Tuesday, February 25, 2014

painted stone: asteroids in the SDSS

the sloan digital sky survey is a large astronomy project that has looked at a huge area of the sky several times over the last ~15 years.  from this data comes the ability to identify objects that move position over time.

the video below shows the orbital positions of 100,000 asteroids in our solar system observed by sloan. fantastic visualization by astronomer alex parker.  enjoy!

Painted Stone: Asteroids in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey from Alex Parker on Vimeo.

the details:

Over 100,000 asteroids and their colors, as seen by a single remarkable survey telescope. 
This animation shows the orbital motions of over 100,000 of the asteroids observed by the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS), with colors illustrating the compositional diversity measured by the SDSS five-color camera. The relative sizes of each asteroid are also illustrated. 
All main-belt asteroids and Trojan asteroids with orbits known to high precision are shown. The animation is rendered with a timestep of 3 days. 
The compositional gradient of the asteroid belt is clearly visible, with green Vesta-family members in the inner belt fading through the blue C-class asteroids in the outer belt, and the deep red Trojan swarms beyond that. 
Occasional diagonal slashes that appear in the animation are the SDSS survey beams; these appear because the animation is rendered at near the survey epoch. 
The average orbital distances of Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, and Jupiter are illustrated with rings.

1 comment:

heroineworshipper said...

He uses Python scripts to create the videos.