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Solar system

The Solar System display is an eletronic version of an Orrery. It displays the planets in their correct orbits for any date/time.

The Solar system display can help you better understand some of the basic terms used in astronomy, such as conjunction, opposition, elongation, perihelion and aphelion. Please check out the tutorials section to learn more.

By dragging you can rotate the view in any direction. You can zoom in and out with the slider at the top, by using the mousewheel or by pinch-zooming on touch devices. By using the time controls you can step forwards and backwards in time and observe the planets as they orbit the Sun.

The inner planets will only become visible when zooming in.

Hovering the mouse cursor over an object will bring up additional information. This can be useful if you can't remember the symbols or to check the distance to an object.

Scale is shown in the top right corner, it shows the scale of one AU (Astronomical Unit). One AU is roughly the distance from the Earth to the Sun, it is defined to be equal to 149597870700 kilometers (92955806938 mi).