Zusammenstellung ausgewählter Bilder zum gesamten Sonnensystem, die um weiterführenden Links mit der Möglichkeit des Downloads ergänzt wurden.
Our solar system features eight planets, seen in this artist's diagram. Although there is some debate within the science community as to whether Pluto should be classified as a Planet or a dwarf planet, the International Astronomical Union has decided on the term plutoid as a name for dwarf planets like Pluto.
This representation is intentionally fanciful, as the planets are depicted far closer together than they are in reality. Similarly, the bodies' relative sizes are inaccurate. This is done for the purpose of being able to depict the solar system and still represent the bodies with some detail. (Otherwise the sun would be a mere speck, and the planets -- even the majestic Jupiter -- would be far too small to be seen.)
This is a montage of planetary images taken by spacecraft managed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, CA. Included are (from top to bottom) images of Mercury, Venus, Earth (and Moon), Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. The spacecraft responsible for these images are as follows:the Mercury image was taken by Mariner 10,
the Venus image by Magellan,
the Earth and Moon images by Galileo,
the Mars image by Mars Global Surveyor,
the Jupiter image by Cassini, and
the Saturn, Uranus and Neptune images by Voyager.
The inner planets (Mercury, Venus, Earth, Moon, and Mars) are roughly to scale to each other; the outer planets (Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune) are roughly to scale to each other. Actual diameters are given below:Sun 1,390,000 km
Mercury 4,879 km
Venus 12,104 km
Earth 12,756 km
Moon 3,475 km
Mars 6,794 km
Jupiter 142.984 km
Saturn 120,536 km
Uranus 51,118 km
Neptune 49,528 km
The cameras of Voyager 1 on Feb. 14, 1990, pointed back toward the sun and took a series of pictures of the sun and the planets, making the first ever "portrait" of our solar system as seen from the outside. In the course of taking this mosaic consisting of a total of 60 frames, Voyager 1 made several images of the inner solar system from a distance of approximately 4 billion miles and about 32 degrees above the ecliptic plane. Thirty-nine wide angle frames link together six of the planets of our solar system in this mosaic. Outermost Neptune is 30 times further from the sun than Earth. Our sun is seen as the bright object in the center of the circle of frames. The wide-angle image of the sun was taken with the camera's darkest filter (a methane absorption band) and the shortest possible exposure (5 thousandths of a second) to avoid saturating the camera's vidicon tube with scattered sunlight. The sun is not large as seen from Voyager, only about one-fortieth of the diameter as seen from Earth, but is still almost 8 million times brighter than the brightest star in Earth's sky, Sirius. The result of this great brightness is an image with multiple reflections from the optics in the camera. Wide-angle images surrounding the sun also show many artifacts attributable to scattered light in the optics. These were taken through the clear filter with one second exposures. The insets show the planets magnified many times. Narrow-angle images of Earth, Venus, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune were acquired as the spacecraft built the wide-angle mosaic. Jupiter is larger than a narrow-angle pixel and is clearly resolved, as is Saturn with its rings. Uranus and Neptune appear larger than they really are because of image smear due to spacecraft motion during the long (15 second) exposures. From Voyager's great distance Earth and Venus are mere points of light, less than the size of a picture element even in the narrow-angle camera. Earth was a crescent only 0.12 pixel in size. Coincidentally, Earth lies right in the center of one of the scattered light rays resulting from taking the image so close to the sun.
This artist's concept puts solar system distances in perspective. The scale bar is in astronomical units, with each set distance beyond 1 AU representing 10 times the previous distance. One AU is the distance from the sun to the Earth, which is about 93 million miles or 150 million kilometers. Neptune, the most distant planet from the sun, is about 30 AU.
Informally, the term "solar system" is often used to mean the space out to the last planet. Scientific consensus, however, says the solar system goes out to the Oort Cloud, the source of the comets that swing by our sun on long time scales. Beyond the outer edge of the Oort Cloud, the gravity of other stars begins to dominate that of the sun.
The inner edge of the main part of the Oort Cloud could be as close as 1,000 AU from our sun. The outer edge is estimated to be around 100,000 AU.
NASA's Voyager 1, humankind's most distant spacecraft, is around 125 AU. Scientists believe it entered interstellar space, or the space between stars, on Aug. 25, 2012. Much of interstellar space is actually inside our solar system. It will take about 300 years for Voyager 1 to reach the inner edge of the Oort Cloud and possibly about 30,000 years to fly beyond it.
Alpha Centauri is currently the closest star to our solar system. But, in 40,000 years, Voyager 1 will be closer to the star AC +79 3888 than to our own sun. AC +79 3888 is actually traveling faster toward Voyager 1 than the spacecraft is traveling toward it.
The Voyager spacecraft were built and continue to be operated by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, in Pasadena, Calif. Caltech manages JPL for NASA. The Voyager missions are a part of NASA's Heliophysics System Observatory, sponsored by the Heliophysics Division of the Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington.
This image is an unannotated version of the Photojournal Home Page graphic released in October 2007. This digital collage contains a highly stylized rendition of our solar system and points beyond. As this graphic was intended to be used as a navigation aid in searching for data within the Photojournal, certain artistic embellishments have been added (color, location, etc.). Several data sets from various planetary and astronomy missions were combined to create this image.
This illustration shows the approximate sizes of the planets relative to each other. Outward from the Sun, the planets are Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto. Jupiter's diameter is about 11 times that of the Earth's and the Sun's diameter is about 10 times Jupiter's. Pluto's diameter is slightly less than one-fifth of Earth's. The planets are not shown at the appropriate distance from the Sun.
Bild: The International Astronomical Union/Martin Kornmesser