Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Kepler Orrery


See, this is what happens when I started surfing around for Kepler stuff. I can't stop. I get so infused with the idea that our solar system is just one of billions -- not rare, not special, perhaps not even remotely unusual! And I get so excited just thinking about all the possible planets that might all house stunning arrays of civilizations... !

I wonder how we stack up? Maybe someday we will find out.

Above is a visual orrery, showing the relative positions and orbits of bodies in all the multiple-planet systems discovered by Kepler as February 2011. Orbits go through the entire mission (3.5 years at that particular point).

Hot colors to Cool colors (Red to yellow to green to cyan to blue to gray) are large planets to smaller planets, relative to the other planets in the system.

Here is another similar creation from the same youtube channel (user dfabrycky) but with the smaller Kepler findings:

This last one is not quite as musically whimsical, but a great deal of fun nonetheless to watch!

And for truly unique treat, definitely visit Simran's territory of the ART NET, where his aptly named "Kepler Orrery" generates music based on gravitational equations! In a fascinating visual and musical dance, his simulations move and swirl about undethe influence of their mutual gravity.

When bodies collide, they make music. Each body is assigned a melody and an instrument and plays musical notes at each collision of celestial bodies. Hours of fun! And also available for iTunes.