So for the last few months, the wife has been working on a big astronomy event at the White House, which just went down tonight. [High five, baby, you pulled it off!] She had 150 middle school kids, a bunch of astronauts, and the entire Obama family out on the South Lawn tonight for a stargazing party that included a tentful of moon rocks, a platoon of telescopes, and some apparently awesome inflatable planetarium domes, which I now want.
Instead, we've settled for the larger of the two scale models of the solar system, which is made from variously sized beach balls. It's from a company called Learning Resources, and we just ordered a set for the kid.
It's not as close to scale as but is more fun than the smaller model in which the earth is represented by a thawed frozen pea [from Trader Joe's] which I was requested to hustle out and purchase, along with a blueberry Mars.
Learning Resources Inflatable Solar System Set, around $35 [amazon]
images: reuters and getty via daylife