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We also re-introduced the ability to customize launch bodies: Hover over bodies in the Add panel then press a number key to assign the body to that launch slot. Posted by Eric Hilton in Astronomy. But, of course, we are also committed to incorporating and simulating as much science as we can. The basic idea here is that a larger body, like a moon in the case of a ring around a planet , or a planet in the case of rings around a star creates gaps, or resonances, as seen in the picture above. Whenever the two orbits take integer ratios of each other, we say the orbits are in resonance.

For example, if the moon takes 28 days to orbit, there is a distance that only takes 14 days to orbit. This would be the resonance two orbits for every one orbit of the moon. If there is a disk present, and there is material at that distance, then every other time the material in the disk orbits, the moon has gone the whole way around, and the disk material comes as close to the moon as it can get — basically they are in the same part of their respective orbits.

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For certain ratios of orbit periods, this little extra pull will clear the material out of that particular orbit. We calculate a handful of unstable resonances , , , , , and If you select the Sun and try to add rings, we find the planets that orbit the Sun, compute the resonances, and put gaps there, as pictured above. This feature includes the gaps when a ring is placed around an object.

But Universe Sandbox is a gravity simulator, and this is a gravitational process. In principle, the gaps would develop on their own if you let the simulation run long enough. You can also place your own rings by specifying the inner and outer boundaries of a single ring.

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I sure had fun coding it up. Read more about this upcoming version here: The New Universe Sandbox. Why is this? We understand the basics of it quite well, and for a lot of stars, our models do a really good job of matching up to measurements of real stars.

It is, however, very hard to do this right, for several reasons:.

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This means that a lot of the data are rough estimations. Basically, what is the relative fraction of elements in a star? How much iron is there, relative to hydrogen, etc? So we have to make assumptions about the way a star will age by looking at other, older stars. Similarly, we can guess what the sun will do, but it has slightly different properties of the stars we think it will look like. And this is where most of the action happens. So this is all based on physics calculations. Hertzsprung—Russell diagram in Universe Sandbox.

Since stellar evolution is so hard, we let the full-time, professional astronomers compute the models. Follow the links below to read more about stellar evolution and some of the terms used in this post. Posted by Dan Dixon in Astronomy. This impact kicked up more dust than expected and prevented the host spacecraft, Deep Impact , from getting a good photograph of the resulting crater.

Now more than 5 years later, another spacecraft, Stardust , has taken a photo of the impact site. Before impact is on the left. After impact is on the right. What is amazing is that humans impacted a comet, then flew by it again with another spacecraft years later to take a follow up photo. The Kepler space telescope , designed to find planets around other stars, has found an amazing little solar system.

The orbit of our Mercury the closest planet to our sun , would be just slightly inside the orbit of g. In Universe Sandbox you can turn on the Solar System grid to clearly see this comparison. The colors and textures are mostly guesses, but astronomers are quite certain of the sizes. The white mass on the left is the Kepler sun. Posted by Jenn Seiler in Astronomy 4 comments. First, gravitational waves are practically impervious to matter in their path. This means we can see into regions of space that are blocked to optical observatories, such as inside dense clouds of dust, the centers of galaxies, behind large or close bodies.

Second, this is an observation of the warping of space itself, meaning we can detect things that have mass but might not produce observable light, such as black holes, dense sources of dark matter if such were to exist , cosmic string breaks, etc. Third, gravitational waves fall off in amplitude much more slowly than light. This means that we can receive signals from very far away that we might not notice optically.

Alpha Posted by Jar in Astronomy 8 comments. Planet Nine The discovery of a hypothetical ninth planet in our solar system was announced on January 20th, by researchers at the California Institute of Technology.

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Posted by Jar in Astronomy 3 comments. Posted by Jar in Astronomy No comments. Posted by Jar in Astronomy 1 comment. Posted by Eric Hilton in Astronomy 4 comments. Adding realistic rings to the Sun produces several resonance gaps. Why do small stars not age past Jan 10th. Posted by Eric Hilton in Astronomy 2 comments. It is, however, very hard to do this right, for several reasons: 1.

Impacting a Comet Mar 4th. Posted by Dan Dixon in Astronomy 1 comment. Select the Launch tool looks like a crosshair and click on Jupiter to launch Earth at it. Keep clicking to launch more than one. Posted by Dan Dixon in Astronomy 6 comments. Recent comments Popular posts Archives Categories.

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I just can't wait it. BlueNeon: I am SO hyped for the full update. It all looks so smooth and pleasing.

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Keep up the good work Jar: Sorry, we don't have any estimates for when this will be available yet. We're not actively working Stuartgreen: I hope so too. Stuartgreen: When will we be getting atmospheric scattering? Cesare: I hope that tectonic plates will be simulated in the near future. Azmy: Suggestion: keep dark matter but not as separate particles but as "part" of the central black hole Here at ImaGeo I frequently feature images and write stories that consider Earth from a planetary perspective — remote sensing images of storms, for example, and articles examining how the global climate is changing and how our activities as humans are contributing.

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Among the first of these images is the one above, processed by Sophia Nasr, an astro-particle physicist working on dark matter. For her full bio, see the end of this post.

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The striking cerulean color is not at all false. It comes from scattering of sunlight, the same phenomenon that produces a blue sky here on Earth. On July 1, , Cassini became the first spacecraft ever to orbit Saturn. And today, the spacecraft has likely achieved another milestone: Using its foot-wide high-gain antenna as a shield, it probably has made the first ever dive between the rings and the giant gaseous planet itself.

EDT on Thursday, April The bright blob at the bottom-left of Earth is Antarctica.

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Other bright white areas are clouds. And Southeast Asia is at upper left. The lushly green region appears red because this is a false color image. Juno was heading away from the planet on its first On Oct.