Buy a telescope with an equatorial mount.
Buy a slr camera or a webcam
Download a freeware program called starcalc from the internet- this program allows you to determine the positions of the stars, planets , moon at night. http://www.relex.ru/~zalex/main.htm
Set up the telescope and snap!!
The Sun contains 99.85% of all the matter in the Solar System. The planets, which condensed out of the same disk ofmaterial that formed the Sun, contain only 0.135% of the mass of the solar system.
Interstellar space – the space between the stars- contains next to nothing, however it is not completely empty- It containsgases mainly Hydrogen and tiny solid grains of interstellar dust. The density of the mix is about one thousand million,million, millionth of the density of air at sea level.
The solar system consists of one star (the sun), 9 planets, the moons which travel around these planets and a host of minor bodies- asteroids, comets, meteoroids, gas and dust.
The above picture shows the relative scale of the planets in the solar system
This picture shows the Sun and all nine planets of the solar system as seen by the space explorers.
The basic yard stick for measurement in the solar system is the astronomical unit- which is equal to the mean distance between the earth and the sun.
The innermost planet mercury is 0.39au.
The outermost planet Pluto is 39.48au. ( a hundred times farther away)
Inner 4 planets Mercury,Venus, Earth and Mars-like Earth are small dense worlds composed of rocks and metals.
Beyond the orbit of mars lies the main asteroid belt.
The outer planets 4 of which are Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune are giant planets rich in hydrogen and helium.
The outermost planet Pluto – a tiny world made of rock and ice.
The outer regions of the solar system consist of the Kuiper belt- a host of small icy bodies which orbit between 30-100au ( The newly discovered Sedna was found here- about the size of Pluto)
The Oort cloud a thin distribution of tiny icy bodies which extend to a distance of about a light year ( more than 50,000 au) – a quarter of the way to the nearest star.
If the sun were represented by a grapefruit 14cm in diameter, the earth would be a pinhead ( 1.25mm in diameter), at a distance of 15 metres.
Jupiter would be a small grape ( 1.4cm in diameter)
Distance from the sun au