Gravity Simulator
General >> Discussion >> Mercury transit today.

Message started by Tony on 11/07/06 at 23:41:19

Title: Mercury transit today.
Post by Tony on 11/07/06 at 23:41:19

I'm in San Francisco, so I get a front row view provided it doesn't rain.  Anyone else going to watch?

BTW, you can simulate the Mercury transit in Gravity Simulator.  But it's not as nice a planetarium software.

  • Open the Simulation Fullsystem.gsim
  • Delete all objects except the planets, Earth's moon, and the Sun.
  • Run the sim forward until today's date at a moderate time step (~256).
  • Use Autopilot to pause on today's date if you don't trust yourself to pause on time manually.
  • You can use Time Backwards if you shoot past it.
  • In the default overhead view, notice that Earth and Mercury the Sun form a straight line.
  • Switch to ecliptic view by pressing the [+] button under the vertical scroll bar on the right of the Gravity Simulator window.
  • Notice that Mercury crosses the ecliptic plane at the exact same time that it lined up with the Earth and Sun in the overhead view.

Only when Mercury lines up with the Earth and the Sun in the overhead view at the same time it crosses the ecliptic in the ecliptic view will a transit happen.

You can also view last year's Venus transit the same way.

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