Getting Started with Voyager and SkyGazer      

Showing the Orbits and Paths of the Planets

With the Location Panel, place yourself out in the Solar System, about 10 AU from the Sun. Then choose Planet Panel from the Window menu (or press 'P' on your keyboard) to display the Planet Panel. Here, you can display the Solar System's planets, moons, comets, asteroids, and spacecraft; as well as their orbits, names, and paths; either individually or in whole groups.

Select the "Planets" tab along the top of the Planet Panel. Then click in the "Orbit" column for Mercury; an X appears in that column, and Mercury's orbit should appear in the main sky chart window. Click and drag across multiple cells in the Planet Panel to turn on (or turn off) multiple planets' orbits at once.

You can do the same for the planets' names, symbols, paths, and overall visibility by using the other columns in the Planet Panel. You can center the chart on any planet by double-clicking its name in the first column.

Put yourself back on Earth by clicking the "Earth" tab in the Location Panel. Turn off the planets' orbits, but turn on paths for (say) Mercury and Mars. Lock the chart on the Sun, then animate the time forward at 1 day per step. Mercury's apparent path against the background stars, day by day, will be displayed with a dotted line.

Back: Moving Around the Solar System
Next: Displaying Asteroids and Comets




Copyright February, 2011

Carina Software & Instruments, Inc