Explore Solar System Orbits
University of Louisville Physics and Astronomy Module Project
MIT License Copyright (c) 2017 John Kielkopf and Aaron Hill
Credit: Dev Ramtal's Physics for Javascript


Open the control panel on the upper right.
Click View and "Change view" to enable moving around.
Left click and drag to change viewing angle.
Right click and drag to change viewing position.
Center click or scroll to change viewing distance.


Change the spacecraft orbit and monitor its position and velocity with the Spacecraft menu. If the simulation is not running you may enter new values and they will take effect when the simulation starts. Use the sliders to alter values as it runs.
Monitor Earth's position and velocity with the Earth menu.



An orbit in the solar system is determined by the mass of the Sun and the initial conditions of the object. When When the program starts or is reset, the initial conditions are based on the real orbits of the inner planets and a hypothetical interplanetary spacecraft starting from Earth.

The orbits are computed as the simulation runs using Newtons Laws of Motion and his Law of Gravity, and stepping forward hour by hour (or every 6 hours in fast mode).

Here the Sun is yellow, Mercury white, Venus orange, Earth blue, and Mars red. The spacecraft is green. Your view starts out looking down on the solar system illuminated from behind you. Enable "Change view" to move around and look at it from different places.