kepler-37d station to be installed on Moon (installation date TBD)

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