Our Grand Orrery solar system models were inspired by the orreries of the 18th century. Historically, a Grand Orrery showed the "naked eye" planets out to Saturn, as these were the known planets at the time. Our models demonstrate 9 planets, with an Earth/Moon system
Variety in materials and function
Customize your Grand Orrery to suit your style and preferences. We offer a variety of hardwoods, planet styles, and mechanical functions. Contact us for custom requests.
Each component from hardwood base, gear mechanism, engraved calendar ring, planet sets and armillary sphere are engineered and hand crafted by Science Art in the USA.
About the Grand Orrery
Our Grand Orrery is inspired by the orreries of the 18th century, such as those developed by Benjamin Martin and George Adams. Historically, a Grand Orrery showed the "naked eye" planets out to Saturn, as these were the known planets at the time. Our Grand Orrery model demonstrates 9 planets, as we do include Pluto, as well as 28 moons.
Features of the Orrery
Sun and Planets/Relative Motion
- All planets orbit with correct relative motion, with Mercury orbiting 1028 times for every orbit of Pluto, which is the same ratio as in our solar system. Mercury takes about 4 seconds to orbit while Pluto takes about 4 hours. We speed up the orrery model so that movement is discernible while retaining the correct orbital ratios (i.e. the orrery is not in ‘real time’ otherwise movement would be indiscernible).
- Each Grand Orrery also includes an Earth/Moon system gear work which demonstrates the compound motion of the Moon's orbit around the Earth, while the Earth orbits the Sun. All other moons are static about their planet.
- The Sun is a stunning 2" orange calcite sphere with the 9 planets and 28 moons depicted in beautiful semi-precious stones. A solid brass Sun with hematite planets and stone moons is also available upon request.
- Each Grand Orrery is crafted with a 12 sided hardwood base of solid oak, black walnut or red mahogany. Custom woods are also accepted and cost will vary. Please know we do not accept exotic or unsustainable wood requests.
Gearworks, Armillary and Design elements
- Atop the hardwood base, an engraved brass calendar/zodiacal ring rests on 12 solid brass pillars.
- Solid brass gears are used in the mechanism, and are fully visible beneath the orbiting planets.
- A removable solid brass armillary half-sphere sits atop the calendar ring and beautifully crowns the Grand Orrery.
- Assembly takes about 10 minutes – assembly instructions and 90-day warranty are in the included owner’s manual.
- Battery operated models: 3 C batteries (included).
- Crank models: Operated by a hand crank, which turns the model (it is not a wind up). Because the outer planets take some hours to complete an orbit, it takes some minutes of cranking to see the outer planets move).
We liken the crafting of our orrery models to the finest musical instruments available, and the natural subtleties of the semi-precious stone planets, moons and Sun ensures a one-of-a-kind appeal at an exceptional price. We do not wholesale our Grand Orrery.
We are currently about 3-4 weeks out to ship from our Colorado workshop.
Customer choice of hardwoods and planet styles.
Shipping & Returns
Shipping & Returns
FREE SHIPPING ON INTERNATIONAL AND DOMESTIC ORDERS
NOTE TO INTERNATIONAL CUSTOMERS: DUTY/VAT IS RESPONSIBILITY OF THE BUYER OR RECIPIENT. PLEASE CHECK WITH YOUR COUNTRY’S TAXING AUTHORITY FOR ESTIMATED TAXES. We offer free international shipping, a $250+ value to help offset any duties assessed by your country.
20" high 16" wide
Brass and hardwood require only minor dusting with no hard abrasives. Brass will naturally tarnish. If you wish to maintain a bright brass look, use 000 steel wool to polish the armillary sphere, calendar ring and planet arms.