Solar System

Solar System Gallery

In the hands-on Solar System gallery, visitors can weigh themselves on the Moon and planets, and meet life-size models of the famous astronomers Galileo, Newton, Copernicus and Kepler. Learn how the planets got their names and discover comets, asteroids and other smaller bodies in our Solar System. The celing above these exhibits holds an orrery—a giant solar system model 40 feet across—which illustrates the relative orbital motion of planets, from speedy Mercury to lumbering Neptune, and even the dwarf planet Pluto.

Also on display are giant prints from the Hubble Space Telescope and the former planetarium’s Zeiss star projector. Shaped like a giant 13-foot mechanical spider, this projector was made world famous when it was featured in the film Rebel Without A Cause, which starred James Dean.