May 15, 2019 9:45 a.m.
Umpqua Community College is hosting its second-ever Solar System Walk on Thursday.
A UCC release said nearly 400 people from all over the Umpqua Valley have signed up to participate between 9:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.
The free event was created by UCC assistant astronomy professor Dr. Paul Morgan. It’s a scale model of the solar system aligned specifically for the May 16th date. The release said participants will be able to experience the solar system’s size and planetary layout in a fun, interactive way.
People can walk from the Sun to Neptune in approximately one kilometer. Along the way, local astronomers will be in place to share fun facts and data about each planet. All participants will get a “solar system passport” with a map and information about each planet. A second solar system, with the eight planets of the Kepler 90 star, will be placed at the same scale for comparison.
Last year 11 schools brought students to UCC to participate while volunteers from Blue Zones Project Umpqua and the Umpqua Astronomers Club pitched in to help. The event is designed for kids who are in school. The release said that many of the area’s home-schooled and private school students have signed up to participate.
A second Solar System Walk will be held on Saturday on the main UCC campus in conjunction with the third annual STEAM Extravaganza. The event will take place from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.