This Augmented Reality (AR) enabled poster was developed by AstroReality to let you explore our Solar System in motion. When viewed in the AstroReality Explorer App, the Sun, planets, and asteroids of our solar system will pop out and begin their celestial progression. You can select each planet to get an interactive 3D experience of that world.
Exploring the Solar System is hard work. It is a big beautiful place, with a wide variety of planets and a lot of nothing in between. Any model of the Solar System must make tough choices on featuring the true scale of the system or the amazing worlds within. The AstroReality AR experience focuses on the planets that make up our system.
Exploring the Solar System is hard work. It is a big beautiful place, with a wide variety of plants and a lot of nothing in between. Any model of the Solar System must make tough choices on featuring the true scale of the system or the amazing worlds within. The AstroReality AR experience focuses on the planets that make up our system.
99.8% of our Solar System mass is in the Sun. All of the other planets, asteroids, comets and us are in the other 0.2%. Any model of the Sun would dwarf the rest of the solar system at scale. To explore these worlds on the model, we must enlarge them many times.
Even among the planets, we see a huge discrepancy. Jupiter is 11 times wider than Earth and 1300 times as large. The AstroReality Solar System AR experience scales these worlds to keep the order of the planet sizes while still allowing the planetary surface to be explorable.
Distances between planets are even harder to show together. Neptune is 30 times farther from the Sun than is the Earth. The AstroReality Solar System AR Experience scales these distances down so that we can enjoy the entire system in one view.
Sun. Most of our Solar System is located at the very center, inside our Sun. The Sun is so massive that its gravity causes the hydrogen to fuse together to form helium and give off the sunlight that warms the planets.
Inner Planets. The Inner Planets orbit close to the Sun is mostly made of rock and metal. The energy of the Sun ejected most of the water and gas from this part of the system, leaving only the atmospheres of Venus, Earth, and Mars and the oceans of Earth.
Mercury. The smallest of the 8 main planets, Mercury’s surface is marked by extensive cratering, little geologic activity and huge swings in day and nighttime temperatures.
Venus. Venus is nearly the size of Earth but has gone through a very different history. Venus never formed a moon to remove the gases that resulted in a crushingly thick and dense atmosphere that can just about melt rocks on the surface.
Earth. Home to every single form of life that has ever been discovered. Earth has the right mix of temperatures, geologic activity, and stability to host life on its surface for 4 billion years.
Mars. Much smaller than Earth, Mars would have looked a lot like our planet for the first 500 million years when rivers, oceans, and volcanoes created its surface. Then it cooled off, lost its atmosphere, and became a desert planet inhabited by robots.
Asteroid Belt. A planet that was torn apart by the gravity of Jupiter, the asteroid belt is a region of abundant rocks that range from microscopic to the nearly planet size worlds of Ceres and Vesta.
Outer Planets. Beyond the asteroid belt are the two gas giant and two ice giant outer planets. This is where much of the gas and ice that was blown from the inner solar system ended up creating giant planets and amazing moons.
Jupiter. The king of the planets, Jupiter is 2.5 times the mass of the rest of the non-Sun solar system. Its gas clouds are beautiful and dynamic and it hosts moons that range from the volcanic Io to the water world of Europa.
Saturn. Known for its gorgeous, but recently discovered to be temporary, rings, Saturn is the only planet that is lighter than water. Saturn has its own set of stunning moons, led by Titan with its thick methane atmosphere and unique methane lakes.
Uranus. Uranus begins a new part of the solar system, smaller and colder than the others before. This ice giant planet rotates on its side more dramatically than any other world.
Neptune. Neptune is the last of our main planets, cold, distant, yet with an exciting moon of Triton still waiting to be explored in depth.
Pluto and the Kuiper Belt. Beyond Neptune, we come to the region of dwarf planets, the largest of which is Pluto. These worlds are active and dynamic but are fundamentally different from the rest of the solar system. They are so cold that ice acts in ways that we are just beginning to understand.
Oort Cloud. At the edge of our solar system is the Oort Cloud. A vast and mostly empty space that contains a deep reservoir of comets that occasionally gets pulled on a route that will take them by the Sun and past the Earth.
NASA’s own Solar System site has a great set of interactive experiences, in-depth learning, fun facts, and beautiful media about the Solar System.