Solar System

Inner Solar System

Initially we see the inner part of the Solar system with the planets out to Jupiter. The Sun is held static in the centre of the screen.

Zoom in to see how orbits of the inner planets are very stable. You will notice that the orbits of Venus and Earth are quite circular while Mercury is a bit eccentric (slightly elliptical).

You will notice that only a small part of the orbit of Halley's Comet can initially be seen as it is very eccentric (as for most comets). Use the Tilt controls to see how the planet orbits are very nearly in the same plane while Halley's orbit has quite a large inclination. You will see Halley go round the Sun in 2061.

Outer Solar System

Tilt back so that Earth's orbit looks circular, then Zoom out until you can see all of Halley's orbit. You should now be able to see out as far as Neptune and Pluto. See how Pluto spends some of its time closer to the Sun than Neptune. Use Tilt again to see how Pluto's orbit is also quite inclined to the plane of the other planets.

Zoom out even more and you will eventually see the Trans-Neptunian object Sedna. It is amazing to see how small the orbits of the "normal" planets are in comparison. 

 

This is an overview of the Solar System including Pluto, Sedna and Halley's comet. Initially you see the inner planets but you can Zoom out to see the rest.

Sorry, your browser does not support this HTML5 animation. Sorry, your browser does not support this HTML5 animation.

The simulation includes Solar System planets (system barycentres) and Pluto, Sedna and Halley's comet. Initial state vectors are from JPL Horizons. Yoshida 6th order integration with variable timestep.