Planetenweg Göttingen – Göttingen, Germany - Atlas Obscura
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Göttingen, Germany

Planetenweg Göttingen

A 1:2 billion-scale solar system leads visitors into this German university town. 

Göttingen is a small town in the middle of Germany that is known for its university and the renowned scientists that came out of it. The town also has a long history with astronomy, which has been one of its strong points dating back to the 17th century, when observations were made from a dome on the city wall. 

Göttingen is now home to a large research institute that focuses on studying the solar system, the Max Planck Institute. As a whimsical way to connect this research with the town, the local train station the Göttingen city center are linked by a planetary pathway containing a complete scale model of the solar system.

Bronze stelae were cast to display the entire system on a scale of 1:2 billion, both in size and distance. Eight mini planets along the trail lead people from the Sun, at the train station, to Pluto at the end of the path. This scientific installation has been stumped slightly in recent years since Pluto lost its planet status, but the path is still there.

Know Before You Go

The path is easily accessible from the central station. There is a little map on the Sun. Just keep walking after that.

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