Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Where In The Heliosphere Are The Planets Today?

So, you're sitting at work in front of your computer and you've got time to kill. What do you do? What do you do? Here are some suggestions.

This (here) is a link to a page that runs a program for plotting the orbits of planets in the Heliosphere. It's pretty cool to play with. It's possible to plot orbits backwards and forwards in time.

Fourmilab has a more sophisticated version called "Solar System Live" at this webpage. (Click here) A really cool feature at the Fourmilab site is Terranova, a program that generates an image of a different imaginary Earth-like planet every day. The site is worth checking out just for that page. (Click here.)

JPL has its own "Solar System Simulator" located at this webpage. (Click here.) JPL's program can be used to show the relative positions of the planets at different dates. It also has images that show how certain planets look from various vantage points: for instance, the view of Saturn from Cassini on July 6, 2005. (Click here.) JPL also has downloadable maps of the planets on this webpage. (Click here.)

Finally, a really great and comprehensive site is NinePlanets.org run by Bill Arnett, a software engineer. (Click here.) It's billed as a multimedia guide to the Solar System and it lives up to that billing.

-tdr

Comments:
Thanks for the links to kill time at the office, love the one of the orbits.
 
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