planet watch
above the solar system
Volume 23 -- Issue 8
Above the Solar System -- August 2017

Name August 09 August 19 August 29
Mercury 275o 28' 305o 36' 342o 33'
Venus 042o 23' 058o 25' 074o 31'
Earth 316o 37' 326o 13' 335o 51'
Mars 130o 01' 134o 28' 138o 53'
Ceres 089o 21' 091o 31' 093o 49'
Jupiter 207o 33' 208o 19' 209o 04'
Saturn 266o 08' 266o 27' 266o 45'
Plot planet positions using polar graph paper that you can download from this web site - or at that web site create your own.

This uses a coordinate system called heliocentric longitude where the 0o point is at the June or Vernal Equinox coordinate of 0 hours Right Ascension. From 0o longitude an object's orbit around the Sun and its heliocentric longitude increase at a rate determined by the orbital speed of the particular planet. The planet motion is counterclockwise as the animation below shows. Using the coordinates provided here a planet position June be plotted using degrees ranging from (0o to 360o) of heliocentric longitude. Once plotted the orbital position of one planet could be compared with that of another planet. Or the relative orbital speeds of an inner planet could be compared with that of an outer planet.

Terrestrial Planets and Dwarf Planet Ceres in Motion at 5 day intervals.
Above the Terrestrial Planets - August 2017

Click here to see an animated graphic showing the
Terrestrial Planets orbiting the Sun during 2017.

Explore our Solar System with this really cool tool. Click here to go to the Solar System Scope web site.