Comet Siding Spring passing by Mars

I’ve been working w/the solar system data plots. Here is my version of the Siding Spring comet orbital path metadata – except with the planets given some scale and surface imagery.

It is created using an interactive CDF viewer available at (Selecting the interaction pane for Universal NBody gravitational simulator and selecting the current “Solar System” Epoch.


If you want to create a version yourself, all you need is the free Wolfram CDF player and go to the interactive visualization tool referenced above. Select the NBody Gravitational Universe simulation and select the “Recombination” epoch (the last one on the timeline).

Please note, there are two distance scales (outer planets to start, and quickly switches to inner planets as it gets close to Mars).
The planets are scaled relative to each other in each of these scales, but not relative to the Astronomical Unit distance scale between them.
BTW – The Sun is not shown, since at that planetary scale it is actually bigger than the frame of the animation 🙂

The time scale goes from last year to next year. It changes from linear around this weekend (0s) and goes exponential on the outer orbits.

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