ChrisARippel t1_japw4zr wrote

The Sun is 99.98% of the mass of the Solar System. Sun's overwhelming mass compared to the other planets controls their orbits.

Sag A" is only 0.003% of the mass of the Milky Way Galaxy.

  • Sag A* has a puny 4 million solar masses.

  • Milky Way Galaxy has 200 billion stars plus a much greater mass of Dark Matter, together totalling 1.2 to 1.9 trillion solar masses.

  • 4 million vs over 1.2 trillion solar masses. The stars and the Dark Matter should have a much greater control of the Sun's orbit. And prevents the Sun from flying away.


ChrisARippel t1_jaegn0r wrote

You are right that realistic scale creates problems because each planet further out is about twice as far as the planet further in.

Since I only just imagined the game in my head last night, I haven't played with "fixes". This is something that game designer would have to do.

Alterations might be to only use the four outer planets and stretch their au from the Sun less than double. And the board could be only half or a quarter of a full orbit.


ChrisARippel t1_jaauuzv wrote

Game name: Orbital Mechanics.

Board: Eight planets orbiting counter clockwise around the Sun. Their orbits are the correct number of astronomical units from the Sun. (The exact number of centimeters would be based on the size of the board. The orbits would be marked as circles on the board.

The board are tiny squares. Spacecraft move from one square to another.

Board Set Up: Planets would randomly placed on their orbits. Spaceships for of all players are placed on Earth at the start of the game. Though there is no reason players couldn't start on/orbiting another planet. There is no reason players couldn't start on/orbiting different planets.

Numbers 1 through 8, but not including 3, are placed in a box. Each player draws a number from the box. 1=Mercury, 2=Venus... 8=Neptune. This becomes their target planet. The first player reaching their target planet is the winner. One obvious issue is that reaching Mars should be easier than reaching Neptune. I haven't figured out how to deal with this.

Play Movement: Players take turns moving diagonally toward their target planet.

Their first move is 1 square. Their second move is 2 squares. Third move 3 squares. Each move is more squares. But halfway to their target they must start moving 1 less square so the spacecraft allows down.

After each round of play all planets are a number of squares along their orbit. Neptune is moved one square. Uranus two squares. Saturn three squares. ... Mercury 8 squares.

A spaceship sitting within 2 squares behind the planet when it moves will add the number of the planet's move to the spacecraft's future moves. For example, if a planet moved 5 squares on the move putting it on Jupiter's orbit. When Jupiter moves 4 squares along its orbit, the spacecraft moves 9 on its next move and adds 9+6 moves on the next move.

A spaceship sitting within 2 squares in front of a planet when it moves will subtract the number from the spacecraft's future moves.

When a spacecraft reaches the halfway point in the trip, the spaceship needs to move one less move on additional moves to slow down the spacecraft. The spacecraft can only land on the target planet in one move. If spacecraft are moving too fast when reaching the planet, spacecraft must orbit the planet slowing down one each move, until spacecraft can land in one move. First, spacecraft to land on the target planet in one move wins.


ChrisARippel t1_ja8dq25 wrote

Have you considered making a the Cosmic Web?

Though many people have heard of Dark Matter and Dark Energy, I suspect fewer people have heard of the Cosmic Web. The idea will be new.

  • Matter and dark matter condensing into filaments. Where filaments cross galaxies appear.

  • Dark energy expanding voids between the filaments.

  • The Cosmic Web is impressively BIG.

10 year old video

Building the Cosmic Web on a computer. Part 1

Millennium Cosmic Web Simulation Project

There are more cool videos of Cosmic Web, e.g., tours through the web, etc. for a presentation.


Clues about Cosmic Web

Spinning Cosmic Web

Possible photograph of Cosmic Web

Cosmic Web could be hiding new physics

I think you could also imitate a Cosmic Web with cotton fibers, glue and paint.

Good luck.


ChrisARippel t1_ja7mhmh wrote

The linked article describes several ironies.

  • The Dayton, Tennessee high school's biology textbook endorsed evolution as a version of eugenics promoting the superiority of the white race.

  • William Jennings Bryan opposed evolution because of its frequent association to eugenics and Social Darwinism.


ChrisARippel t1_j9jnfjx wrote

Horror movies never scare me because, for some reason, I always am aware the action is occurring on a screen, not in my personal space.

In am awed by the power of supernovae and supermassive black holes, but I am aware of the vastness of space and time which keeps these objects away from Earth. The vastness of space is our ally against these destructive objects. To me, there are no scary objects in space.


ChrisARippel t1_j6n6n2v wrote

With many cliches, there is another cliche suggesting the opposite.

"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” – George Santayana, The Life of Reason, 1905.

Germany may have started two World Wars, but the causes of, reasons given, and the fighting methods were quite different because Hitler and the Allies remembered WW1 and were determined not to repeat it. At best, the two world wars only rhymed.


ChrisARippel t1_j669ogv wrote

Observations from the space telescope would be looking to disprove isotropy from that location. If the space telescope doesn't disprove isotropy from that location, this is at least partial confirmation. Similar to Eddington's 1919 eclipse test of Einstein's Theory of Relativity.

Milky Way may well be invisible to the space telescope, but other galaxies may well be visible from both directions.


ChrisARippel t1_j65hpbc wrote

Thanks for asking.

When the OP stated instantaneously placing a space telescope light years away, I assume this also meant information would be instantaneously sent between Earth and the telescope.

I would place the telescope at the edge of the observable universe for two reasons.

  • Test the cosmological principle that the universe actually is isotropic and homogeneous everywhere, inside and beyond the observable universe.

  • Hopefully, compare the same galaxies at different stages of life. The Milky Way is estimated to have started 160 million years after the Big Bang. It would be interesting to compare early images of the Milky Way from that space telescope with what we see today from Earth.


ChrisARippel t1_j2kd97a wrote

I agree that we would not expect much change over human lifetimes.

Another problem, not yet mentioned, is that each time astronomers take a "picture" of the CMB, camera technology improves the resolution creating a much different picture. Improved resolution is easy to see. I don't think changes in the CMB between 1989 and 2013 would be easy to see.

Here are images from COBE (1989), WMAP (2001), Planck (2013).


ChrisARippel t1_j2bh365 wrote

In 1971, two astronomers proposed x-ray source Cygnus X-1 might be a black hole. This is the first object to be nominated for being a black hole.

If further investigations proved Cygnus x-1 was not a black hole, Stephen Hawking would be very disappointed because he had done so much work on black holes.

In 1974, Stephen Hawking bet Kip Thorne that Cygnus x-1 was not a black hole. Then if Cygnus x-1 turned out not to be a black hole, Hawking would at least have won a bet.

In 1990, enough evidence had finally accumulated that Kip Thorne conceded and Hawking won the bet. Cygnus x-1 is a black hole.