planet watch
above the solar system
Volume 23 -- Issue 7
Above the Solar System -- July 2017

Name July 10 July 20 July 30
Mercury 185o 03' 219o 05' 247o 49'
Venus 354o 32' 010o 27' 026o 24'
Earth 287o 57' 297o 29' 307o 02'
Mars 116o 29' 121o 02' 125o 33'
Ceres 082o 55' 084o 79' 087o 04'
Jupiter 205o 17' 206o 02' 206o 48'
Saturn 265o 14' 265o 32' 265o 50'
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 - July 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.