Pouring rain didn't dampen the spirits Saturday of about 100 people who gathered to witness the unveiling of a scale-model solar system at the McCarthy Observatory in New Milford.

The centerpiece is the six-foot-diameter sun, which will remain on the observatory grounds on the campus of New Milford High School.

The planets and New Horizon robotic probe that is to explore Pluto and sculptures of the outer solar system were distributed Sunday to various sites throughout New Milford. Each sits atop a five-foot-high stainless steel pyramid.

The unveiling ceremony was the only time the planet sculptures were close enough to the sun sculpture that visitors could at one glance see the difference in their size.

"When someone says the Earth is 93 million miles from the sun, my mind can't grasp that," said Bill Quinnell, the chairman of the John J. McCarthy Observatory board of directors.

"But when they say, imagine the sun is six feet in diameter and, if you want to argue about whether Pluto is a planet or not, you're going to have to go to Canterbury School to see -- that I can wrap my mind around."

The scale-model solar system was conceived by Monty Robson, co-founder and president of the observatory, and Bob Lambert, co-founder and a director of the observatory.

"It is a gift to the children of the region," Mr. Lambert said.

The $30,000 project was funded through private donations and created by local area artisans and fabricators.

For more information and photos, see page S8.