The Otford Solar System is a scale model of the solar system constructed in and around the village of Otford in southeast England.
The model, formed of reflective domes on plinths with information plaques, accurately represents the positions of the planets at the turn of the millennium, 1st January 2000, all in relation to the Sun. The Sun and the nearby planets are all located in the village playing field with short walks to the next nearest planets.
Interestingly, the model not only extends to the distant planets Neptune, Uranus and Pluto (a couple of miles outside of the village!), it also includes four of the nearest stars, to scale and at approximately at the correct distance. Due to the vast distances involved the nearest star to the Sun, Proxima Centauri, is located in Los Angeles, Barnard’s Star in Port Stanley, Falkland Islands, Sirius in Sydney, Australia and Ross 154 in Christchurch, New Zealand!
Weather forecast for Kemsing (2.7 miles away) updated 30/11/23 at 04:00.
Local light pollution
The above demonstrates the estimated effect of light pollution - graphics created using Stellarium.
Best time to visit
The below chart shows when the skies will be at their darkest at this location and therefore the best time to visit. Moonlight is shown in light yellow and the Sun's twilight in light blue. Midnight on the date shown is shown as a white line with sunset to the left and sunrise the next morning to the right. A black background with stars shows the best times for stargazing. See our dark sky calendar for more details.
Thu 30th Nov
Fri 1st Dec
Sat 2nd Dec
Sun 3rd Dec
Mon 4th Dec
Tue 5th Dec
Wed 6th Dec
Stay and gaze nearby
Stay at one of these stargazing-friendly accommodation providers.