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The Major Planets

The Major Planets - A Convenient Misconception Online Planetary Astronomy Resources

Useful Online Planetary Resources

Below are listed a number of online resources that can be used for further study of the relative motion and positions of the major planets as well as other celestial bodies like asteroids, comets and meteors. Among the fundamental topics for study are Kepler's Three Laws of Planetary Motion and Newton's Universal Law of Gravitation. These topics are beyond the level of astronomy covered in this website, where the key topics of interest have been limited to the three most popular misconceptions in astronomy.

  • Kepler's Laws of Planetary Motion - A useful About.com tutorial of Kepler's Laws with links to related articles and histories of astronomy.

  • Newton's Universal Law of Gravitation - Another useful About.com tutorial on Newton's law of gravity and how it impacted modern astronomy and "rocket science".

  • Solar System Orbit Diagrams - A web resource maintained for professional astronomers and "space professionals" maintained by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) at the California Institute of Technology (CalTech). Click on the links to see true-to-scale orbit diagrams of celestial objects including planets, asteroids and comets in our solar system. The "Inner Solar System" includes Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, the Asteroid Belt, and Jupiter. The "Outer Solar System" shows Earth, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto and Halley's comet. The "Distant Solar System" shows objects beyond Pluto's orbit. Also included are orbit diagrams for comets and asteroids.

  • Physical Characteristics of Targets - Another web resource maintained by NASA and JPL for professional astronomers. It contains a wealth of information about the planetary dynamics in the solar system.

  • The LINEAR Project - Website for the premiere Near Earth asteroid detection and cataloging project in the world maintained and run by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Lincoln Laboratory in Lexington, Massachusetts.

  • Planet Quest Educator Resources - An educational website maintained by NASA and JPL for K-16 educators who wish to take advantage of NASA's wealth of astronomy data and information. Links are provided to many other online astronomy resources geared primarily for students and other would-be amateur and professional astronomers.

The Major Planets - A Convenient Misconception Online Planetary Astronomy Resources

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