Astronomical Charts Interactive Orrery

These charts show the positions of the planets along their orbits around the Sun.

The top panel shows the positions of the planets in the night sky, as seen from the Earth. The bottom panel shows a birds-eye view of the solar system.

Click and drag the birds-eye view to rotate it, or use your mouse wheel to zoom in and out. Alternatively, use the slider below the chart to adjust the zoom level. See below for more information.

Please wait
Loading 0/6
Draggable date slider
Please wait
Click and drag to rotate
Mouse wheel to zoom in/out
Hover mouse to dismiss
Label planets
Label Earth's orbit
Show minor planets
Show grid in ecliptic plane
Keep ecliptic pole upwards
Show scale bar
Mark perihelion / aphelion
Overlay planet visibility

Rotate view

The color coding of the chart above indicates the time of day when each planet is visible. This depends on the direction in which the planet lies, as seen from the Earth. If our line of sight to a planet is widely separated from our sightline to the Sun, the planet will be easily visible for much of the night. If not, the planet will appear very close to the Sun.

Areas of the chart above which are shaded green are easily visible from the Earth; areas which are red are hidden by the Sun's glare. Areas which are dark blue are visible in the morning sky, while areas which are light blue are visible in the evening sky. This color coding can be turned off by deselecting the option "Overlay planet visibility".

By selecting the option "Mark perihelion / aphelion", labels can be added which mark the closest and further points from the Sun along the orbits of each of the planets. The Earth's orbit is additionally labelled with the points it passes on the first day of each month as it makes its annual circuit around the Sun.