Saturday, 5 July 2008

Stellar billiards for real

Thanks to The Bad Astronomer for pointing out this link:

Universe Sandbox - An Interactive Space Simulator

Be awe inspired but be warned, this is a real timewaster.

See what our solar system looks like:

Play with how gravity works. Turn it off, see how Newton was right. Quickly turn it back on and let the orbits settle down, see how Kepler was right before Newton. Bombard the solar system with dozens of planetary sized objects and watch them all miss and do nothing or fall into the Sun. Space is big, most objects are very very small.

Or do what I did, put a 100 solar mass black hole just outside the orbits of Eris and Sedna. Sit back and watch the fireworks.

After two loops of the black hole (Object 33) I noticed a little blurred streak emerging from the chaos:
Is this simulation trying to tell me something?

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