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Screenshot of Electric Orrery
Credit: The Schools' Observatory

An Orrery is a moving, mechanical model of the Solar System. It shows how all of the planets orbit around the Sun.

We have created an online version here, called the Electric Orrery. This tool will let you see where the planets are on any given day. You can see where they are today, where they were in the past, and where they will be in the future.

The Electric Orrery is aligned to the Ecliptic coordinate system. A line from the Earth to the Sun would point towards the right of the screen at the spring equinox in the Northern Hemisphere.

An Orrery is often shown with the planets orbiting the Sun in an anti-clockwise direction. This is only true if you are viewing the Solar System from above the north of the Earth. We have chosen to show a different view, from above the south of the Earth. This is why the planets move in a clockwise direction in the Electric Orrery.

Please note that this Electric Orrery is written in a computer language called JavaScript. It may not work if your internet browser is not set up to run JavaScript programmes.