Wednesday, May 10, 2017

[hoaettpp] The wanderers

Create a planetarium show in which the stars stay fixed and the planets and Sun move at accelerated speed through the fixed field of the stars.  This approximates taking a snapshot of the sky every sidereal day.  This has probably already been done.  Various options: planetary discs made bigger than reality (perhaps also scaled with distance), with tails to better see the path, the fixed background need not be the stars, it could be anything.  Perhaps recreate in virtual reality, because planetaria are expensive.  With VR, we could also magnify parallax and also depict the planets moving closer and farther away from the earth.

Consider using a modern ephemeris (e.g., JPL DE, VSOP87) to accurately model the locations of the planets.  Can the eye notice the effects of Jupiter?

If we make the approximation that all the planets lie on the same plane (ecliptic), then the location of a planet in the sky can be specified with just one number.  Plot that number versus time.

Incorporating distance essentially simulates a geocentric model of the solar system, since the observer (on simulated earth) seems not to move.

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