Orrery to a layman

Discuss the various current and future Widgets from gandreas software
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Clafton

Orrery to a layman

Post by Clafton » Wed Nov 02, 2005 10:11 pm

Hey! Love your widget - great work. I'm an "orrery virgin" and was trying to interpret what I'm looking at... hope this URL works:

Image

I'm in the northern hemisphere, so I set it "facing south". I assume that the shaded area represents the visible sky at this time of year? So if I go outside and face south, Mars will be the only visible planet (of the 5 listed here) over to my left about 30 degrees above the horizon?

I'm also guessing that the sun has long ago set to the west (my right) followed by Venus. The moon is new (greyed out) and it also has set below the horizon.

Not sure what the "Mars (Taurus), 16xBA, 30'" refers to. Does this mean Mars is 16 degrees into Taurus and 30 degrees above the horizon? That would be my guess...

Could someone clear up what H: and N: refers to?

cheers!
xA9

Guest

Post by Guest » Thu Nov 03, 2005 1:46 am

whoops - I dug up the answer to H&N on the boards...

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Re: Orrery to a layman

Post by gandreas » Thu Nov 03, 2005 9:36 am

Clafton wrote:I'm in the northern hemisphere, so I set it "facing south". I assume that the shaded area represents the visible sky at this time of year?
Correct.
So if I go outside and face south, Mars will be the only visible planet (of the 5 listed here) over to my left about 30 degrees above the horizon?
Mostly correct (see below)
I'm also guessing that the sun has long ago set to the west (my right) followed by Venus. The moon is new (greyed out) and it also has set below the horizon.
Exactly
Not sure what the "Mars (Taurus), 16xBA, 30'" refers to. Does this mean Mars is 16 degrees into Taurus and 30 degrees above the horizon? That would be my guess...
Close - Mars is 16 degrees, 30 minutes into Taurus (degrees are divided into 60 minutes, and minutes are divided into seconds, not surprisingly).

Orrery shows the location of the planets along the ecliptic - which is the path that the sun takes across sky, which is tilted (i.e., unless your close to the equator, the sun is never directly over head). So Mars, in your example, is about 30 degrees along the ecliptic, which doesn't make it 30 degrees above the horizon, but 30 degrees away from the point where the sun rose.

Clafton

Post by Clafton » Thu Nov 03, 2005 5:13 pm

thanks gandreas, that makes perfect sense. What a great little widget - I find myself flipping into dashboard just to hit enter and see what's happening in the celestial spheres...

I have it right beside my "Sunlit Earth" and "Moon Phase" widgets (sorry to mention "competitors" ;)

would be cool to be able to track all the other planets, though I suspect Pluto would be problematic because it wanders so far off ecliptic...

anyhoo - excellent work, you made OS X a better place

cheers
xA9

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