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MESSENGER takes a family portrait of the solar system
elakdawalla
post Feb 18 2011, 07:33 PM
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Is this better?
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nprev
post Feb 18 2011, 07:40 PM
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Stick a fork in it; it's done! tongue.gif Perfect, Emily!


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ZLD
post Feb 18 2011, 09:51 PM
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That's a great comparison Emily; really puts both in perspective very nicely.
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ugordan
post Feb 18 2011, 10:33 PM
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Pretty cool mosaic and they get extra points from me for catching the Milky Way.


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ngunn
post Feb 18 2011, 10:46 PM
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What a great idea! But the orbit of Neptune looks a bit out of kilter in the lower diagram. Shouldn't it be fairly circular and concentric with the others?
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ugordan
post Feb 18 2011, 10:49 PM
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Nothing wrong with that. Voyager 1 didn't look at the solar system from an infinite distance so this perspective effect is normal. Unlike the MESSENGER graphic which shows the solar system from "above". It's the upper diagram that's technically meaningless.


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elakdawalla
post Feb 18 2011, 10:50 PM
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It's because of the perspective; it widens toward the viewer. Here's the view from the Solar System Simulator.


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ngunn
post Feb 18 2011, 11:05 PM
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OK, thanks. smile.gif

The (small) inclinations and eccentricities of the orbits must be conspiring with the perspective too. Simplistically I'd expect Saturn-Uranus-Neptune to be approximately evenly spaced on any radius but that's clearly not the case from this viewpoint, even allowing for the perspective.

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nprev
post Feb 18 2011, 11:17 PM
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The educational value of the poster is becoming rapidly evident from the discussion! wink.gif


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ngunn
post Feb 18 2011, 11:42 PM
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Yes. Clearly I must spend more time on the simulator before I'm allowed on the away team.
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nprev
post Feb 19 2011, 12:57 AM
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I'm with ya, Nigel! biggrin.gif Heck, the only way I know where I am at any given time is through sensing an acceleration of 9.8 m/sec on the soles of my cheap dolomite feet...

EDIT: Not to be a smartass, and I apologize if it came off that way at all. This poster stimulates discussion, and thus is inherently educational. smile.gif


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lyford
post Feb 19 2011, 03:37 AM
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That is very awesome Emily! I was just wishing someone would make that.... smile.gif


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"Zis is not nuts, zis is super-nuts!" Mathematician Richard Courant on viewing an Orion test
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nprev
post Feb 19 2011, 03:50 AM
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I actually never dreamed I'd see something similar in my lifetime.

We are quite lucky, you know... smile.gif...there will be many, many others after us to see such things, and in more detail, but we are the first.


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