Department of Energy Argonne National Laboratory Office of Science NEWTON's Homepage NEWTON's Homepage
NEWTON, Ask A Scientist!
NEWTON Home Page NEWTON Teachers Visit Our Archives Ask A Question How To Ask A Question Question of the Week Our Expert Scientists Volunteer at NEWTON! Frequently Asked Questions Referencing NEWTON About NEWTON About Ask A Scientist Education At Argonne Constellation Our Sun Resides
Name: Ed
Status: other
Grade: other
Location: NV
Country: N/A
Date: N/A

What constellation is our solar system in?


Constellations are really human inventions; our way of describing patterns in the night sky as seen from Earth. As such, the solar system is not really a part of any constellation since our place is the origin, the viewing point of all these patterns, constellations.

Greg (Roberto Gregorius)

The Solar System is in no constellation. However, due to the Earth's orbital motion around the Sun, the Sun travels through 13 constellations throughout the year. These are (from the northern Vernal Equinox, 21st March); Pisces, Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpius (its proper name), Ophiuchus, Sagittarius, Capricornus (again, its proper name), and finally, Aquarius.

The planets travel past these constellations as well, but at various speeds (their own orbital motions) and different temporary directions (S bends or 'looping the loop') caused by the Earth's own movement in relation to the planet concerned.

Howard Barnes.

Click here to return to the Astronomy Archives

NEWTON is an electronic community for Science, Math, and Computer Science K-12 Educators, sponsored and operated by Argonne National Laboratory's Educational Programs, Andrew Skipor, Ph.D., Head of Educational Programs.

For assistance with NEWTON contact a System Operator (, or at Argonne's Educational Programs

Educational Programs
Building 360
9700 S. Cass Ave.
Argonne, Illinois
60439-4845, USA
Update: June 2012
Weclome To Newton

Argonne National Laboratory