This gif was inspired by the story of Caroline Herschel.
Born in 1750, Caroline suffered from typhus and a mother who treated her as a servant. She eventually escaped the servant life and joined her older brother in England. William was a professional musician, and after middling success in music he turned his (and Caroline’s) attention to astronomy.
The hobby of astronomy turned into a profession for both of them, and Caroline became the first woman to receive a salary for her contributions to science. (discovering a whole lot of astronomical stuff along the way)
I came upon the story in the book linked below, which was a long and rich read.
Here’s the orbital period of our solar system’s 8 major planets (how long it takes each to travel around the sun). Their size is to scale and their speed is accurate relative to Earth’s. The repetition of each GIF is proportional to their orbital period. Mercury takes less than 3 months to zoom around Sol, Neptune takes nearly 165 years.
A waxing crescent Moon, brilliant Venus, and fainter Mars gathered in the fading twilight, hanging out above the western horizon just after sunset on planet Earth. Still glinting in sunlight, from low Earth orbit the International Space Station briefly joined the trio that evening. The station’s bright streak seems to leap from the Red Planet, moving toward darker skies at the top of the frame.