Sunday, January 25, 2015

Spirograph Solar System Objects

I've been having fun making "spirograph" style images of solar system objects.

Yesterday I was working with 2D images like these of Jupiter and Earth:

So what I've done here is go over to the JPL Horizons website and get the X, Y, and Z vectors for the Earth and Jupiter.  Eleven years (about one Jupiter year) with lines connecting Jupiter and Earth every week.  The result is the images you see on a 2D plane.

Today I turned to 3D images and moved to the asteroid 357439 (2004 BL86), which will be passing by Earth tomorrow.  I still need to work with gnuplot a lot more to get the kinds of plots that I want, but here's what I've got sofar:

These are very beautiful and the variation is nearly endless.

Here are some others from yesterday:

Earth and 1 Ceres 11 years, 1 line per week

Earth and Mars 11 years, 1 line per week, z=0, x=0

Earth and Mars 11 years, 1 line per week, z=140, x=50

Earth and Mars 11 years, 1 line per week, z=140, x=120
I'm a bit obsessed.....

Here are 10 years (2015-2025) of orbits of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko and 357439 (2004 BL86) -- the asteroid possing Earth tomorrow.  Lines drawn between them once every seven days.  'x' and 'z' are the viewing angles in degrees.

x=0, z=0


x=90, z=0

x=90, z=120

x=150, z=150
Ok, one more.  This is the Jovian moons.  I've connected Io and Callisto, (red) and Europa and Ganymede (blue) using a radius of 1.1 million km.

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