This Raspberry Pi Pico Solar System Display is Far From Orrery

Raspberry Pi
(Image credit: Dr2mod)

When it comes to Raspberry Pi projects, Dr2mod is no stranger. We previously covered his PS4 controller-operated robotic arm and SDR airplane monitor but today we’re monitoring things even farther away than airplanes. This Raspberry Pi Pico project displays the current position of planets in our solar system, a digital version of the classic mechanical orrery used to predict the position of planets in our solar system.

The idea was to create an independent device capable of displaying the solar system data in real-time with or without an internet connection. To make this possible, it requires an RTC module which the Pico checks to calculate the planetary locations.

desktop_solar_system_powered_by_raspberry_pi_pico from r/raspberry_pi

If you take a look at the demo video shared by Dr2mod, you’ll see eight planets moving about a designated path. If you look even closer, you’ll spot the former planet Pluto off to the side, helping the clock keep track of seconds.

The best Raspberry Pi projects are the ones you can create yourself and Dr2mod was more than willing to make the project open source for interested parties. Makers will need a few components to get this project off the ground including a Raspberry Pi Pico, a Precision DS3231 RTC Module and a Pico Display Pack from Pimoroni. Dr2mod 3D-printed a case to hold everything together but you don’t need it for the project to function—it does add a clean, finishing touch, however. The code is MicroPython-based and can be found on GitHub.

To see more of this project, visit the original thread shared to Reddit by Dr2mod and get a closer look at the bigger world we’re part of. 

Ash Hill
Freelance News and Features Writer

Ash Hill is a Freelance News and Features Writer with a wealth of experience in the hobby electronics, 3D printing and PCs. She manages the Pi projects of the month and much of our daily Raspberry Pi reporting while also finding the best coupons and deals on all tech.