Observe the dynamic Sun and the rotation of the eight major planets in our solar system in this visualization from NASA. Each of the nine objects is shown in detail using data from various sources, including the Solar Dynamics Observatory, MESSENGER, Magellan, Suomi NPP, Viking, Hubble Space Telescope, Cassini-Huygens, W.M. Keck Observatory, and Voyager. The axial tilts and directions of rotation are accurately represented, but the relative sizes and rotational speeds are not.
To view the Background Essay and Teaching Tips for this visualization, go to Support Materials below. This resource was developed through WGBH’s Bringing the Universe to America’s Classrooms project, in collaboration with NASA. Click here for the full collection of resources.