Sometimes you end up finding cool new things from your home town even from places you’ve visited more than once. This happened to me a couple of weeks ago. I went for a Sunday walk with my boyfriend in Pitäjänmäki and Pajamäki surroundings and ended up discovering Ursa’s outdoor planetarium or miniature solar system – whichever you want to call it. I used to live a kilometer from there and have done my share of walking and jogging in the surrounding area. The outdoor planetarium is an outdoor installation which illustrates our solar system’s structure and is built in 1: 1 ooo ooo ooo scale, in which one millimeter equals a thousand kilometers or one meter equals a million kilometers in the solar system.
In other words there are planets and the sun scattered in the nature mostly to Pajamäki surroundings. Pajamäki is a neighbourhood in West Helsinki right next to Tali and Pitäjänmäki I think the easiest way to get there is to take the A train from Helsinki railway station towards Leppävaara and get off at Pitäjänmäki train stop and then walk a couple of hundred meters to Pajamäki or by bus no 14 directly from Kamppi to Pajamäki.
The outdoor planetarium in Pajamäki is situated mostly in an urban forest area with paths and tracks and even some old fighting trenches from I World War which you can explore while searching the planets. The sun is situated on top of a hill on a pole so you can’t really miss it. Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars are within a few steps from the sun.
Since all the planets are not only in scale in distance but also in size, they would be pretty much impossible to find if they weren’t be placed on concrete stands. All the planets are named on the stands, too (in Finnish, though). Earth even has our moon circling the planet, as seen on the first photo. Moon is the small dot at the end of the steel extention.
If you take the bus to Pajamäki, Mars is actually situated 50 meters from the last stop of bus no 14 route next to a spruce fence. As I mentioned, Pajamäki is situated next to Tali which is also a very nice area for walking and jogging and other outdoor activities. There’s also a golf course, if you’re into that. Jupiter is situated in the middle of Tali disc golf park about 800 meters from the Sun. I missed it the last time, but I did walk to Saturn which is in Pitäjänmäki. Very educational to notice how huge it is when compared to the previous planets 🙂
Saturn was as far as I got this time in our solar system. I did found a map of the outdoor planetarium with all the planets marked from Ursa’s website for future exploring. The planet’s that are closest to sun you can easily be seen by foot but if you want to see the whole solar system in one day including Pluto, Neptunus and Uranus I recommend doing the tour by bike. Otherwise you would need to walk all the way to Lauttasaari – which actually could be interesting in winter time when the sea is frozen and you could take the ice route or go ski there.