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|Welcome to information about the planets of our Solar System. The list below is a live snapshot of where the planets and moon are located right now. Soon we will add the capability for you to choose the time so you can plan your observing schedule ahead. |
We will stop short of displaying objects in a sky map as many planetary programs for your desktop can do this much better than any web site. In fact we use the engine for XEphem in the web site programming to generate the data below in real-time.
The links in the left hand column take you to a mirror of the excellent NinePlanets web site where you can read about each planet and much much more.
Pluto does not win 'Battle of the Planets'
The latest news includes the fact that Pluto is no longer classified as a planet. The International Astronomical Union (IAU) just finished a convention where the definition of a planet has been redone. Pluto is now classified as a 'dwarf planet' which includes Ceres and soon to be many others. The sometimes heated debate finalized on these features to make the planet 'cut':
Astronomers struggled with this topic for quite a while. There was talk about planets simply being any solar system objects that met the 'round shape' criteria. This would have kept Pluto in the league of planets, but might have included at least one of its moons for reasons I don't quite understand. Along with Ceres and one other object, there would be twelve planets. So eight panets it is for now.
- A Planet must have sufficient gravity to force it into an oval or round shape,
- A Planet must have 'cleared the neighborhood around its orbit'
Oh well. Pluto we still love you even if you are now just a dwarf planet.