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Thread: The Solar System: September, AD 15605

  1. #51
      töff is offline
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    If they orbit faster than Jupiter, how can they "congregate" opposite the sun or near L4 and L5?
    I think their aphelions congregate. I'm still a little fuzzy on it. It's definitely the coolest astronomical phenomenon I've heard of since the halo orbit.

  2. #52
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    A little OT, but I thought I'd share this link here for those who are interested - it was today's Astronomy Picture of the Day:

    http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap080711.html

    /end derail

    This is a great thread. I'm having fun reading up on the progress.
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  3. #53
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    Toff - Great thread. One - for following the progress on the map, and Two - for all the extraneous fluff. Nice.

  4. #54
      töff is offline
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    What can I say, I'm a fluffy kinda guy. Glad you like it so far! Free popcorn refills in the lobby.

    Meanwhile ...

    From my giant To Do list, I chose to map the Zodiac wedges next. We normally think of the Zodiac as 12 equal slices of the pie in the sky, but the official constellations themselves do not occupy equal arcs along the ecliptic. In fact, Ophiuchus (I knew about that one) and Orion (news to me!) also cross the ecliptic.

    Wanting nice lopsided unequal areas rather than a pie sliced equal 12 ways -- like I said about offsetting the Sun, and varying the spacing between orbits -- I could not pass up the chance to use the wonky distribution of the Zodiac. So I figured I would determine the actual arcs of sky that each Zodiac constellation occupies.

    Now, the thing is, the sky changes over time; I mean EVERYTHING in the sky changes over time. The Pole Star is only temporarily occupying a position very close to Earth's north axis. The whole galaxy is spinning. All the stars are moving. I can't just take a current constellation map and read it. I have to fire up Starry Night again and set it for 15605.09.15.1200. Which I did. And let me say, please, again, Starry Night is really awesome software. I finally got the durn thing to work in Vista (argh @ Microsoft) thanks to a recent update.

    So I put myself in the middle of the sun in 15605 and looked at the constellations (1st screenshot). I couldn't find, and didn't expect to really, any way for Starry Night to give me the exact boundaries of the Zodiacs where they cross the ecliptic. Constellations are oddball shapes, and who cares where they meet the ecliptic? I dunno, maybe Starry Night could tell me, in its vast "overkill" datafeeds. To be honest, I didn't even look. It was easy enough to zoom way-y-y in (2nd screenshot, showing Orion's occupation of the ecliptic) to show subdegree divisions in the ecliptic grid, whereby I was pretty easily able to read, to the nearest degree, the ecliptic longitudes where of the constellations' borders. And I'm rounding off to the nearest degree for this whole project, anyway. I don't need the precise minutes & seconds.

    And to double-check that I had 15605 data, and not 2008, I set it back to today, and looked at the constellations, and sure enough they were not where they will be in 15605. Yay, Starry Night!

    Ah, now I just realize ... Orion does not cross the ecliptic in 2008. But by 15605, it will. Hah, no wonder I didn't know about Orion! See, my cosmic awareness is intact! Infallible as the Pope! Faster than a speeding, oh nevermind. Besides, Cetus threw in another twist that I didn't know about: it crosses the ecliptic (in 15,605 AD, anyway) in the middle of Pisces. Cetus means Whale. If I missed a whole whale, I can't brag too loudly about cosmic awareness, can I. Whole whale. It's fun to type, anyway.

    Here's what I wound up with:

    343º-019º Leo
    019º-063º Virgo
    063º-088º Libra
    088º-093º Scorpio
    093º-111º Ophiuchus *non-Zodiac
    111º-145º Sagittarius (115º Galactic Center)
    145º-173º Capricorn
    173º-198º Aquarius
    198º-235º Pisces (212º-214º Cetus)
    235º-258º Aries
    258º-293º Taurus
    293º-295º Orion *non-Zodiac
    295º-323º Gemini
    323º-343º Cancer


    So now I'll map them out in Illustrator, as wonky wedges. Not sure how to do that Cetus interruption yet. Got a vague idea ...
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails The Solar System: September, AD 15605-zodiac-wedges.jpg   The Solar System: September, AD 15605-zodiac-orion.jpg  

  5. #55
      töff is offline
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    OK, so I sliced my pie into unequal wedges based on the longitudes of the constellations (screenshot 1). The gray is Cetus inside Pisces. The blue is direction of the Galactic Core.

    But, I suddenly realized, I got yet another monkey wrench here. I was kinda thinking to mark the constellations along the outside edge, like text around the rim of the pie plate, so to speak. But lookit my proposed crop of the orbits ... most of the edge of the pie plate is not visible! Only Cancer, Gemini, Orion, and Taurus display out at the edge (screenshot 1). Shoot. So, I have to brainstorm some way of marking the Zodiac wedges inside the orbits of some of the planets. Perhaps I can apply some partial transparency to the orbital tracks.

    Of course, I might want to have some kind of orbital track graphic to start with, before I make it transparent. So maybe next I will thunk up the beginnings of a graphic identity. Suddenly I realize I have a lot of object to place yet, too -- I can't transparencize (is that a word?) the orbital tracks if I need them for objects! So next I guess I will start placing objects ... THEN, I can worry about where the Zodiac names can go, between objects. Yeh. Um. Maybe.

    Oh. Duh. Why not mark the Zodiacs along the outside edge of the crop area? Hmm. Maybe.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails The Solar System: September, AD 15605-zodiac-spokes.jpg   The Solar System: September, AD 15605-zodiac-crops.jpg  

  6. #56
      töff is offline
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    A little progress ... placed the main Belt asteroids. Crowded! And these are just the realworld main Belt asteroids ... I still need realworld trojans and fictitious artificial objects.

    Also, I was just watching a cheesy astronomy show on TV, and I realize that the shading for the planets really ought to be based on the sun in the center. So much for the jaunty angle! But maybe I can tilt them a little bit into gibbous. That'll help.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails The Solar System: September, AD 15605-asteroid-crowd.jpg  
    Last edited by töff; 07-11-2008 at 08:28 PM.

  7. #57
      töff is offline
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    Dinking with the orbit tracks.

    What I had in mind was some old 1930's piece of pressed & enameled tin, like an old toy. Vaguely, I think Kevin Kline was playing with a vintage racehorse toy in Dave. Some old clunky thing like that, is what I want my map to look like. Medieval, too. Yeh, medieval early 20th century. You know.

    So I was dinking around in Photoshop ...
    1. Copied my tracks from Illustrator, pasted them into Photoshop @ 300 dpi ... big file!
    2. Added some noise, pixellated @ course dots, maybe I used my "worms" action on them too.
    3. Added some edging with a layer effect, and also some inside fading.
    4. The fading wasn't working on the small tracks, so I made a new layer for it. (suppressed in the marquee, for a before & after kinda thing)
    5. Now some dirt! Good old difference clouds!
    6. And make sure the dirt is only along the edge ... voila.

    Well, I might dink more. But it's getting there.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails The Solar System: September, AD 15605-orbit-track-graphics1.jpg   The Solar System: September, AD 15605-orbit-track-graphics2.jpg   The Solar System: September, AD 15605-orbit-track-graphics3.jpg  

  8. #58
      töff is offline
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    pix 4, 5, 6 ...
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails The Solar System: September, AD 15605-orbit-track-graphics4.jpg   The Solar System: September, AD 15605-orbit-track-graphics5.jpg   The Solar System: September, AD 15605-orbit-track-graphics6.jpg  

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  10. #60
      SeerBlue is offline
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    This thread, and the LHC one, have reawakened my sense of wonder at the "out there". Thanks toff and torstan.
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