On a recent trip to northern Maine’s Aroostook County, I discovered our Solar System. Yes, you heard me right. All of our planets are there and I saw them all, except for Jupiter, which is currently down for refurbishing. The Maine Solar System model, scale 1:93,000,000, is one of the world’s largest scale models and covers 40 miles from Houlton to Presque Isle, Maine along U.S. Route 1.
We started with Pluto. Pluto, a dwarf planet, is the first one to see if you are driving north. It is inside the Houlton Information Center. Someone stuck a clown card in back of the model of Pluto and it has not been removed yet.
The next planet is Neptune and is found in the town of Littleton on the left-hand side of the road.
Then it’s on to the town of Bridgewater for Uranus, which is found on the right-hand side of the road just outside the Bridgewater Town Hall.
Saturn is next on the right-hand side of the road and it was my absolute favorite. No explantation of why is probably necessary! It is an outstanding model.
Ordinarily, Jupiter is then found on the left-hand side of the road. As I said earlier, it is down temporarily for refurbishing. I was told that they will be doing them all, one at a time. For more information, visit the Solar System webpage at the Northern Maine Museum of Science: http://www.umpi.maine.edu/info/nmms.solar
In Presque Isle, the remainder of the planets are found. The planet Mars is at the “Welcome to Presque Isle” sign on the right-hand side of the road.
Our planet, Earth, is next in line and again is on the right-hand side of the road just outside of Percy’s Auto Sales.
Venus is then outside the Budget Traveler Motor Inn on the left. It is a little hard to see at first as it is practically on the sign.
Mercury proved to be one of the harder ones to find but it is on the right and not far from Venus.
The sun concludes my tour of northern Maine’s solar system and it is located on the campus of the University of Maine at Presque Isle in Folsom Hall. This cannot be seen from a vehicle. Everything was locked up and college not in session so my pictures are from the outside looking in to the portions of the sun that we could see. You can see the yellow curved beam representing the sun. I hope you enjoyed my tour and maybe one day you can take the solar system scavenger hunt tour yourself!