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Orbit Diagrams

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Solar System Orbit Diagrams

Below are diagrams of the planets, asteroids, and comets showing the inner solar system (out to the orbit of Jupiter), the outer solar system (just beyond Pluto), and the distant solar system. There are two diagrams for each region: one showing the view looking down (or obliquely) onto the ecliptic plane and one showing the view from the edge of the ecliptic plane. All diagrams represent the positions of the bodies on 2018 January 1. These diagrams were created by Paul W. Chodas (NASA/JPL).

Alternate views of the solar system are available (currently without asteroids and comets) at JPL's Solar System Simulator site. Plots of the solar system can be created for any specified time. Here are examples of the inner and outer solar system on 2018 January 1. (Note that these alternate views are oriented with the vernal equinox to the top instead of the right and therefore appear rotated 90 degrees counter-clockwise compared to our plots.)

If you're looking for orbital elements, see the the solar system bodies page.

Comet and Asteroid Orbit Diagrams

The orbit of any comet or asteroid can be viewed using our java-based orbit applet. Start with our small-body browser to find the asteroid of interest, then select the Orbit Diagram link. For example, here is the orbit diagram for asteroid 1 Ceres. You can optionally display the orbits of the planets as well as the selected small-body, zoom in/out, rotate the diagram, and animate the small-body's motion over time. Your browser must support "java applets" to use this tool.

Distribution Diagrams

In addition, there are diagrams showing the distribution of orbital elements for most known inner solar system asteroids and comets. The following diagrams are available:

Planetary Satellites

Currently, there are no orbit diagrams for planetary satellites. However, mean orbital elements of a given planetary satellite can be used to get a sense of its orbital shape.

2020-Jun-04 18:36 UT 
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