Solar System Orbit Diagrams
Below are diagrams of the planets,
asteroids, and comets
showing the inner solar system (out to the orbit of Jupiter),
the outer solar system (just beyond Pluto),
and the distant solar system.
There are two diagrams for each region:
one showing the view looking down (or obliquely) onto the
and one showing the view from the edge of the
All diagrams represent the positions of the bodies on
2016 January 1.
These diagrams were created by Paul W. Chodas (NASA/JPL).
Alternate views of the solar system are available
(currently without asteroids and comets)
Solar System Simulator site.
Plots of the solar system can be created for any specified time.
Here are examples of the
solar system on 2016 January 1.
(Note that these alternate views are oriented with the
to the top instead of the right and therefore appear rotated
90 degrees counter-clockwise compared to our plots.)
Comet and Asteroid Orbit Diagrams
The orbit of any comet or asteroid
can be viewed using our java-based orbit applet.
Start with our small-body browser to find the asteroid of interest,
then select the Orbit Diagram link.
For example, here is the
orbit diagram for asteroid 1 Ceres.
You can optionally display the orbits of the planets
as well as the selected small-body, zoom in/out, rotate the diagram,
and animate the small-body's motion over time.
Your browser must support "java applets" to use this tool.
In addition, there are diagrams showing the distribution of orbital elements for
most known inner solar system asteroids
The following diagrams are available:
Currently, there are no orbit diagrams for
However, mean orbital elements of a given
can be used to get a sense of its orbital shape.