By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Retired astronomy teacher acts as guide on planetary tour
Visitors may walk among the stars at Gainesville/Hall County Solar System Scale Model
The Pluto marker in the Gainesville/Hall County Solar System Scale Model is in Longwood Park at the picnic pavilion near the playground. A walking tour will be 10 a.m. Saturday. - photo by Kelsey Williamson

To commemorate the exploration of Pluto by the New Horizons spacecraft and the 46th anniversary of the first crewed moon landing, residents may take a tour of the solar system in Gainesville.

The walking tour of the solar system’s scale model will be at 10 a.m. Saturday, July 18. Retired astronomy teacher Frank Lock will guide the tour and share information about the Gainesville/Hall County Solar System Scale Model as well as information about the New Horizons mission to Pluto.

The free tour will begin at the model of the sun at the southeast end of the downtown square. It will proceed along Main Street to Terrace Park, and Longwood Park, ending at the intersection of John Morrow Parkway and Pearl Nix Parkway. The scale for the model is 1 mile equals 2 billion miles in the solar system.

The model of the dwarf planet Pluto (formerly known as the planet Pluto) is at a picnic pavilion in the park, close to a playground.

The distance covered by participants who complete the tour will be 2 miles. Those who do not wish to walk back to the start should arrange for transportation.

Information about the scale model is available at

For more information, email or call 941-475-1578.