Friday, September 04, 2015

Spiral Motion of the Solar System

Anyone with some awareness of our cosmic situation knows that The Earth is a giant rock that is spinning & also orbiting around the Sun.

However most people don't realize that the Sun (& therefore the entire solar system) is also orbiting the center of our Milky Way galaxy.

I've posted before about the motion of our solar system and how the fact that the Sun is in motion relative to the galactic plane causes the planets to trace out helical paths through space.

The Monkey Buddha Archives:

I recently came across another animation visualizing the dance of the planets around our closest star, as they travel around the center of the galaxy.

This led me to investigate how accurate these representations really are. I found this excellent article that explains what is right & wrong about these animations.

Universe Today:

There is another animated GIF in the article, by Rhys Taylor, that depicts the motion a bit more accurately. It turns out that the orbital plane of the planets is about 60ยบ relative to the motion of the sun. So, it looks more like this.

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