Solar System –

Immense and dynamic, our SOLAR SYSTEM Solar System is made SOLAR SYSTEM of the Sun, eight most important planets, scores of moons and limitless lesser worldlets!SOLAR SYSTEM   (1.6.x) SOLAR SYSTEM

The essential planets and maximum principal moons orbit counter-clockwise if regarded from “above” the Solar System!  (1.6.x)

The Inner Planets orbit “highly” near the Sun, yet the orbits of all the primary planets are huge compared to the planets themselves!  (1.6.x)

The distances between the planets’ orbits are a long way from uniform—growing outward from the Sun!



The Sun accounting for some ninety nine.86% of the Solar System’s mass, maximum of the relaxation is con- centrated in the planets.  Yes, dwarf planets, comets, aster- oids, and other small our bodies roam a ways above and beneath the Ecliptic.  Still, most mass of the Solar System is restrained to a disc-shaped location that we can say pretty literally is “flatter than a pancake!”


A planet’s reputation as Inferior or Superior relies upon on the dimensions of its orbit.  The Inferior Planets, Mercury and Venus, are people with smaller orbits than Earth’s; the Superior Planets are those with large orbits.  Likewise, Earth accordingly is frequently known as the Reference Planet.  The diagrams below illustrate the configurations (also referred to as “alignments”) that could arise with Inferior versus Superior Planets.

As you can gather from the above view, Inferior Planets exhibit phases to us  like the Moon’s.  But there are basic differences.  Although lunar stages appear to development eastward throughout the Moon (relative to our sky, this is) the Inferior Planets’ levels seem to progess westward or backward in comparison!  So Inferior Planets “seem” New at Inferior Conjunction, in First Quarter at Greatest Western Elongation, Full at Superior Conjunction and in Last Quarter at Greatest Eastern Elongation.  There- fore, the periods among the main stages of an Infe- rior Planet are an awful lot much less uniform than those between our Moon’s important phases.  In addition, from our terrestrial perspective Inferior Planets by no means stray very a long way from the Sun and are invisible in its glare in massive elements of their orbits.

In addition,times each year each Inferior Planet’s orbit may be seen “part-on” from Earth!      Mercury’s    Venus’sSo at uncommon instances every planet may be visible passing at once across the Sun’s disc!

Moving beyond Earth’s orbit, the Superior Planets travel absolutely round our home planet.  Therefore, not like an Inferior Planet, any Superior Planet is visible at nighttime in part of its orbit.  Moreover a Superior Planet can never showcase much less than a gibbous section to us here on Earth.  This way that on every occasion one is visible, its disc seems greater than “1/2-illuminated” to us.  Likewise, whilst it is at conjunction and competition, it exhibits essentially a Full phase, and at quadrature it famous its minimal phase.

The great  Planetary Configurations Simulator  and  Planetary Phases Sim- ulator  permit you to interactively have a look at how those phenomena relate to the Inferior and Suoerior Planets.



It’s easy!  Just use the slider equipment barely above and inside the middle column.


From JPL, here is an easy to carry out hobby that exhibits in a dramatic way the  scale of the Solar System.  This one will probable wonder many of you!  You’ll discover that phrases like “Inner Planets” and “Outer Planets” are very appropriate!


The Kinesthetic Radial Mod- el of the Solar System  is an extremely good out of doors class activ- ity with a purpose to have students on their way to comprehending the character, scale and make-up of our planetary device!  You can even display cutting-edge planet places to make it a “working version”!  Creating this “stroll-through” duplicate will interact anyone involved, so make sure you’re taking lots of photographs along the manner!  You might also even recollect making plans a “Solar System Appreciation Picnic” a few of the planets!  Great a laugh and loads of oppor- tunities for learning.


The NASA/JPL Orrery  web site makes it clean—and a laugh—to “go to” every planet and lots more! Along the manner you may find out moons and space- craft too. It’s a amazing way to introduce astronomy and area technological know-how to our future spacefarers and scientists!


It can be both interesting and amusing to study which satellites the  Deep Space Network (DSN)  is “speaking to” at any time.  After beginning its web page click on on its radio dish symbols to discover.  We’ve seen it communicating with eight different satellites at once from time to time!  Will you find it “talking to” extra than that?  If you do, file the time and date and allow us to know!  It’s great to know how nicely the DSN is retaining tabs on the Solar System!


The following will assist you revel in this page’s 1.6.x and 1.four.1 hyperlinks that run events at once in CELESTIA.  If you’re new to this system, those suggestions can even help you learn how to use it.

Are you surprising with our 1.6.x and 1.four.1 links?  For a proof  click on here.

If CELESTIA’s clock (i.e. this system’s date and time) is not seen at the pinnacle-proper of its window, press the V key till you spot it.  This may even activate data text in other corners to help you preserve song of several aspects of the occasion you are viewing.  Keeping a watch on CELESTIA’sclock at the top-proper will help you respect how a SOLAR SYSTEM whole lot time is passing in every view.Pressing the “un-shifted” L key and K key respectively will speed up and sluggish down CELESTIA’s float of time with the aid of a thing of 10 in version 1.6.x and 1.four.1.Pressing Shift+L and Shift+K respectively will speed up and sluggish down CELESTIA’s glide of time by way of a element of 2 in version 1.6.x best.Pressing the J key (both shifted or “un-shifted”) will opposite CELESTIA’s glide of time in model 1.6.x and 1.4.1.

You’ll find more facts about many of CELESTIA’s controls on our  Learning Center  web page.

Most of the”classical asteroids”, like  Ida,orbit the Sun in a giant doughnut- shaped location known as the Asteroid Belt  .

Pluto and Charon  are no longer taken into consideration to constitute the outer edge of the Solar System.

The  Oort Cloud is our Solar System’s top notch repository of comet nuclei!

Click at the orbital photographs above for larger perspectives.

(to replace, reload web page)   Courtesy: Fourmilab Switzerland



Our Solar System is so big and constituted of such a lot of objects—some “notably” near one another, yet most separated by means of excellent distances—that depicting huge parts of it to scale is tough.  So you will must appearance closely simply above and to the left.  Able to show simplest one facet of the Solar System out to Neptune, this reduce-away presentations the eight essential planets’ perihelia and aphelia  (i.e. their closest and farthest distances from the Sun), in addition to their orbital tendencies relative to the Ecliptic—all to scale. Also indicated are regions where  Smaller Worlds  populate the Solar System: the Asteroid Belt, the expan- sive realm of the Centaurs, and the brink of the Kuiper Belt, which stretches from the orbit of Neptune to over 50 au from the Sun!  (Note: whilst you hover above to show the “relative” sizes of the planets, their scale is hugely enlarged as compared to that of the move segment!)


Below and at left, slide the blue pointer left and proper “or” click on along the Astronomical Unit (au) scale (which additionally

suggests light-time) to look into the Sun’s relative apparent length from from Mercury all the way out to Neptune!  Most browsers (although not Safari) also assist you to use your keyboard Arrow Keys to “first-rate-track” your slider position.  Clearly the Sun, which simultaneously scorches Mercury and bakes Venus, is not almost so prominent within the frigid skies of the Solar System’s distant outer planets!

This web page opens with the Sun (above) seen from Earth.  The perihelia and aphelia of the essential planets are shown within the adjacent pass section of the Solar System.  Note that Venus’s and Earth’s orbits are so circluar that their extremes of distance are less than one pixel aside at this scale!  At the Inner Planets especially you’ll should appearance closely—or zoom your browser—to pinpoint your distance!  Mercuryis especially seared by using the Sun, and lots more at its perihelion than its aphelion!  Mars is near sufficient to the Sun that  the Martian seasons are stricken by the planet’s orbital eccentricity! Uranus has the best distinction between its nearest and farthest distances from the Sun! Yet the planet’s orbit is so large that  the Sun does not appearance tons exclusive from Uranus’s perihelion to its aphelion!  What different intriguing statistics will you discover from planet to planet—and in between?

As you take a look at all this, you should also check out the  Relative Intensity of Sunlight on the Planets.  Since the human eye can adapt so nicely to varying mild ranges, you’ll be surprised by way of what “sunlight hours seems like” as you undertaking similarly out within the Solar System.


Large Solar System Views:   Inner Planets   All Planets

Current Views of  Sun  Moon  Planets  from Earth.

Current Sky    Current Ecliptic


These tools all open displaying modern Solar System con- ditions.   Their views may be rotated and zoomed in 3-D!

These open with the Vernal (March) Equinox () inside the “3 o’clock” direction:

NASA/JPL Orrery      The Sky-Live      jsOrrery

This one opens with the Vernal (March) Equinox () within the “nine o’clock” path:

Solar System Scope


Drag Slider to show your  Weight on Earth:  (Fine track with Arrow Keys.  Output and Slider devices are identical.)

The following is your Weight on …    The Sun:       The Moon:       Mercury:       Venus:       Mars:       Jupiter:             Io:             Europa:             Ganymede:             Callisto:       Saturn:             Titan:       Uranus:       Neptune:             Triton:  

    Pluto:             Charon:       Ceres:       Haumea2:      Makemake:       Eris:  


SOLAR SYSTEM 1.)  Set Weight on Earth to at least one (one) to locate each global’s      surface gravity in comparison to Earth’s.2.)  Weight varies with latitude due to  a global’s rotation      and oblateness.  Haumea, rotating as soon as approximately every     4 hours, presents an severe instance of this.3.)  Weight can also range due to altitude, abnormal form       and non-uniform concentrations of mass.


Drag Slider to expose your  Age in Earth Years:                              (Fine song with Arrow Keys.)

The following are your a while in…

Mercury yrs:  Neptune yrs:  Venus yrs:  Pluto yrs:  Mars yrs:  Ceres yrs:  Jupiter yrs:  Haumea yrs:  Saturn yrs:  Makemake yrs:  Uranus yrs:  Eris yrs:  

This is how regularly every international has turned around the Sun because you were born!

Note:  set Age in Earth Years to at least one (one) to locate how many ofeach world’s years are in every Earth year.


Distances, Apparent Sizes, Phases, Moon Locations                     Sun     Moon     Mercury     Venus     Mars                     Jupiter     Saturn     Uranus     Neptune

Locations in the ConstellationsSun     Moon     Mercury     Venus     Mars Jupiter     Saturn     Uranus     Neptune

Current Year’s Elongations

Major Sky Objects 2021 Greatest: Mercury    Venus 


NASA’S “Solar System Exploration” Site

NASA’S “Solar System Treks”

NASA’S “Life and Death of a Planetary System”

How Did the Solar System Come to Be?

Our Solar System’s Location in the Milky Way Galaxy


Dominant Body:    the Sun (Sol, our nearest celebrity)Major Planets:    8

Names:    Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and NeptuneRelative Sizes and Rotations of the Sun and PlanetsAxial Tilts of the Planets  Where the Poles of the Sun & Planets Point  NASA Planet CompareNASA Planetary Fact Sheets:    Ratio to Earth Values    U.S. Units    MetricPlanet Average Surface Temperatures  Here’s a link to any other coolChrome Experiment 3-D    visualization:  PlanetMaker. Common Characteristics:All primary planets orbit the Sun inside the same route,    i.e. eastward when viewed from above Solar systemAll orbit in almost the identical aircraftAll however Venus and Uranus spin in the identical route Planet Classifications:Inner Planets:   Mercury, Venus, Earth & MarsOuter Planets:   Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus & Neptune 

Solar System Barycenter   Gravity Simulator      Wikipedia’s Barycenter pagePlanet Orbits:    Inner Planets   Inner & Outer Planets Planet Orbital Poles      North Ecliptic Pole    South Ecliptic Pole

Because of the big and disparate scales concerned, for comfort Solar System maps normally must show the planets “out of scale” as compared to each other as well as to their orbits.  Actually,each plan- et’s orbit is IMMENSE as compared to the planet itself!  Expressed in phrases of its very own diameter, here is each planet’s approximate imply distance from the Sun.        Mercury:   11,900        Venus:   8,900        Earth:   eleven,seven hundred        Mars:   33,six hundred        Jupiter:   5,four hundred        Saturn:   11,900        Uranus:   56,two hundred        Neptune:   ninety,800Said every other way: this what number of of every planet you’d have to “line up facet-by way of-aspect” to attain from the Sun out to the planet’s orbit!  So even supposing effective Jupiter was represented as a unmarried pixel to your display screen, displaying its orbital distance within the identical scale might area the Sun some distance off-display!Moons:Mercury:    0    Note: Mercury is just too near the Sun to hold directly to    moons for extremely lengthy.  The Sun’s gravity “captures”   moons too some distance from Mercury, even as the planet’s grav-    ity draws moons too near it within  Roche’s restrict.Venus:    0    Note: at the same time as it’s miles tougher for planets in the direction of the Sun    to accomplish that, Venus is theoretically at an good enough dis-   tance to preserve directly to moons. Why it has none is one    of the planet’s splendid mysteries.Earth:    1   view Moon pageMars:    2   view gadgetJupiter:    seventy nine (extra suspected)   view fundamentalSaturn:    eighty two (greater suspected)   view foremost      (29 waiting to be showed) Uranus:    27 (more suspected)   view essentialNeptune:    14 (extra suspected)   view majorCompare Major MoonsCompare Solar System’s Most Active Moons   


The realm of the Sun is dizzingly more giant and complicated than changed into once suspected.  Stretching a ways past the orbit of Neptune, our Solar System consists of a good deal more than just our discern megastar and eight major planets.  In addition, thousands and thousands of Smaller Worlds  populatemost important bands—the Asteroid and Kuiper Belts—between that is the location of the Centaurs!  Far past the Kuiper Belt, billions (perhaps trillions) of worldlets can also exist in that “brilliant repository of comet nuclei,” the Oort Cloud!

Dwarf Planets:    5 (hundreds suspected)    Names: (so as from the Sun)        Ceres, Pluto, Haumea, Makemake, and Eris

Asteroids:    500,000+ (thousands and thousands suspected)    Names of Largest:        Pallas, Vesta, Hygiea, Interamnia    Types:    C, S, M

Here’s a hyperlink to a Chrome Experiment 3-D animation beautifully depicting the swarms of worldlets within the  Asteroid Belt

Kuiper Belt Objects (KBO’s):    1,000+ (hundreds of thousands susp.)    Names of Some of the Largest:        Quaoar, Makemake, Haumea, Sedna, Orcus, Varuna

Comets:    4,000+ (billions suspected)    Names of Some Notables:        Halley, Hale-Bopp, Swift-Tuttle, Shoemaker-Levy nine

WHAT IS A PLANET?video credit score:NASA

As a science progresses, new discoveries often require refinements in its systems of classification.  Such became the case for astronomy and its class of Pluto.  This NASA video presents an amazing rationalization of why this venerable wanderer at the brink of the “classical” Solar System became “demoted” to “dwarf planet” reputation.

This NASA web page  also provides an top notch discussion of the question.


Because life as we are aware of it calls for liquid water to exist, our Solar System’s “liveable region” is the region around the Sun where an Earth-sized planet may be expected to keep liquid water on its floor.  The liveable sector has additionally been popularly called the “Goldilocks quarter”, i.e. wherein it is neither too hot nor too bloodless for liquid water, but rather is “just proper”.


From NASA and JPL, here’s a pleasing graphical synopsis of many firsts in humankind’s exploration of the Solar System: Dare Mighty Things.

Trek via NASA’s and JPL’s own 3-D simulation of our Solar System.  Exciting missions and adventures.  (Requires Unity.) Eyes at the Solar System!

Here’s a hyperlink to a nice NASA web page:  Chronology of Lunar and Planetary Exploration.  Lots of exact background information right here!

SkyMarvels, Sky Marvels,, CURRENT PLANET ORBITAL POSITIONS MAP.Current Planet Positions, Current Planet Locations, Planet Orbital Locations, See wherein the planets are in their orbits,Current Planetary Locations,Your Weight on Other Worlds.How Heavy Are You on Other Worlds? Your Weight on Other Planets. How Heavy Are You on Other Planets?Your Age on Other Worlds. How Heavy Are You on Other Worlds?Your Age on Other Planets. How Heavy Are You on Other Planets?celestia4all, celestiaforall, CELESTIA, astronomy, space, simulations, animations, downloadable astronomy posters, stars, planets, Inner Planets, Outer Planets, Inferior Planets, Superior Planets, moons, asteroids, comets, Oort Cloud, galaxy, galaxies, Milky Way, Andromeda, globular clusters, binaries, quasars, black holes, supermassive black holes, telescope, telescopes, planetarium, software, freestuff, satellites, accessories, addons, scripts, eclipses, Solar Eclipses, Lunar Eclipses, Solar Eclipse Finder, Lunar Eclipse Finder, mutual eclipses, transits, occultations, Solar System, CELES-TOOLS, celeSTARrium, CELX, CELX programming, Freebies, Bonuses, more than one perspectives, atronomical unit, light 12 months, parsec, meteors, meteor showers, Perseids, Geminids, Leonids, barycenter, time, Time Zones, tides, alignments, conjunctions, oppositions, seasons, apogees, perigees, aphelion, perihelion, Earth, Luna, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Galilean Moons, Io, Europa, SOLAR SYSTEM Ganymede, Callisto, Saturn, Titan, earrings, Uranus, Neptune, Triton, E-MSpectrum, electromagnetic spectrum, astronaut, equinoxes, solstices, precession, rotation, spin, inclination, tilt, Ecliptic, orbits, ellipse, parabola, hyperbola

Seeing how large the Sun seems from all of the planets offers us every other way to realize the large scale of the Solar System!

  KEEP SAFE!  It is in no way secure to look at once on the real Sun with the naked eye!  Moreover, looking at it—even for an instantaneous—via either a telescope, binoculars, digital camera or comparable device without ok safeguards can cause permanent blind- ness!  NEVER DO IT!  To learn the way you can properly examine the Sun, consult your local planetarium or observatory.


Most humans are amazed when they see Solar System distances displayed—as they’re above—of their correct relative scales.  The truth that the Inner Planets represent one of these small portion of the Solar System is a particular revelation to many.

Realizing this makes it easier to comprehend the wondrous accomplishments of sending spacecraft to different planets, specially the Outer Planets —and beyond.  Juno  (above) is but one among several space- craft which have visited effective planet Jupiter!  New Horizons has flown past dwarf-planet Pluto, that is to this point away that it couldn’t be blanketed inside the go sections above! And the  Voyager  spacecraft have lengthy departed the area of the essential planets!

As you assignment further down this page, and explore in addition out into deep space, you’ll comprehend that even distant Pluto —once taken into consideration the outer restriction of the Solar System— can now not be appeared as such!  No, our Solar System is some distance greater tremendous than that!


Solar Sytem’s Place in the Galaxy 

The Ecliptic, Earth’s orbital aircraft, is often considered the aircraft of our Solar System.  It is exceedingly inclined to the plane of the Galaxy, which runs left to proper within the diagram above.


NASA/JPL Space Calendar


Because stars migrate inside, above and below the galactic aircraft, our Solar System may additionally have occupied any other spiral arm eons in the past!

If you won one pound on Earth, you may have won 28 kilos on the Sun!

The planets do now not definitely orbit the Sun!  They (and the Sun additionally) all orbit the Solar System’s middle of mass, a point that’s known as the Solar System Barycenter  . The barycenter sincerely lies out of doors of the Sun for tons of the time!

There is not any reliable file of anyone on Earth livinglonger than the time it takes for Nep- music to complete one orbit!

Of all of the different planets, it’s far Venus which has an orbit closest in size to that of Earth.  And but, due to how the planets orbit the Sun,  the foremost planet that spends greater time in the direction of Earth than every other turns out to be Mercury!  It’s aver- age distance from Earth is pretty a bit much less than Venus’s!

In reality, not best is Mercury the planet closest to the Sun, it is also the planet closest (on common) to every and every different major planet in our Solar System! 

If all of the asteroids inside the Asteroid Belt have been collected collectively into one body, it would be lots smaller than Earth’s Moon!

The Oort Cloud is idea to extend out to at least one sector of the gap to the nearest star—possibly a whole lot farther!

The darkish part of Jupiter’s shadow, its umbra, has a median duration it truly is more than the radius of Mercury’s orbit!

Close to 99% of the total mass of the Solar System is contained in the Sun!



Note: a few links are echoed someplace else in this web page and can include descriptive text.

Solar System in 3D:      NASA/JPL Orrery      The Sky-Live       jsOrrery      Solar System Scope

NASA’s Eyes on the Solar System  This high-powered download is packed with hundreds of wonderful capabilities.

Planetary Motion Simulator  widen its window after it hundreds.

Planetary Configurations Simulator

NASA’s Planetary Data Sys- tems’  Ring-Moon Systems Node  has a whole suite of tools for making correct charts and ephemerides.

NASA/JPL Orrery’s  Planet Comparison Mode

Planet Size Comparison

Exploring the Solar System


Asteroid Belt

From NASA: Dare Mighty Things


SolarEclipse Finder

LunarEclipse Finder


Our Corner of the Cosmos

Anatomy of the Milky Way

Earth’s Tides


The Solar System Barycenter

Inferior Planet Phases

The Earth-Moon Barycenter

The Speed of Light

Stunning Fields of View 001

Stunning Fields of View 002

Have You Ever . . . ?

“celestia4all” Site Preview

Solar Eclipses:

   Solar Eclipses thru 2012

   Solar Eclipse 2010 Jul eleven

   Solar Eclipse 2012 Nov thirteen

   Solar Eclipse 2013 Nov three

Lunar Eclipses:

   Lunar Eclipses thru 2012

   Lunar Eclipse 2010 Jun 26

   Lunar Eclipse 2010 Dec 21

   Lunar Eclipse 2011 Jun 15

Moon’s Occultation of Venus 2010 May 16

Moon’s Occultation of Venus 2010 9-11

How Big Is Our Moon?

The Same Side of the Moon Always Faces Earth

Phases of the Moon

  Dwarf Planet Haumea orbits a ways beyond Neptune and is presently a great deal farther than Pluto!

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