planet watch
above the solar system
Volume 23 -- Issue 12
Above the Solar System -- December 2017

Name December 07 December 17 December 27
Mercury 043o 37' 105o 46' 159o 57'
Venus 236o 10' 252o 05' 267o 56'
Earth 075o 04' 085o 14' 095o 25'
Mars 182o 47' 187o 16' 191o 46'
Ceres 115o 04' 117o 46' 119o 33'
Jupiter 216o 39' 217o 25' 218o 11'
Saturn 269o 45' 270o 03' 279o 21'
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.
Terrestrial Planets and Dwarf Planet Ceres in Motion at 5 day intervals.
Above the Terrestrial Planets - December 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.