An Educational model of the Earth/Moon/Sun system. Not to scale.
information and Instructions
- 1 - Main View
- 2 - Sky View
- 3 - Moon View
- 1 - Orbit View
- 2 - Surface View
- 3 - Moon Lander View
- 4 - North Pole View
While not to scale (as this would produce computationally impossible numbers, incomprehensibly vast distances, and bodies smaller than a single pixel on this screen), this model uses time realistically, and you will find all of the bodies moving at their correct relative speeds.
The slider on the top controls universal time, with speeds that range from realtime:
All the way to 31535994/1:
Neither of these are particularly useful, that's why there's a wide range between, with a logarithmic curve to give higher precision in the lower numbers.
There are two scenes in the simulation.
The first scene is designed to assist in creating diagrams of the systems, and has three view modes.
The main viewpoint has sunlight coming from a fixed direction. This viewpoint will follow Earth as it orbits the sun, and is not controlled by the user.
The pin can be moved with the arrow keys, and marks a point to view the sky from in the Sky View
The Sky View allows you so see the entire sky from a designated point on Earth. You can still move the pin from the sky view, but it is often easier to do so from the top-down view.
The Moon view shows what the moon looks like from any point on earth. This is useful for showing the phase of the moon without worrying about finding it in the sky view.
Click the "switch" button in the lower right hand corner when you want to switch scenes (not viewpoints).
The second scene is more exploratory, and features 4 viewpoints, many of them more interactive.
Orbit view allows you to orbit around the system by clicking and dragging while watching things move. Due to large planet sizes, there are unrealistically frequent solar and lunar eclipses which are fun to watch. Scroll to zoom in and out.
Some ugly trees and a less ugly sky. Click and drag to look around.
moon lander VIEW
See the Earth from a stationary viewpoint on the moon.'
North Pole VIEW
A view locked to Earth, looking down on its North pole. Check out what the seasons of the year do!