Saturday, 8 December 2007
The Solar System from above
This animation shows the known objects of the outer Solar System. Blue squares are comets. They appear to be falling "in" until 2002 and "out" afterwards because only comets observable in 2002 are plotted, out of the full cometary catalogue. They can only be observed when close to the Sun, and their positions are calculated back and forward.
The position of the 4 major outer planets are shown, with their orbits. Centaurs (asteroids with orbits between Jupiter and Neptune) are orange triangles. Those with high eccentricities are shown with cyan triangles. Trans-Neptunian Objects (TNOs) in general are red circles. Plutinos (TNOs in 2:3 resonance with Neptune) are white circles, Pluto is denoted by a large crossed white circle. Scattered Disk Objects (with highly elliptical orbits) are magenta circles.
See more Solar System animations at the IAU Minor Planet Center.