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Posts Tagged ‘Planets’

Google Sky Orrery x3

January 22nd, 2008 1 comment

Current Relative Positions of Inner Planets, in GSkyRelative Positions of Outer Planets, in GSky

Two new additions to the family of animated Solar System diagrams for Google Earth Sky.

These Orrerys combine KML Screen Overlays to display a top-down view of current planet positions in the top left corner of the screen, and run on a 3 month time-loop alongside the default Our Solar System Layer.

To squeeze everything into the corner of the window, the original animation showed the planets spread evenly apart – only giving part of the story about relative locations.  Here I’ve added two further options which split the Solar System in two,  and display accurate average orbital distances:

  • A chart showing the positions of the Inner (Terrestrial) planets; Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars
  • Another for the Outer (Jovian) planets;  Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, plus the Earth for reference.

These are available alongside the original through a single KML Networklink. 

Planets in Orbit (60kB)

– Download the file and select the option you want displayed.

– Then click the Time Slider play button.

If the networklink is stored under My Places, the file will automatically update either if Google change the time span of their planets layer, or when I add  anything else – e.g. a diagram including the Moon.

Major Google Sky Update

January 10th, 2008 1 comment

Google’s LatLong blog has announced a bunch of changes to the default Google Earth Sky Layers. Some of my files are closely tied to the update, so here’s a quick list of the KML addons directly affected.  Check out Gearthblog’s post for the other main additions:

Planet Locations
Orrery in GoogleSkyFirstly I’ve updated my Orrey animation. This is the file that shows a simplified, top down representation of the solar system, designed to run alongside GoogleSky’s planet location time animations in the Default Layers – look under ‘Our Solar System’.

Google have updated the Layer to run from January to April 2008, and decreased the time steps in the time line from 1 hour to 15 minutes.  I’ve tweaked my file to synchronize with this.

Constellation boundaries
Constellation Borders in Google Earth SkyAs I (sort of) predicted, GSky now provides it’s own set of constellation borders by default (under Backyard Astronomy). These are displayed as coloured polygons. This obviously reduces the need for anyone to use my KML constellation add-on.  But mine do still have some use – the two sets combine pretty neatly – with Google Sky’s polygons fading out when you zoom, and my lines staying on permanently.

Real Sized Planets
Real Sized Planets, Star Wars and KML Gallery, in Google Earth SkyLastly, Google Earth’s Welcome Tour now includes a direct link to my Real sized planets file (thanks Google! 🙂 ), the KML Gallery plus Joey Wade and Frank Taylor’s cool Millennium Falcon, Star Wars animation.