Day 54 – Planet Parade

Let’s not mention the V-word today.

Instead: how about this? I spotted this on Twitter earlier and got in touch with amateur astronomer Grant Petersen to ask if I could share the image on here.

He said yes, and so… well… here is that image:


These were taken using a Celestron Nexstar 8″ SCT with a focal length of 2032mm and a focal ratio of F/10, and an Orion USB camera II.
And then arranged on a smartphone.

Isn’t technology wonderful?

I am blown away by this image (hence my asking if I could put it on here), but if there is one minor (hopefully constructive) criticism I might make, it’s that there is no image of Earth. And that really should surely be one of the easiest ones to get.
I’ve got several myself. And they are lot closer up than these.

Of course, ironically, getting a shot of Earth in the same vein as these images is a great deal more difficult than even shooting Neptune, which despite being quite a large planet…

…is also a ridiculous 4.5 billion kilometres away.


Photo credit: Grant Petersen

Solar System Distances

Here’s a useful Solar System resource for you:

Average distances of the planets from the sun; Total distance traveled in one complete orbit by each of the planets; Total time for one complete orbit of the sun (one planetary year).

OBJECTDistance from Sun (average) in kmDistance traveled in one complete orbit of the Sun in kmAmount of time for one complete orbit of the Sun
Mercury59,221,114359,993,5633 Earth months.
Venus108,142,903679,916,3187 Earth months.
Earth149,662,053939,813,3251 Earth year
(365.25 days)
Mars227,872,5461,429,031,22023 Earth months. Almost 2 Earth years.
Jupiter778,242,6784,887,351,143142 Earth months. Almost 12 Earth years.
Saturn1,426,617,3168,957,032,507354 Earth months. 29½ Earth years.
Uranus2,870,453,81418,025,909,2371009 Earth months. Over 84 Earth years.
Neptune4,498,229,80428,262,471,8381979 Earth months Almost 165 Earth years.

Working on a school project, we needed these figures. Plenty of copies of this information are available, but all of it was on US sites and all of it was in miles. Want it in kilometres? Well, either you have to do it yourself (like I did) or (now) you can use the table above.

Happy to help.