Solar System Live

by John Walker

Welcome to Solar System Live, the interactive Orrery of the Web. You can view the entire Solar System, or just the inner planets (through the orbit of Mars). Controls allow you to set time and date, viewpoint, observing location, orbital elements to track an asteroid or comet, and a variety of other parameters. Click on the title of any control to display a help page explaining it, or go directly to the help table of contents. You can compose a request with custom settings and save the results in your browser's hotlist or bookmark table, allowing direct access to Solar System Live with all the controls preset to your own preferences.

To use Solar System Live, you need a graphical Web browser with forms support and the ability to display GIF images.

Windows users can create orrery displays like this in real time, on their own machines, as well as view the Earth, sky, stars at the horizon, track Earth satellites, and more with Home Planet, my public domain Earth/Space/Sky simulator available for downloading from this site. Other public domain astronomy and space software available from this site includes:

On the Web:
Earth and Moon Viewer.
Terranova: a new terraformed planet every day.
Your Sky makes custom star maps for any location on Earth at any date and time.

For Windows:
Home Planet, Sky screen saver, Moontool, and Craters screen saver.

All of these packages and more can be located from my home page.

Solar System Live would have been enormously more difficult to implement without the help of the freely distributed software mentioned in the credits. Implementation details are also available.

The mechanical orrery shown in the heading of this page is in the National Air and Space Museum of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC in the United States. The image is © Copyright 1993 Smithsonian Institution.

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by John Walker