Sagan Planet Walk

Discover Our Solar System

Take an out-of-this-world visit along the Sagan Planet Walk! This 1,200 meters long (3/4-mile), 1:5 billion, scale model of our solar system was built by the Sciencenter in 1997 as a memorial to Ithaca resident and astronomer Carl Sagan.

The walk begins with the Sun station at the downtown Ithaca Commons and ends at the station representing the dwarf planet, Pluto, located at the Sciencenter. Each station has a scale model of the planet and an informational plaque.

Along the way, you might discover that the sunny side of Mercury is hotter than a pizza oven, or that it rains strong sulfuric acid on Venus, or that a year on Pluto takes 248 Earth years. Planning to land on Jupiter? Forget it – this planet is hot and gaseous, and has no solid surface.

In 2018, new plaques were installed in partnership with Cornell’s Spacecraft Planetary Image Facility. The manager, Zoe Learner Ponterio, along with students and researchers at Cornell, collaborated with the Sciencenter to provide updated text, images, and graphics for this project.

Want to learn about all the latest discoveries? Visit the Sagan Planet Walk website, hosted by SPIF and updated monthly.

Purchase a Souvenir Passport:

You may purchase a “Passport to the Solar System” for $4 each to use as you embark on your 1,200-meter walk. These passports provide interesting facts about each planet and the Sun while posing questions to encourage discussion. Using this as a guide, you are invited to stop at each planet station to read the information provided in the passport and to have your passport stamped as proof of your “visit” to each planet. Each stamp is a Greek symbol that corresponds to the Sun or planet. Take your fully stamped, purchased passport to the Sciencenter for one free admission!

Locations where Passports are sold:

  • Sciencenter, 601 1st Street
  • 15 Steps Gallery, 171 The Commons

Download a free Passport:

You can download the “Passport to the Solar System” for free below. Please note that the downloadable passports do not qualify for free admission to the Sciencenter.

Download Sagan Planet Walk Map

You can download and listen to a free audio tour of the Sagan Planet Walk on your computer, iPod or mp3 player. Join Bill Nye, The Science Guy, as he takes you on an inspirational audio tour of the sun, eight planets, and dwarf planet Pluto.

Listen to the full Audio Tour:

  • Listen by phone: (703) 637-6237
  • Or online using the player below:


Find us

Sciencenter 601 1st Street Ithaca, NY 14850
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Contact us

Museum & Store Hours

  • Tuesday, 10 am - 5 pm
  • Wednesday, 10 am - 5 pm
  • Thursday, 10 am - 5 pm
  • Friday, 10 am - 5 pm
  • Saturday, 10 am - 5 pm
  • Sunday, 10 am - 5 pm

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