|Earth Moon Lace Work|
(Moons Orbit is accented)
|Full Orbit of Jupiter and Saturn|
|Full Orbit of Outer Planets|
|Mercury Above Solar Plane (accented)|
|Mercury Below Solar Plane (accented)|
Note that Retrograde means that from the Earths point of view the planet seems to be falling
back each night that we watch it.
Imagine that you can see Mercury rotating (anti-clockwise) the Sun faster than the Earth (planet with rays coming out).
In this manner you can imagine Mercury in retrograde as opposed to a planet such as mars slowing moving anti-clockwise around the Sun, holding its position relitive to the rays (longitude lines of the celestial sphere) of the Earth as the Earth rotates the Sun, however, mars slowly moving through the one sector to the next.
|Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars Slightly Angled and Mercury Accented|
|Moon Round Twice (accented)|
|Outer Planets Slightly Angled with Pluto Dipping Below the Orbit of Neptune (me thinks)|
|Most Outer Planet (proper scale)|
Yes Pluto does come inside the Orbit of Neptune
|Pluto Orbit Below Plane Of Solar System (angled)|
|Slightly Angled Jupiter and Saturn|
Note that the Sun is on the First Point of Aries
Note that the Earth Rays are Celestial Sphere Longitude lines
See our Spider-Web Illustration on our "Basics of the Solar System Page Here for more information about these Rays
|View From Earth|
As the Earth Rotates the Sun, the Earth Rays (Celestial Sphere Longitude lines) follow the Earth and the Planets slowly move
anti-clockwise through the Earth Ray Sectors (clockwise if moving Retrograde)
|Another View From Earth|
Note that the planets slowly crawl through the picture
but that the Earth's Orbit around the Sun makes the Planets seem to to go three steps forward, then 1 step back.
If you drew lines connecting each end of the Ray, you could imagine walking around the Earth westward (looking from the bottom of the Earth up) and this
is the same path the Sun seems to travels (Hour Angle since the Earth is rotating 15 degrees per hour) and the way we measure degrees around
the Celestial Sphere. In this picture, the Sun is at
270 degrees or Hour Angle 6:00 AM where noon would be the First Point of Aries.
Astronomers would say the the Sun is 90 Degrees RA (right ascension - eastward) from the First Point of Aries