By MortazaviBlog on Mar 24, 2005
As I was driving to work this morning, I wondered again about the subtle integral role of cultural practices which resonate with the motion of heavenly bodies, for example the start of the Persian solar year, Noruz, which celebrates spring solstice.
The mathematics and numerical simulation of such motions has fascinated people for centuries.
Here is a cool Java applet computing and displaying the motion of gravitating masses in the solar system and a few others. My favorites are the ones with "simple" orbits, like this one which shows bodies ending with circular orbits. The applet is hosted by CUUG, Calgary Unix Users Group.
Bob Jenkins has implemented another Java applet, displaying the paths of gravitating masses. Jenkins says he has used a 9th order multi-step simulation method for his applet because lower-order methods were insufficient for his purposes. He also has a summary page for various multi-step methods, and a brief note which describes their pedigree—absolutely great stuff
TX Cam, in the constellation Camelopardalis. (National Radio Astronomy Observatory)