Rosetta’s path and the encounter with comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko

Here is a video animation I have  made of the Rosetta spacecraft on it way to  comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko . It shows the path of Rosetta (in yellow) since its launch in 2004 until it approaches and meets the comet (orbit in blue). The animation was made using the Starry Night astronomy program.

The same  video with shorter length , less effects and a slightly better resolution can be viewed at this link.

The coordinates of comet 67P  were not prebuilt in my version of Starry Night , so I had to program the orbital elements of Churyumov–Gerasimenko myself. After researching I used the following  elements :

Eccentricity (e): 0.640980 ;  pericenter or perihelion distance (q): 1.243230 AU ;

Node : 50.1423 °  ;  argument of pericenter ( w ) : 12.7854°  ;

Inclination (i): 7.0402°  ; pericenter time (Tp) : 2457247.5683  ;

Epoch : 2456967.5  ;  Magnitude : 11 ;

 North pole right ascension: 69.00°  ;  North pole declination: 64° ;

Rotation rate : 2 rotations/day  .

Here is also a slideshow of the position and orbit of Rosetta at different dates . In the last three images the position of the Dawn spacecraft is shown as well. Dawn entered the orbit of the Vesta asteroid (or protoplanet)  in July 20 , 2011 , and completed  its fourteen month survey mission of Vesta in late 2012. Dawn is getting nearer to the dwarf planet (or large asteroid) Ceres and will arrive there in early 2015. The images were created and prepared with the Redshift astronomy software.

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Last but not least , here is a an image I’ve prepared ( with Starry Night and Photoshop ) showing the path and orbit of the Rosetta spacecraft from its launch in 2004 to the end of 2014 , including the orbit of comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko ,  with annotations recounting briefly the important steps of the Rosetta mission.

 Rosetta path and mission.


Watching galaxies collide

I’ve made two videos showing simulations of colliding galaxies and I posted them recently on YouTube. I’ve used the Universe Sandbox program for these simulations.
Although not completely accurate , the simulations in Universe Sandbox give good representations of the physical effects of gravity on objects and bodies in the universe.

There has been scientific estimations that the Milky Way and Andromeda galaxies will collide in about 4.5 billion years.

The first video is a simulation of three galaxies colliding : The Milky Way , Andromeda and NGC 55 ( or a hypothetical galaxy with the same characteristics as NGC55).
The first two are part of the Local Group of galaxies , and NGC55 is very close to the Local Group.The collisions take place over millions of years and have been  shortened in the video to about 2 minutes and 15 seconds.
You can click to view the video in HD and in full screen mode .

The second video is  a simulation of the  collision of 4 galaxies: The Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) ,The Small Magellanic Cloud  (SMC), The Milky Way  and Andromeda. The LMC and SMC are the smaller galaxies to the left.
All four galaxies belong to the Local Group of galaxies.
Sometimes I made  the colors of the galaxies and bodies change  , based on the changes of their velocities and accelerations. The normal color mode represents the realistic colors of the galaxies.
The LMC has a mass equivalent to about 10 billion times the mass of the Sun  , and the SMC  a total mass of approximately 7 billion times the mass of the Sun.
Mainly because they have smaller masses, the LMC and the SMC seem to be absorbed by the Milky Way and Andromeda during the collision and after the galaxies get mixed up together . As a matter of fact , the Milky Way is  considered to be currently absorbing smaller galaxies such as the Canis Major Dwarf Galaxy, and possibly the Magellanic Clouds in what is called a galaxy merger.
Click on the Full Screen button to view the simulation in HD and in full screen mode.

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