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"Paseo del sistema solar" ("Walk through the solar system") for our english-speaking guests


Saturn's monolith part of the Walk Through the Solar System
Saturn's monolith part of the Walk Through the Solar System

The "Walk Through the Solar System" is located in the public park "del Polígono" in the town of Manzanares (Castilla-La Mancha, Spain). It is a scale model of the Solar System, where representations of the Sun and the planets have been positioned along a path throughout the park.

The Sun is the point of origin and from there the planets are placed at increasing distances away, according to a scale that reduces the millions of miles in the Cosmos down to meters in the park.

The actual representations of the Sun and planets are spheres constructed of fiberglass, also made to scale, set within rectangular prisms or "monoliths" of oxidized steel, measuring about 6 feet tall each.


The objective of The "Paseo del Sistema Solar" is for the visitor to gain an understanding and appreciation of the workings of the Solar System in a "hands-on" model extended throughout a ½ mile public park in Manzanares. Walking through the park will convey how big our Solar System really is.

Interplanetary distances

With respect to the distances between planets, no two-dimensional drawing can give an accurate idea of the very large distances that exist in reality. In the "Walk", the rocky planets Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars are seen jumbled up very close to the Sun (Earth in the model is only 30 feet from the Sun), while Jupiter is 150 feet away, the dwarf planet Pluto is found at 1200 feet from the Sun, and the Heliopause is actually outside the park at almost a mile away.

Sizes of the spheres

The other surprise of the models (and one that can not be readily comprehended in a printed image) is the enormous difference in sizes of the planets, with the sphere of Earth measuring only 4 inches in diameter (like an orange), Jupiter being the size of a large beach ball (30 inches), and with the Sun being a gargantuan steel torus of 26 feet! When all this is seen in the tangible reality of the park model, one can not help but marvel at the majesty of the Solar System, and see how small we really are in comparison.

The author

Dr. Julián Gómez Cambronero next to Earth's monolith
Dr. Julián Gómez Cambronero next to Earth's monolith

The author of The "Paseo del Sistema Solar" is Dr. Julian Gomez Cambronero, a scientist born in Manzanares and currently a researcher in the U.S. In addition to his major biochemical and molecular biology scientific profession, Dr. Cambronero's hobbies include Astronomy and photography.

He came up with the idea of creating a scale model of the Solar System for his hometown in 2007. Dr. Cambronero also designed the elements of the "Walk" and wrote the texts on the monoliths that explain each of the planets' astronomical characteristics in 2009. The project was approved by the City Council; construction began in early 2010 and was finished in September of the same year.

As a scientist, Dr. Cambronero has loved having the opportunity to make sure that science is explained and made available to the public. He hopes this project particularly reaches the younger generations (such as his own children), encouraging them to become interested in the wonders of science.

For more information, please visit the article "Man of La Mancha Reaches for Stars":

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