(Media release from Tellus Science Museum):

Visitors to Tellus Science Museum in Cartersville, GA will soon be able to “travel” from planet to planet when the museum unveils its outdoor Czahor Solar System Trail the evening of April 29 during National Astronomy Day.

Spanning 839 feet across the front grounds of the museum, the exhibit represents the 5.9 billion mile distance between the Sun and the dwarf planet Pluto. Visitors will learn interesting information about each planet as they walk through the trail and see the stations illuminated during evening events. At one foot per 4.4 million miles, each planet is the exact distance scale for the exhibit, and visitors may be surprised at how small some of them may appear in actual scale. Each station has a hand-painted 3-D model that illustrates what each celestial object looks like. As a special showcase of the newest exhibit, the museum will illuminate each station at dusk during National Astronomy Day. Patrons are encouraged to gather around the observatory at 8 PM to witness the ceremonial lighting.

The exhibit was funded by long-time supporters of the museum Tim and Sharman Czahor from Calhoun, Georgia, along with other donors who sponsored a planet. It was designed by John White from INOX Design, the architect who designed the museum and most of the museum’s exhibit galleries.

“This is an exhibit we have wanted to do for years,” said Tellus Executive Director Jose Santamaria. “When Tim and Sharman expressed interest in getting involved in an exciting project, they really liked the idea of designing a scale model of the Solar System as a walking trail. I think visitors are going to learn a lot about our planetary neighborhood.”

“I’ve never seen any exhibit that looks like ours,” said Tellus Astronomer Karisa Zdanky. “Other models I’ve seen are typically just panels with something along the lines of ‘You’ve reached Mars’ and some basic facts. I really like the design choices that we made with ours, making them actual pillars with the 3D planets inside and a lot of information about the planet.”

National Astronomy Day festivities also include all kinds of activities at the museum throughout the day. The Observatory will be open for day and night viewings of our Sun and other celestial objects, weather permitting. With special activities, shows, giveaways and more, this is an event sure to be fun for all ages!

“National Astronomy Day is a relatively recent holiday, started in 1973 by Doug Berger, the president of the Astronomical Association of Northern California at the time,” Zdanky continues. “It was started to get the public more interested in astronomy and to make it more accessible to them. People still mostly hold National Astronomy Day events for this reason, but also just to celebrate a general love for astronomy.”

Tellus Science Museum is a program of Georgia Museums, Inc., which includes Booth Western Art Museum, Savoy Automobile Museum, and Bartow History Museum. The Smithsonian Affiliate is a 120,000 square foot science museum located in Cartersville, just north of Atlanta. For more information about Tellus Science Museum call (770) 606-5700 or visit or