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    grencha's Avatar
    grencha Posts: 71, Reputation: 1
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    #1

    Feb 27, 2013, 07:01 PM
    Comet orbit diagram
    There is a website that has a program that shows the orbits of Comets and Asteroids as they pass through our solar system. I was wondering if when you search a Comet and the program the brings up the orbit and position is that position being show the true position ? You can move the 3D diagram around to different angles like a side angle and possibly an top angle. Not sure how many people know about this website.
    KenH's Avatar
    KenH Posts: 7, Reputation: 2
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    #2

    Feb 27, 2013, 09:48 PM
    Since you don't mention the site. Think about the programming and computing power needed to project the position of every comet at the exact time that someone clicked on their website... then giving you a 3-D rendering of each specific object it time as a little bonus. Now ask yourself if the site owner has the resources to provide those terabytes of information to the general public. Presto, you have your answer. Now go to codeacademy.com and learn to write your own code, so you can provide this service to the next generation. You will be a hero in my book. Actually, you already are for finding the site you asked about. So, what is it? Thanks!
    ebaines's Avatar
    ebaines Posts: 12,129, Reputation: 1307
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    #3

    Feb 28, 2013, 06:28 AM
    I don't see what the issue is - plotting orbits of comets, asteroids and planets is quite common, and there are many progras available that do just that. And I don't see whay such a web site would not show the object's position in real time.

    If this is the site you are referring to: http://neo.jpl.nasa.gov/orbits/ then yes, the positions are plotted for today. Notice that you can specify what date you want to see the plot for.
    grencha's Avatar
    grencha Posts: 71, Reputation: 1
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    #4

    Feb 28, 2013, 09:48 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by ebaines View Post
    I don't see what the issue is - plotting orbits of comets, asteroids and planets is quite common, and there are many progras available that do just that. And I don't see whay such a web site would not show the object's position in real time.

    If this is the site you are referring to: Orbit Diagrams then yes, the positions are plotted for today. Notice that you can specify what date you want to see the plot for.
    Reply:
    Yes that is the sight I reference. But if you search an object when the page completes the download you will see a current position but I was asking if the plane the object is on is correct. Because if you use the side bar to move the plane position you would see the objects path from another angle which is not the same as the first angle. It is really hard to explain something like this you really need to see it to know what I am describing.
    ebaines's Avatar
    ebaines Posts: 12,129, Reputation: 1307
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    #5

    Mar 1, 2013, 06:54 AM
    Yes, the slider tools that allow you to rotate and tilt he view work correctly for the given date. Keep in mind that orbits of different objects are in different planes, and when projected onto a 2-D computer screen it may be hard to visualize exactly what it's doing. The tilt & rotate tools allow you to get a better idea of an orbit's inclination relative to the Earth's orbit or other planets.

    As an example I've attached a couple of screen shots of Eros 433's orbit and current position as viewed from different angles for today, March 1. Note that even though the views are tilted and rotated, Eros's position relative to the planets is the same for each view. The source web page is here: JPL Small-Body Database Browser

    Another set of tools to experiment with on that page are the player buttons, similar to what you use on a video player, which allows you to see the orbits sped up. Click on the >> button and it moves pretty quickly - you get a sense of how objects near the sun move much faster than tgose further away.
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    grencha's Avatar
    grencha Posts: 71, Reputation: 1
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    #6

    Mar 1, 2013, 06:21 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by ebaines View Post
    Yes, the slider tools that allow you to rotate and tilt he view work correctly for the given date. Keep in mind that orbits of different objects are in different planes, and when projectde onto a 2-D computer screen it may be hard to visualize exactly what it's doing. The tilt & rotate tools allow you to get a better idea of an orbit's inclination relative to the Earth's orbit or other planets.

    As an example I've attached a couple of screen shots of Eros 433's orbit and current position as viewed from different angles for today, March 1. Note that even though the views are tilted and rotated, Eros's position relative to the planets is the same for each view. The source web page is here: JPL Small-Body Database Browser

    Another set of tools to experiment with on that page are the player buttons, similar to what you use on a video player, which allows you to see the orbits sped up. Click on the >> button and it moves pretty quickly - you get a sense of how objects near the sun move much faster than tgose further away.
    Reply:
    That is interesting and I am quite aware of that but try that with an object that is coming in from outside the solar system. It seems to have a very different look than the Eros example. There is a comet called Pan-STARRS that is coming in through the solar system and the orbit looks as though Earth will be opposite the Sun from the comet. But if you move the sliders around there is a point where it approaches nearer to Earth.
    ebaines's Avatar
    ebaines Posts: 12,129, Reputation: 1307
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    #7

    Mar 2, 2013, 06:06 AM
    C/2011 L4 (Pan-STARRS) will pass through the solar plane on the opposite side of the sun from the Earth. Go to: JPL Small-Body Database Browser and move the slider so the plane of the solar system is almost edge-on, then hit the >> button to see how the comet will come in on an obit that is highly inclined.

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