SimulationAuthorDateDescription
Solar SystemTony06/03/2015 02:18:44 pmA view of out solar system's planets and Pluto from above the ecliptic.
Jovian moonsTony06/03/2015 02:49:18 pmAt least 62 moons orbit Jupiter. This simulation gives you a view from Saturn of Jupiter's system. The inner moons follow circular orbits around Jupiter interior to Io's orbit. They orbit in Jupiter's equatorial plane. The four Galilean moons are the most well-known. They are visible through binoculars. The Himalia group of moons orbits Jupiter at distances of around 11-12 million kilometers. The Ananke group of moons orbits Jupiter in a retrograde direction at a distance of about 21 million kilometers. The Carme group also orbits Jupiter in a retrograde direction from about 23 million kilometers. The Pasiphaë group contains Jupiter's most distant moons. Themisto and Carpo do not belong to any group. Carpo orbits Jupiter in a prograde direction at the inner edge of the Anake group. Themisto orbits just outside the orbit of the Galilean moons.
Lagrange Points06/04/2015 12:40:15 pmA Jupiter-mass planet orbits the Sun at 1 AU. Trojan asteroids occupy its Lagrange points. 10 asteroids are placed near its L4 point, and 10 more asteroids are placed near its L5 point. In this rotating frame, watch as these objects trace tadpole and horseshoe orbits.
2007 WD5Tony06/06/2015 02:58:00 pmAsteroid 2007 WD5 and 200 clones approach Mars. Watch from Mars' outer moon, Deimos, as Mars is struck by several of these clones.
Apophis ImpactTony06/07/2015 06:32:05 pmWith Earth's diameter exaggerated by a factor of 10, Apophis' 2029 near-miss becomes an impact. Watch the Earth from Apophis during the years 2008 until its ultimate fate on April 13, 2029
SpitzerTony06/08/2015 05:08:53 pmThe Spitzer Space Telescope in a rotating frame.
BennuTony06/08/2015 05:10:38 pmThe asteroid Bennu in a rotating frame.
2006 RH120Tony06/08/2015 05:14:35 pmThe asteroid 2006 RH120 in a rotating frame. This asteroid gets captured into Earth orbit where it stays for a year before escaping.
2009 BDTony06/08/2015 05:17:16 pmThe asteroid 2009 BD in a rotating frame.
2014 WX202Tony06/08/2015 05:18:42 pmThe asteroid 2014 WX202 in a rotating frame.
1991 VGTony06/08/2015 05:19:45 pmThe asteroid 1991 VG in a rotating frame.
2013 RZ53Tony06/08/2015 05:21:01 pmThe asteroid 2013 RZ53 in a rotating frame.
2014 WA366Tony06/08/2015 05:22:28 pmThe asteroid 2014 WA366 in a rotating frame.
2014 WU200Tony06/08/2015 05:23:34 pmThe asteroid 2014 WU200 in a rotating frame.
2015 JD3Tony06/08/2015 05:25:09 pmThe asteroid 2015 JD3 in a rotating frame.
2014 TWTony06/08/2015 05:26:07 pmThe asteroid 2014 TW in a rotating frame.
Moon BuilderTony06/09/2015 03:28:59 pm60 moonlets orbit the Earth. Watch them collide and form bigger moons.
Moon Builder 2Tony06/09/2015 03:32:57 pm60 moonlets orbit the Earth. Watch them collide and form bigger moons. This is the same as the previous simulation, except that you are watching from one of the moonlets.
California eclipse 204506/11/2015 08:02:55 amOn August 12, 2045, California will experience a solar eclipse. The eclipse will be total for the northern third of the state.
Earth Moon barycenterTony06/11/2015 10:43:00 amEarth and the Moon orbit a common barycenter as they orbit the Sun. In this simulation, Venus is also seen orbiting the Sun. The orbits are to scale, but the sizes of Earth, Moon, and Venus are exaggerated.
New_Horizons_Pluto_FlybyTony06/11/2015 06:46:59 pmIn this simulation, the New Horizons space craft cruises through the Pluto system on July 14, 2015, visiting Pluto and its moons, Hydra, Nix, Styx, and Kerberos.
PolydeucesTony06/14/2015 11:15:27 amPolydeuces is a recently-discovered moon of Saturn. It traces tadpole orbits around Dione's L5 point. Helene occupies Dione's L4 point. Polydeuces wanders further from its Lagrange point than any other known moon in the Saturn system. This simulation shows Dione, Helene, and Polydeuces in a rotating frame whose period matches the period of Dione. In this screen shot, Saturn is the yellow circle in the middle. Dione traces the light blue stationary orbit. Helene traces the purple orbit from the L4 point. Polydeuces traces the yellow orbit from the L5 point.
TethysTony06/14/2015 02:26:52 pmSaturn's moon, Tethys shares an orbit with two other moons. Telesto & Calypso are trapped in Tethys' Lagrange 4 & 5 points. This simulation shows Tethys, Telesto & Calypso in a rotating frame. The moons keep a consistent spacing between themselves.
2009 QY6Tony06/20/2015 09:14:11 amAsteroid 2009 QY6 is in a 3/-2 retrograde resonance with Saturn. A paper by M.H.M Morais and F. Namouni identifies this asteroid as well as several others in retrograde orbits with Jupiter
ChelyabinskTony06/20/2015 03:53:37 pmOn February 15, 2013, an asteroid impacted Earth in the region of Chelyabinsk, Russia. This simulation of the asteroid's orbit and impact is based on the research of Olga P. Popova, Peter Jenniskens and Vacheslav Emel'yanenko.
Jupiter_Venus_conjunctionTony06/20/2015 04:49:43 pmIn late June, 2015, Venus visits Jupiter's kingdom of moons as viewed from Earth.
2009 CQ5Tony06/23/2015 04:47:42 pm2009 CQ5 is in a 10:9 resonance with Earth. This simulation shows you 2009 CQ5 in a rotating frame that holds Earth stationary.
Pluto_LiveTony06/28/2015 02:57:08 pmWatch in real time as the New Horizons spacecraft makes a flyby of Pluto, Charon, Hydra, Nix, Styx and Kerberos. This simulation shows you Pluto's system as viewed from the New Horizons spacecraft.
marsRotaterTony07/05/2015 06:39:02 pmMars in a rotating frame. Import any object you want to see co-rotate with Mars.
67PChuryumovGerasimenkoTony07/06/2015 02:10:32 pmThis is a simulation of Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko. This comet is currently being visited by the European Space Agency's Rosetta spacecraft. Rosetta diployed a lander named Philae.
gsim2015070707/07/2015 01:36:27 pmGravity Simulator
orbitViewerTony07/07/2015 02:15:04 pmEnter the name of any asteroid to see a simulation of its orbit.
Solar_System_Barycenter07/07/2015 04:41:06 pmThe Sun is not anchored to the center of the solar system. It orbits the center of mass, also known as the barycenter, of the solar system. This simulation shows you how far the Sun can drift from the center of the solar system.
NeptuneTrojansTony07/29/2015 04:59:24 pmD. W. Gerdes, et al discovered two more Neptune trojan asteroids. 2014 QO4441 and 2014 QP441 have the same orbital period as Neptune, and reside in the region near Neptune's L4 point. This simulation is in a rotating frame that keeps Neptune stationary.
2006_BZ8Tony07/29/2015 06:19:02 pmM.H.M Morais and F. Namouni have identified asteroids in retrograde resonances. Asteroid 2006 BZ8 is in a 2:-5 retrograde resonance with Jupiter. This simulation is in a rotating frame that keeps Jupiter stationary.
2008_SO218Tony07/29/2015 06:23:18 pmM.H.M Morais and F. Namouni have identified asteroids in retrograde resonances. Asteroid 2008 SO218 is in a 1:-2 retrograde resonance with Jupiter. This simulation is in a rotating frame that keeps Jupiter stationary.
2009 QY6Tony07/29/2015 06:26:04 pmM.H.M Morais and F. Namouni have identified asteroids in retrograde resonances. Asteroid 2009 QY6 is in a 2:-3 retrograde resonance with Saturn. This simulation is in a rotating frame that keeps Saturn stationary.
First Uranian Trojan frankuitaalst08/01/2015 03:27:45 am2011 QF99 orbits in white , in rotating frame to Uranus
Europa_captureTony08/05/2015 07:44:57 pmIn this simulation, inspired by a question on the forum, several objects are placed in orbits very similar to Europa's orbit around Jupiter. Viewed in a rotating frame to keep Europa stationary, you can watch as Europa uses a ballistic capture to gain some temporary satellites. Notice that the satellites get captured through Europa's Lagrange 1 (L1) and Lagrange 2 (L2) points. Following capture, they either collide with Europa, or complete a few orbits and escape.
2008 HU4Tony08/22/2015 01:20:21 pmAttempting to set up Asteroid 2008 HU4 for a low delta-v ballistic capture in 2072.
2015 QM3Tony08/25/2015 03:38:16 pmPhil Plait recently blogged about asteroid 2015 QM3. It crosses the orbits of Mercury, Venus and Earth. Here is a simulation of its orbit.
AfterPlutoTony08/30/2015 11:13:22 amAfter visiting Pluto, the New Horizons spacecraft will continue on to 2014 MU69. This is a simulation of New Horizon's journey.
OrcusTony08/30/2015 06:08:11 pmThis simulation shows Pluto and Orcus in a rotating frame that holds Neptune stationary. It illustrates one of the reasons Orcus is sometimes referred to as the anti-Pluto.
2007OR10Tony09/03/2015 06:55:36 pmA simulation of the 2007 OR10 's tall orbit.
BangkokTony09/09/2015 08:59:57 pmThe orbit of the Bangkok meteor prior to impact. This should only be considered a rough approximation.
2015 SO2Tony09/22/2015 05:21:40 pmA simulation of the orbit of asteroid 2015 SO2
2015 SO2 RF2Tony09/22/2015 05:25:22 pmA simulation of asteroid 2015 SO2 in a rotating frame that keeps Earth stationary.
Lunar_TrojanTony10/14/2015 07:06:55 pmThe Moon's Lagrange 4 & 5 points are perturbed by the Sun. Using data created by John E. Chambers for his Mercury integrator, here is a simulation of a Lunar Trojan asteroid.
hildas400Tony10/18/2015 12:12:21 pmThis simulation shows 400 Hildas asteroids orbiting the Sun in a 3:2 resonance with Jupiter. Jupiter is held stationary in this rotating frame of reference.
hildas400bTony10/18/2015 12:20:30 pmThis simulation shows 400 Hildas asteroids orbiting the Sun in a 3:2 resonance with Jupiter. This view is from a distant vantage point, showing what the light curve of the Sun might look like to a distant observer.
Propogate_to_2045Tony10/21/2015 09:38:35 pmAccording to NASA's eclipse page, there will be a total solar eclipse of the Sun on August 12, 2045. It will be total in Redding, CA at 16:17. To demonstrate the speed of Gravity Simulator, this simulation is started using JPL's solar system data for July, 2015. Depending on the speed of your computer, it takes about 5 seconds to propagate all the solar system's planets and Earth's moon from 2015 to 2045 and accurately reproduce this eclipse as viewed from Redding. Press "P" to begin the simulation.
outermost_moonsTony10/28/2015 08:30:01 pmWhat is the farthest a moon can orbit the Earth? In this simulation, the real moon is the color teal. It is massless so it won't affect the simulation. 60 green prograde moons and 60 red retrograde moons orbit the Earth. Moons that are not stable will either collide with Earth, or exit Earth's orbit through the Earth / Sun L1 or L2 points
2015 TB145 Close Approach to Earthfrankuitaalst11/02/2015 06:51:48 amSimulation shows the view from the asteroid as it approaches the Earth Moon system in oct 2015
2015 TB145 frankuitaalst11/02/2015 06:57:46 amSimulation of 2015 TB145
Jupiter Trojans with Moonsfrankuitaalst 11/07/2015 04:17:01 amSim illustrates the possibility to have around a 1.43 SMass Star 2 Super Jupiter sized planets ( 5 Jm each ) at 6AU in coorbital orbit . Moreover one of the Jovians has 4 Eerth sized moons around it .
Jupiter TrojanFrankuitaalst11/07/2015 08:51:36 amSimulation of 2 Jupiter sized planets in coorbital motion around a sun of 1.43 Ms. Both have 5 MJ and are at 6AU . One of them alos has 7 Earth sized moons. System is stable
MoonOccultsVenus2015Tony12/06/2015 01:50:15 pmThe Moon occults Venus on the morning of December 7, 2015 at just before 8 AM as seen from San Francisco
Moon_Occults_AldebaranTony12/13/2015 06:35:49 pmTwas the night before the night before Christmas in 2015. I can't see this from San Francisco, but European visitors will be treated to a nearly-full moon occulting the "eye of the bull" about 1/2 hour after sunset.
halleyTony01/12/2016 10:04:01 pmHalley, being a comet is often outgassing when close to the Sun. This affects its trajectory. But more significantly, its trajectory is affected by perturbations on its eccentric orbit by the planets. This simulation considers only those perturbations to explain why Halley's comet does not return on an exactly regular basis.
PlanetNineTony01/21/2016 07:50:39 pmKonstantin Batygin and Michael E. Brown suggest that a 9th planet with as much mass as 10 Earths may be perturbing the orbits of Sedna, 2007 TG22, 2013 RF98, 2004 VN112, 2012 VP113, 2010 GB174
findPlanet9Tony01/21/2016 08:34:53 pmThis view gives you an idea of how slowly this object would move against the stars. I've started it out near perihelion, but it could be anywhere in its orbit. Konstantin Batygin and Michael E. Brown suggest that a 9th planet with as much mass as 10 Earths may be perturbing the orbits of Sedna, 2007 TG22, 2013 RF98, 2004 VN112, 2012 VP113, 2010 GB174
mercuryTransit2016Tony02/01/2016 10:51:00 amOn May 9,2016 Mercury will transit the Sun. Choose your city from the drop down list to watch a simulation from your city.
i2p0Tony02/13/2016 07:03:54 pmAfter 30 millions years, an initially flat (i = 0-2 degrees) but eccentric disk of planets trades eccentricity for inclination, pulling their perihelia out of Neptune's grasp.
plutoidsTony04/09/2016 11:21:18 amPlutoids, also known as ice dwarfs, are trans-neptunian objects with enough mass to achieve hydrostatic equilibrium. This simulation contains Pluto, Orcus, Eris, Sedna, Haumea, Quaoar, Makemake, and 2007 OR10.
2017eclipseTony04/11/2016 10:32:45 pm2017 total solar eclipse as viewed from Nashville, TN
venusOccultsMercuryTony05/09/2016 04:25:27 pmSimilar to the simulation Larry Bogan made using Project Pluto, this animation shows Venus passing in front of Mercury on May 28, 1737. The timing in the two simulations is a few minutes off. My simulation does not take into account the precession of the Earth. This may put London in a slightly different position on the globe, and explain the difference.
hektorTony05/23/2016 05:05:50 pmThe asteroid Hektor as seen in a rotating frame that holds Jupiter's average position stationary. Hektor is in the "Greek" camp of Jupiter's Trojan asteroids, spending its time in the vicinity of Jupiter's L4 point.
2016 HO3tony06/16/2016 10:48:31 am2016 HO3 is possibly a quasi satellite of Earth.
2016H06 with 2002AA29frankuitaalst06/18/2016 09:20:59 amadded the coorbital 2002 AA29 to the previoeus sim
junoArrivingtony06/25/2016 02:05:16 pmThe Juno Spacecraft approaches the Jupiter System.
1994 JR1tony06/26/2016 10:44:40 amLike Pluto, 1994 JR1 is in a 2:3 resonance with Neptune. Unlike Pluto, 1994 JR1 never crosses inside Neptune's orbit. Its orbit is not eccentric enough.
junoApproachingtony06/26/2016 10:52:07 pmJuno passes the orbit of Themisto on its way to Jupiter.
2016HC306/28/2016 09:56:51 am
HIP4137806/28/2016 07:55:25 pm5 planets have been discovered around the star HIP 41378 using the transit method. Watch as they orbit edge-on as seen from Earth.
2016NATony07/01/2016 06:48:32 pmNewly-discovered 2016 NA makes a close pass of the Earth / Moon system
aphelion07/03/2016 07:07:09 pmWatch the size of the Sun change in the sky as Earth cycles from perihelion to aphelion.
anti_Earthtony07/09/2016 10:40:57 amIs there a planet on the other side of the Sun, in Earth's orbit? How would we see it? Such a planet could exist for a few years, but its orbit would not be stable. It would quickly fall into a tadpole orbit or a horseshoe orbit, where it would make repeated scary close-passes to the real Earth every few centuries.
2015 RR245tony07/11/2016 12:16:45 pmNewly-discovered 2015 RR245 is a dwarf planet roughly 700 km in diameter.
brightTNOstony07/11/2016 12:38:57 pmSome of the brighest TNOs including newly-discovered 2015 RR245
2015RR245rftony07/11/2016 02:24:05 pmDwarf planet 2015 RR245 in a rotating frame shows its current nominal orbit is in a 2:9 resonance with Neptune.
NH targets07/24/2016 12:59:20 am
2016 CL264Tony07/26/2016 08:20:44 pmDiscovered in February when it was at about the distance of Mars, 2016 CL264 is about to make a close approach to Earth of about 8.7 million km.
2003 UA414Tony07/27/2016 01:40:58 am2003 UA414 and 2015 RR245 are the only known objects in a 2:9 resonance with Neptune.
2003 UA414Tony07/27/2016 01:44:17 am2003 UA414 and 2015 RR245 are the only known objects in a 2:9 resonance with Neptune.
2003 UA414Tony07/27/2016 01:54:54 am2003 UA414 and 2015 RR245 are the only known objects in a 2:9 resonance with Neptune.
2003 UA414Tony07/27/2016 02:03:35 am2003 UA414 and 2015 RR245 are the only objects know to be in a 2:9 resonance with Neptune.
2003 UA414Tony07/27/2016 02:14:34 am
2003 UA414Tony07/27/2016 02:15:08 am
2003 UA414Tony07/27/2016 02:17:25 am
2003 UA414Tony07/27/2016 02:22:18 am
2003 UA414Tony07/27/2016 04:59:34 pm2003 UA414 is in a 2:9 resonance with Neptune.
4446_carolynTony08/02/2016 05:24:59 pmAsteroid 4446 Carolyn, named after Carolyn Shoemaker is in a 3:2 resonance with Jupiter.
rocknrollTony08/05/2016 10:02:05 amRock n' Roll asteroids. Wikipedia has compiled a list of asteroids named after popular music artists. Here are their orbits.
rocknrollTony08/05/2016 10:02:09 amRock n' Roll asteroids. Wikipedia has compiled a list of asteroids named after popular music artists. Here are their orbits.
EarthsQuasisAndHorseshoesTony08/05/2016 10:21:14 amHere is a simulation of Earth's known horseshoe and quasi satellites.
NikuTony08/12/2016 05:04:13 pm"Niku" (purple) and 2008 KV42 (yellow) are Trans-Neptunian objects with very steep inclinations.
JupiterVenusTony08/26/2016 12:41:13 pmAugust 28 conjunction of Venus and Jupiter
2016 QA2Tony08/27/2016 08:50:18 pmNewly-discovered 2016 QA2 makes a close pass
2016 QA2 earthviewTony08/27/2016 09:56:57 pmAnother view of 2016 QA2, this one from the surface of Earth. The view is from San Francisco. Because this asteroid is so close, you can see the parallax created by the spinning Earth. The size of the asteroid is exaggerated!
2016approachesTony08/28/2016 12:11:20 amHere is a simulation of asteroids that passed within the Moon's orbit in 2016 as of August 28.
2016approachesTony08/28/2016 12:14:29 amHere is a simulation of asteroids that passed within the Moon's orbit in 2016 as of August 28.
farTony08/29/2016 04:42:59 pmAll known objects with Aphelia > 600 AU
farTony08/29/2016 04:44:04 pmAll known objects with Aphelia > 600 AU
coihaiqueTony09/04/2016 12:20:00 pmAn annular eclipse passes through South America and Africa on February 26, 2017
coihaiqueTony09/04/2016 12:21:51 pmAn annular eclipse passes through South America and Africa on February 26, 2017
coihaiquetony09/04/2016 12:29:40 pmAn annular eclipse passes through South America and Africa on February 26, 2017
coihaiquetony09/04/2016 12:29:57 pmAn annular eclipse passes through South America and Africa on February 26, 2017
coihaiquetony09/04/2016 12:30:18 pmAn annular eclipse passes through South America and Africa on February 26, 2017
coihaiquetony09/04/2016 12:30:38 pmAn annular eclipse passes through South America and Africa on February 26, 2017
e201709/04/2016 09:48:17 pmThe "Great American Eclipse" will occur on August 21, 2017. It will cross America, coast-to-coast. Here is a synchronized simulated view from Salem Oregon on the west coast and Charleston, South Carolina on the east coast.
OSISRIS_RExTony09/08/2016 07:10:23 amA simulation of the spacecraft OSIRIS REx as it departs Earth for Bennu.
orexTony09/14/2016 09:35:12 pmOSIRIS-REx full mission from launch in September 2016 to Earth gravity return, to Bennu, and to Earth return.
orexTony09/14/2016 09:35:44 pmOSIRIS-REx full mission from launch in September 2016 to Earth gravity return, to Bennu, and to Earth return.
orexTony09/14/2016 09:36:24 pmOSIRIS-REx full mission from launch in September 2016 to Earth gravity return, to Bennu, and to Earth return.
orexTony09/14/2016 09:36:40 pmOSIRIS-REx full mission from launch in September 2016 to Earth gravity return, to Bennu, and to Earth return.
orexTony09/14/2016 09:37:13 pmOSIRIS-REx full mission from launch in September 2016 to Earth gravity return, to Bennu, and to Earth return.
orexTony09/14/2016 09:41:45 pmOSIRIS-REx full mission from September 2016 launch, to Bennu rendezvous, to Earth return.
orexTony09/14/2016 09:42:08 pmOSIRIS-REx full mission from September 2016 launch, to Bennu rendezvous, to Earth return.
orexTony09/14/2016 09:42:39 pmOSIRIS-REx full mission from September 2016 launch, to Bennu rendezvous, to Earth return.
orexTony09/14/2016 09:42:43 pmOSIRIS-REx full mission from September 2016 launch, to Bennu rendezvous, to Earth return.
orexTony09/14/2016 09:43:11 pmOSIRIS-REx full mission from September 2016 launch, to Bennu rendezvous, to Earth return.
orexTony09/14/2016 09:43:15 pmOSIRIS-REx full mission from September 2016 launch, to Bennu rendezvous, to Earth return.
orexTony09/14/2016 09:43:33 pmOSIRIS-REx full mission from September 2016 launch, to Bennu rendezvous, to Earth return.
orexRotatingTony09/14/2016 09:45:20 pmOSIRIS-REx full mission from September 2016 launch, to Bennu rendezvous, to Earth return. Earth is held still in a rotating frame.
orexRotatingTony09/14/2016 09:45:58 pmOSIRIS-REx full mission from September 2016 launch, to Bennu rendezvous, to Earth return. Earth is held still in a rotating frame.
NeptuneTrojansTony09/21/2016 07:00:29 pmHsing Wen Lin et. al. have used the Pan Starrs survey to identify 5 more trojans of Neptune, bringing the total number of confirmed Neptune trojans to 17.
2004PB112Tony09/21/2016 08:00:31 pm2004 PB112 is in a 4:27 mean motion resonance with Neptune.
betweenEarthAndMoonTony09/22/2016 07:02:23 pmAll the planets would barely fit between the Earth and the Moon, if the Moon were at apogee. 25 minutes later, they would all be part of Jupiter.
voyager2NeptuneTony09/22/2016 08:06:37 pmVoyager 2 visits Neptune in August 1989. Make sure to run the simulation through the end of August to see a crescent Triton pass in front of crescent Neptune.
reach09/25/2016 01:18:15 pmAccording to formulas found in Jones et. al. http://arxiv.org/ftp/astro-ph/papers/0603/0603200.pdf Earth should destabilize a region from about 0.95 to 1.05 AU. This simulation puts 4 objects near the borders of this region.
09/29/2016 09:42:11 pm
2014UZ224Tony10/11/2016 07:11:11 am2014 UZ224 is the 2nd farthest known object.
2015 TC25tony12/01/2016 09:37:07 am2015 TC25, the smallest-known asteroid passes through the Earth-Moon system.
ssBarycenterTony12/02/2016 01:00:42 pmThe Sun orbits the barycenter of the solar system. Try deleting the planets to see their their influence disappear.
ssBarycenterTony12/02/2016 01:04:33 pmThe Sun orbits the barycenter of the solar system. Try deleting the planets to see their their influence disappear.
JupiterTrojansAndHildasTony12/03/2016 12:16:11 pmA simulation of some of Jupiter's resonant asteroids: 1:1 Greeks (green), 1:1 Trojans (red), 3:2 Hildas (yellow)
JupiterTrojansAndHildasTony12/03/2016 12:17:09 pmA simulation of some of Jupiter's resonant asteroids: 1:1 Greeks (green), 1:1 Trojans (red), 3:2 Hildas (yellow)
tessTony12/14/2016 12:25:31 pmThe transiting exosolar survey satellite (TESS) will be launched in about a year. It will follow a P/2 orbit. It will be in a 2:1 resonance with Earth's Moon.
asteroids 201701/14/2017 01:32:09 pmThe major asteroids in 2017
more asteroids 201701/15/2017 01:00:21 pm
2017 BXTony01/21/2017 06:13:03 pm2017 BX will fly by Earth at 0.7 Lunar Distance on January 25, 2017
2017 BXTony01/21/2017 06:21:56 pm2017 BX will fly by Earth at 0.7 Lunar Distance on January 25, 2017
upsfx01/25/2017 02:33:27 am
2014 BH30Tony01/29/2017 11:55:02 am2014 BH30 makes a close approach to Earth of 51777 km (~45400 km altitude) on Januar 30 at 04:49:57 UTC.
2014 BH30_bTony01/29/2017 12:00:08 pm2014 BH30 makes a close approach to Earth of 51777 km (~45400 km altitude) on Januar 30 at 04:49:57 UTC. Here is a view from San Francisco.
2017 BS3202/02/2017 05:06:07 pm2017 BS32 comes within a lunar distance of Earth on February 2, 2017. Adjust the target and camera to watch this asteroid fly through Earth's umbra a few hours before closest approach.
2017 BQ6Tony02/03/2017 04:26:00 pmWith a diameter of 200 meters, newly-discovered 2017 BQ6 is large. It will brighten to about magnitude 15 as it passes 6.5 Lunar Distances from Earth on February 7. Here is a view of its approach from Mount Teide in the Canary Islands.
LunarParallaxTony02/04/2017 11:14:16 amThe Moon does not travel against the background stars in a straight line unless you're at the North or South Pole. The vertical movement of any location on Earth due to Earth's spin causes the Moon to trace a sinusoidal path. Try adjusting the Latitude to see how it affects this apparant path.
NewHorizonsTo2014MU69Tony02/04/2017 02:12:42 pmNew Horizons is set to visit KBO 2014 MU69 on New Year's Day 2019.
2010 TK7Tony02/08/2017 05:42:21 pm2010 TK7 is an Earth Trojan asteroid.
trappist1Tony02/22/2017 03:39:24 pmThe star TRAPPIST-1 has a family of seven planets that orbit very close to the star. For scale, a massless Mercury has been added to the system.
ssBarycenterWithPlanet9Tony03/14/2017 01:13:03 pmThe barycenter of the solar system if Planet 9 is found to exist.
geostationaryTony03/19/2017 12:49:01 pmA geostationary satellite orbits above Earth's Equator with a period of 23h 56 minutes.
2017FSTony03/19/2017 12:57:19 pmAsteroid 2017 FS passes a quarter of a lunar distance away on March 19, 2017.
2017 FN1Tony03/21/2017 07:39:27 am2017 FN1 passes within a lunar distance on March 20, 2017
201_3_20Tony03/21/2017 09:39:30 am2017 FN1, 2017 FM1 and 2017 FS pass within a lunar distance on March 19-20, 2017
2015 BZ509Tony03/30/2017 09:48:35 amAsteroid 2015 BZ509 orbits the Sun in a retrograde direction. It is also in resonance with Jupiter.
JupiterRetrogradeResonantAsteroidsTony03/30/2017 05:44:06 pmAsteroids 2015 BZ509, 2006 BZ8, and 2008 SO218, are in retrograde resonant orbits with Jupiter. 2015 BZ509 is co-orbital (-1:1), while 2006 BZ8 is in a 2:-5 resonance, and 2008 SO218 is in a 1:-2 resonance.
SaturnRetrogradeResonantAsteroidsTony03/30/2017 05:48:15 pmAsteroids 2009 QY6 is in a 2:-3 resonance with Saturn. Its orbit is retrograde.
2013 SY99Tony04/06/2017 11:27:25 amA newly-discovered TNO, 2013 SY99 has an orbit that takes it further than Sedna or 2012 VP113.
planet9TNOsTony04/14/2017 10:11:36 amTen objects whose orbits seem to suggest the presence of Planet 9.
eclipseSalem04/15/2017 02:59:07 pmAugust 21, 2017 Total solar eclipse as seen from Salem, Oregon.
p9WithMassTony04/18/2017 10:39:23 amThis simulation shows the orbit of Planet 9 (light blue), and the TNOs (green) whose orbits suggest the presence of Planet 9.
SunFromAlphaCenTony04/22/2017 08:37:01 amThe orbits of the farthest-known Trans-Neptunian Objects are so large, that if traced on the sky, they would be visible to the naked eye from Alpha Centauri, where our solar system would be in the constellation Cassiopeia.
hyperbolicSpacecraftTony04/27/2017 06:28:09 pmOur five hyperbolic spacecraft speed away exit the solar system.
apophisTony05/03/2017 07:13:33 pmA simulation of Apophis' April 13, 2029 encounter with Earth. Visible in this simulation are the Moon, and a geostationary satellite. Apophis will come within the ring of geostationary satellites.
2017 HT2Tony05/11/2017 06:53:12 pmSimulation of a large Earth-crossing asteroid.
IoEuropaShadowTransitsTony05/11/2017 08:39:05 pm2017 Io / Europa Shadow Transit Season. Io and Europa's will simultaneously cross the Sun a few times over a few days: May 12, 15, 19, 22. That means that viewed from the Sun, they will cross in front of Jupiter's disk. As viewed from Earth, they cross at different times.
eclipseRedding2012Tony05/20/2017 10:07:49 amThe 2012 annular eclipse as seen from Redding, California.
RhoLeonisTony05/31/2017 02:14:15 pmThe Moon occults Rho Leonis on the evening of May 31, 2017 for most of the United States.
RhoLeonis2Tony05/31/2017 02:15:25 pmThe Moon occults Rho Leonis on the evening of May 31, 2017 for most of the United States.
joshTony06/21/2017 09:36:03 pmTNOs that cast doubt on the existance of Planet 9.
2012 TC4Tony06/25/2017 08:48:17 pm2012 TC4, new June 15 MPL solution (purple) vs. JPL Horizons Apr 10 solution (cyan). The Moon and a geostationary satellite are included in this simulation.
2005 POTony06/26/2017 03:42:32 pm2005 PO is in a 5:7 resonance with Earth.
2004 BE11Tony06/26/2017 03:48:02 pmAsteroid 2004 BE11 is in a 5:7 resonance with Earth, and will remain so until a close encounter with Mars in the year 3520.
eclipseNotEveryMonthTony07/22/2017 11:58:47 amWe don't have an eclipse every month because the new Moon usually travels below or above the Sun from our vantage. Here's the view from Nashville, Tennessee, as if you were on a see-through Earth with no atmosphere. The wavy motion is caused by Nashville's up/down motion due to its latitude and the tilt of the Earth.
2017 OO1Tony07/25/2017 04:25:26 pm2017 OO1 is an asteroid that passed Earth on July 21, 2017 at a distance of about 1/3 that of the Moon. At 30 - 50 meters, this asteroid is relatively large for such a close encounter. Watch how it gets its orbit bent by Earth's gravity. The Moon and a geostationary satellite are included in this simulation.
2017 OO1bTony07/25/2017 04:40:05 pmWatch how 2017 OO1's orbit changes after its Earth encounter on July 21, 2017.
2012 TC4dTony07/29/2017 10:47:42 amA view from 2012 TC4 looking at Earth as it approaches for its October 2017 close pass.
2012 TC4dTony07/29/2017 10:48:58 amA view from 2012 TC4 looking at Earth as it approaches for its October 2017 close pass.
2017 MZ4Tony08/02/2017 12:39:42 pmNewly-discovered 2017 MZ4 has a comet-like orbit.
2012 TC4_Aug6solutionsTony08/06/2017 09:25:04 am2012 TC4 has been recovered. Its nominal close distance is now 50182 km on October 12, 5:42:06 at 7.6459 according to JPL Horizons. This simulation contains JPL's new solution vs. MPL's new solutions as of August 6, 2017. Each has an epoch of September 4, 2017. NEODyS's solution is identical to MPL's except for roundoff error. MPL gives more digits.
2012TC4_approachesTony08/06/2017 11:34:57 amA view from San Francisco as 2012 TC4 approaches Earth. Notice the parallax caused by the spinning Earth as it gets close. The asteroid's size is exaggerated in this simulation.
schatzTony08/07/2017 02:33:30 pm1998 TN33 is named after NSTA press author Dennis Schatz.
C2017_O108/13/2017 01:15:50 pmComet C/2017 O1 is a long-period comet that is currently visiting the inner solar system.
SunMoonSizeTony08/15/2017 05:03:40 pmHere are the relative sizes of the Sun and Moon over time. Note how in January the Moon can't quite cover the Sun. This view is from Geocenter.
FlorenceTony08/27/2017 12:01:24 pmFlorence is relatively large for a near-Earth asteroid. It will pass Earth on September 1, 2017.
florence2Tony08/31/2017 04:35:21 pmA view of asteroid Florence from San Francisco's sky. Tonight it is at max brightness. Tomorrow it makes its closest approach.
nikuAndDracTony09/03/2017 12:47:02 pmNiku (purple) and Drac (yellow) have tall retrograde orbits.
nikuAndDracTony09/03/2017 12:47:11 pmNiku (purple) and Drac (yellow) have tall retrograde orbits.
2012 TC4_Aug31_solutionTony09/09/2017 02:11:04 pmAsteroid 2012 TC4 now has an orbital position code of 0, meaning following an August 31 viewing, its orbit is now very well known. It will pass 43840 km above Earth's surface on Oct 12, 2017 05:42:11 UTC with a speed of 7.645 km/s. Earth's gravity will bend its orbit. The Moon and a geosynchronous satellite are included in this simulation.
NHasteroidsTony09/10/2017 03:34:41 pmAsteroids named after people on the New Horizons team.
2017 FW17Alessadro Odasso09/17/2017 12:01:35 pmThe simulation is based on the nominal parameters of asteroid 2017 FW17 available on 17.Sep.2017 This is the "moment" when the object entered the solar system about 170K years ago The uncertainty is still very high but the simulation shows that the object might be an old comet. This agrees with another sinulation where 100 clones were generated and 47 out 100 clones appeared to have a cometary origin.
2010 JO179Tony09/19/2017 05:06:50 pm2010 JO179 is in a 21:5 resonance with Neptune.
2017SR2Tony09/20/2017 06:30:22 pm2017 SR2 passes about twice as far as our geostationary satellites on September 20, 2017 20:28:54 UTC. Distance to Earth's center: 93184 km Speed at closest approach: 9.989 km/s The Moon and a geostationary satellite are included for scale.
3_asteroids_in_1_week09/20/2017 07:06:43 pmViewed from the Moon
2017 RO1609/24/2017 01:14:29 pm2017 RO16 will have its aphelion lowered by its September 25, 2017 Earth encounter at a distance of just under 5 LD. This will shorten its period and make future close approaches more likely.
NHasteroids09/25/2017 06:14:29 pm
2017asteroids9_27Tony09/27/2017 05:09:21 pm2012 TC4 will be the 33rd known asteroid to pass closer than 1 Lunar distance this year. This simulation contails all 33 asteroids. The Moon and a geostationary satellite are included too.
2017 SL16Tony09/28/2017 09:30:07 pmNewly-discovered 2017 SL16 may be in a horseshoe orbit. At the moment, condition code 6, with 3 day observation span, so hard to say.
moonOct2017Tony09/29/2017 09:30:19 amThe Moon's path across the sky in October, 2017 as viewed from Earth's center.
2017SX17Tony09/29/2017 05:53:32 pm2017 SX17 will get its path bent by Earth's gravity on October 2, 2017. A geostationary satellite and the Moon are included in this simulation.
2017SX17bTony09/29/2017 06:21:24 pmHere is the path 2017 SX17 will take across San Francisco's sky as it passes 0.23 LD away on October 2.
2017K2Tony09/29/2017 10:00:54 pmComet 2017K2 drops in from the WAY outer solar system, then leave forever.
2017K2Tony09/29/2017 10:06:17 pmNewly-discovered C/2017 K2 visits the inner solar system. Gets ejected by Jupiter.
2017PDC10/06/2017 05:46:57 pmHypothetical asteroid 2017 PDC is discovered on March 6, 2017, and will impact Earth 10 years later on July 21, 2027.
2008TC3Tony10/07/2017 09:22:25 am2008 TC3 struck Earth on 10/7/2008, hours after it was discovered.
2012TC4fromSFTony10/07/2017 09:04:50 pmHere comes asteroid 2012 TC4. This view is from San Francisco. You can see parallax caused by the spinning Earth. The asteroid's size is exaggerated.
2012TC4fromSFTony10/07/2017 09:06:25 pmHere comes asteroid 2012 TC4. This view is from San Francisco. You can see parallax caused by the spinning Earth. The asteroid's size is exaggerated.
2017TC1Tony10/08/2017 02:34:47 pmThe uncertainty in its orbit is high, but the nominal orbit of 2017 TC1 shows it is 3:1 resonance with Jupiter, and it comes VERY close to the Sun. 3:1 is a Kirkwood gap. Perhaps this is why it is almost empty. Jupiter excites them until they crash into the Sun.
C2017S6_7Tony10/08/2017 05:17:48 pmTwo new comets, 2017 S6 and 2017 S7
C2017S6_7Tony10/08/2017 05:21:17 pmTwo new comets, 2017 S6 and 2017 S7
moonsOfPlutoTony10/11/2017 03:04:41 pmThe Moons of Pluto. From closest to furthest: Charon Styx Nix Kerberos Hydra
Galileo observes NeptuneTony10/14/2017 03:12:29 pmGalileo observed and recorded Neptune as it passed near Jupiter on December 28, 1612. Neptune was moving very slowly against the sky because it was about to begin retrograde motion. He observed Neptune again on January 27. He believed it was a star, and thus was not credited with its discovery.
NovemberMoonTony10/15/2017 09:41:20 amThe Moon in November 2017
c2017t1Tony10/17/2017 08:08:04 amNewly-discovered comet C/2017 T1
c2017t1_fromEarthTony10/17/2017 09:51:43 amThe path of comet C/2017 T1 through the sky as seen from San Francisco.
2013SB101Tony10/20/2017 08:15:00 amNewly-discovered 2013 SB101's nominal orbit librates in a 7:4 resonance with Neptune.
2017UJ2Tony10/22/2017 10:07:18 amNewly-discovered 2017 UJ2 passed 11,529 km from Earth's surface on Friday, October 20, 2017 at 14:06:37.
C2017U1Tony10/25/2017 01:28:37 amAn interstellar comet comes racing through the solar system.
C2017U1fromLyraTony10/25/2017 09:28:06 amDid it come from Vega? Maybe!
C2017U1toEarthTony10/25/2017 09:38:22 amA view of Earth from the comet.
10/26/2017 02:41:23 am
pepe10/26/2017 02:43:24 am
A2017U1Tony10/26/2017 11:11:05 amInterstellar asteroid A/2017 U1, formally known as C/2017 U1. Now with 11 days of observation.
A2017U1camera10/26/2017 06:05:42 pmA view of our solar system from the comet as it approach.p
U1spitzerTony10/27/2017 02:06:31 pmA view of A/2017 U1 from the Spitzer Space Telescope.
A2017U1escapeFromLyraTony10/27/2017 06:18:59 pmIn June 2017, the comet which spent millions of years in Lyra, leaves Lyra for good.
A2017u1fromLyra10/27/2017 06:39:32 pm
2017 UL6Tony10/27/2017 07:36:07 pm2017 UL6 will pass Earth on October 28, 2017.
2017 UL6b10/27/2017 08:37:46 pm
2017UL6cTony10/27/2017 09:58:59 pmA view of 2017 UL6 as seen from San Francisco.
A2017U1withJupiterMassTony10/28/2017 01:31:38 pmWhat would this asteroid have done to our solar system if it had the mass of Jupiter?
2013 SY99Tony10/28/2017 05:57:51 pmExtreme Solar System Orbits. 2013 SY99, 2012 VP113, and Sedna have very large, detached (from Neptune) orbits.
2017 UK8Tony10/29/2017 08:49:07 pm2017 UK8 will come closer than the Moon on October 30, 2017.
sassaqs10/29/2017 09:29:43 pmsas
C2017SN3310/30/2017 08:40:51 pmComet C/2017 SN33 it travelling in an inclined retrograde orbit.
U1_1999Tony10/31/2017 06:33:50 pmWhat if A/2017 U1 had the mass of a 0.1 solar-mass red dwarf? We'd lose Pluto. The rest of the orbits would get scrambled as it tugged hard on the Sun.
P9Tony11/05/2017 06:30:44 pmThe orbit of Planet 9 and 13 objects that some feel hint at its presence.
A2017fromEarthTony11/06/2017 06:06:43 pmA/2017 U1 is now named 'Oumuamua. The name, chosen by the Pan-STARRS team, is Hawaiian and reflects the way this object is like messenger from the distant past reaching out to us ('ou means reach out for, and mua, with the second mua placing emphasis, means first, in advance of).
sunOffTony11/07/2017 08:26:00 amTurns off the gravity of the Sun to demonstrate that a force is required to keep planets in orbit.
2017VDTony11/08/2017 11:26:37 amNewly-discovered 2017 VD may be in the 3:1 Kirkwood Gap. Resonates 3:1 with Jupiter
afterInstellarRedDwarf.11/09/2017 02:18:58 pmIf ʻOumuamua were a red dwarf star, here's what our solar system would look like after it passed through.
EarthTransitTony11/13/2017 08:26:55 amThe Earth and Moon transit the Sun as seen from Mars on November 10, 2084. Will any humans be there to witness this?
NeptunesOuterSatellitesTony11/14/2017 08:07:50 pmNeptune's outer satellites take more than a year to orbit Neptune. Parallax due to Earth's motion causes their orbits as viewed from Earth to trace bizarre paths.
P2017U3Tony11/14/2017 09:04:14 pmA newly-discovered comet possibly in a horseshoe orbit with Jupiter.