Types of Planets

    Small and Dwarf Planets

    There are currently five planets classified as dwarf planets: Ceres, Pluto, Makemake, Haumea and Eris. Except for Ceres, which lies in the main asteroid belt, these small planets are located in the Kuiper Belt. They’re considered dwarfs because they are massive, round, and orbit the Sun, but haven't cleared their orbital path.

    There are more planets than stars in our galaxy. The current count orbiting our star: eight.

    The inner, rocky planets are Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars. The outer planets are gas giants Jupiter and Saturn and ice giants Uranus and Neptune.

    Beyond Neptune, a newer class of smaller worlds called dwarf planets reign, including longtime favorite Pluto.

    Planet Lineup

    Real-Time, Interactive Solar System

    Real-Time, Real Data: Your Galactic Neighborhood

    This simulated view of our solar system runs on real data. The position of the planets, moons and spacecraft are shown where they are right now. This digital orrery (a model of the solar system) runs on a light, mobile-mobile friendly version of NASA's Eyes on the Solar System software.

    This snapshot focuses on active NASA missions and select ESA missions. Showcasing the entire operating international fleet is too much of a data wallop at the moment (but we are working on it!). Active international missions such as Japan's Akatsuki Venus Orbiter and ESA and Japan's Mercury-bound BepiColombo are not yet available.

    Use the HD button to upload higher resolution imagery of the planets. It may not work properly on older mobile devices. Have fun, and keep exploring.

    Related News