Tag Archives: celestial mechanics

Three suns?

I love sci fi. Really. While countless people whine about the lack of accuracy in sci fi generally, I’ve come to realise that suspending my disbelief is usually more fun★. Anyway, if we’re honest, deconstructing science in movies is like … Continue reading

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Unholy Haleakalā!

I managed to miss an absolute gem over the weekend. A comic about the Supermoon — featuring a zombie Phil Plait! For anyone who’s escaped hearing about it so far, the amusingly dubbed “supermoon” is an interesting little astronomical event. … Continue reading

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Singularly beautiful

Everything in the Universe likes to go in circles. Moons orbit planets, planets orbit stars, stars orbit other stars — and in each case all parts of the system are interrelated. The speed at which one star orbits another, for … Continue reading

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A wobbly star!

I remember reading an article when I was just a kid called “The Hunt for Wobbling Stars”. I can’t have been much more than 8 years old, but the concept seemed simple enough even then. Any planet tugs on a … Continue reading

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Gravitational Ballet

I just wasted my entire coffee break playing with this! It’s a celestial mechanics simulator. You can build your own tiny solar system with up to four objects (planets or stars), set their masses and velocities, then hit the start … Continue reading

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Alpha Centauri

Surely any astronomer has spent at least some time wondering about Alpha Centauri. Being a tantalisingly close 4.37 light years from us, it really is our next door neighbour. The third brightest star in the sky (excluding the Sun), visible … Continue reading

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