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  • Rapt in Awe

    My Journey through the Astronomical Year

    Think of this as a "companion text" to this, the main web site. Not required reading, butI hope you'll find it interesting and helpful.

Where we are in our journey – May 2009

ma1_may15_innerSpace Station Earth is shown in relation to the Sun, and the three other inner planets, first at the start of the month, then on the 15th. Note how the inner planets, Mercury and Venus are “gaining” onus. That is, they are covering more of their orbit in the same 15 days than are we. However, we “gain” on Mars and the other outer planets. (The portion of each orbit above the plane of the ecliptic is drawn in blue, the portion below in green. Images are taken from  from “Solar System Live”  and combined.)

allplanets_may1

Here’s how the full system would look, seen from above, on May 1. Note that Pluto’s orbit takes it inside the orbit of Neptune. In fact, it has only recently emerged from being the eigth planet – assuming you consider it a planet 😉

From the same source, here are the technical details for the Sun and all the planets onApril 3, 2009.

ephemeris

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