Planetscope is a useful reference tool that calculates the positions of the 8 major planets as they orbit around the Sun, as well as the Moon’s orbit around the Earth, displaying the results on 3 different views:
– Top-down ‘orrery’ view showing the relative locations of the planets to each other and to the Sun.
– Sky view, showing the planets locations in the sky, as viewed from your current GPS location.
– Data view, giving detailed readouts for each planet/object
The display can be speeded-up, fast-forwarding the planets’ motion to help predict interesting astronomical events and to visualise various concepts about how our Solar System works.
The readings calculated for each object include Rise/Set times, Altitude/Azimuth, Right Ascension/Declination, Distances from Earth/Sun, Apparent Magnitude/Apparent Diameter, Elongation and Phase. Objects shown: Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. All readings are calculated in real-time within the program (no internet connection is required).