Spark image

The outer planets

This animation shows the motion of the Earth and the remaining outer planets. You can see Earth orbiting the Sun and the tiny dot of Mars swinging round outside it and then the giant planets Jupiter and Saturn. Further out still, outside the orbit of Uranus lies Neptune, 30 times the distance of the Earth from the Sun. It is so far away that even in this animation you will have to wait nearly 20 seconds to see it appear from the top of the screen. In real life Neptune takes nearly 165 Earth years to orbit the Sun once.



The relative distance of each planet from the Sun and their relative sizes are correct as are their periods of rotation. However the relative size of the Sun has been reduced.
 
 
 
© Keith Gibbs 2008