planet watch
above the solar system
Volume 23 -- Issue 3
Above the Solar System -- March 2017

Name March 02 March 12 March 22
Mercury 326o 22' 010o 02' 067o 34'
Venus 146o 56' 163o 11' 179o 24'
Earth 161o 36' 171o 36' 181o 33'
Mars 051o 15' 056o 46' 062o 12'
Ceres 054o 30' 056o 36' 058o 42'
Jupiter 195o 28' 196o 13' 196o 58'
Saturn 261o 19' 261o 37' 261o 55'
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 March 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 may 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 - March 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.