PIA00545: Solar System Montage

Solar System Montage


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 image by Galileo,
  • the Mars image by Viking, and
  • the Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune images by Voyager.

Pluto is not shown as no spacecraft has yet visited it. The montage was created soon after Voyager 2's historic encounter with Neptune in August 1989 and thus takes the perspective of looking back from Neptune (in the foreground) toward the Earth. 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, with the exception of Neptune, which as a foreground object, is shown larger. PIA01341 is the same montage with Neptune shown more to scale. 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
  • Pluto 2,390 km

For more information on the Planets, a good place to start is the Planets section of the NASA Solar System Exploration Home Page .

Photojournal Note: In 2006 the International Astronomical Union (IA) reclassified Pluto as a dwarf planet. Pluto is no longer considered the ninth planet of our solar system.

Cataloging Keywords:

Name Value Additional Values
Target Earth, Jupiter, Mars, Mercury, Moon, Neptune, Pluto, Saturn, Sun, Uranus, Venus
System Earth, Jupiter, Mars, Neptune, Pluto, Saturn, Uranus, Venus
Target Type Earth Dwarf Planet, Planet, Satellite, Sun
Mission Galileo Magellan, Mariner, Viking, Voyager
Instrument Host Galileo Orbiter, Mariner 10, Voyager 2
Host Type Orbiter Flyby Spacecraft
Extra Keywords Color
Acquisition Date
Release Date 1997-01-15
Date in Caption
Image Credit NASA/JPL
Source photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA00545
Identifier PIA00545