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Planetary Orbit?

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Planetary Orbit? - 3/28/2010 2:27:51 AM   


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I use to love astonomy but fell out of it, and really havn't lernt much since I was a kid. So that was about 20 years ago. I thought planets orbited our Sun counter clock wise. I noticed in my current game, planets orbit clock wise. Is this correct? Shouldn't planets be orbiting counter clock wise, or am I wrong and planets rotate clockwise around our sun.

If planets rotate counter clock wise in our universe, does that mean we are under the solar system and looking up? I always assumed we are above and looking down, but if that is the case, that means the planets are orbiting in the wrong way.

So what is correct?
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RE: Planetary Orbit? - 3/28/2010 2:45:28 AM   

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Counter-clockwise, is our popular representaion of our solar system.
Planets do have a magnetic north and south pole that we relate to to view a north and south for our solar system. According to that perspective then our planets move counter-clockwise. Some stellar objects, like some individual comets, but not all, in our system orbit counter to our planets.

I'm not sure how the orientation of other solar systems in our galaxy is in relation to ours; like if they all have their planets' magnetic norths, and thus their solar systems, facing the same as ours. Probably the solar systems are not all oriented the same. Other galaxies are not oriented the same. Galaxies are flipped all sorts of ways in the Hubble 'Deep Field' pictures and other pictures.

It's all a matter of perspective. In space, in the universe zoom, there is no up or down.
We do have a galactic plane that we use an up and down idea to help us view positions of stellar objects. In our system, a ship could flip around to look in all directions and it would still seem level to people inside. A planet would seem to turn upside down but the people's orientation would shortly readjust.
"The planets, most of the satellites of the planets and the asteroids revolve around the Sun in the same direction, in nearly circular orbits. When looking down from above the Sun's north pole, the planets orbit in a counter-clockwise direction. The planets orbit the Sun in or near the same plane, called the ecliptic. Pluto is a special case in that its orbit is the most highly inclined (18 degrees) and the most highly elliptical of all the planets. Because of this, for part of its orbit, Pluto is closer to the Sun than is Neptune. The axis of rotation for most of the planets is nearly perpendicular to the ecliptic. The exceptions are Uranus and Pluto, which are tipped on their sides."

"Formation of celestial systems
When a galaxy or a planetary system forms, its material takes the shape of a disk. Most of the material orbits and rotates in one direction. This uniformity of motion is due to the collapse of a gas cloud.[2] The nature of the collapse is explained by the principle called conservation of angular momentum."

So, if Distant Worlds is set in our Milky Way galaxy then the system view is looking up from the galactic south. If Distant Worlds is set in another galaxy then the system view can be considered to be looking down from the galactic north.
I like to consider Distant Worlds set in another galaxy. If there is no Sol/Earth system set in game then it can be a different galaxy. There would obviously be some history involved to explain Humans in that galaxy also... unless the Humans are a seperate humanoid evolved in that other galaxy.

< Message edited by Wade1000 -- 3/28/2010 4:14:48 AM >


Wish list:population centers beyond planetary(,Ring Orbitals,Sphere Orbitals,Ringworlds,Sphereworlds;ability to create & destroy planets,population centers,stars;AI competently using all advances & features.

(in reply to HsojVvad)
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RE: Planetary Orbit? - 3/28/2010 3:05:28 AM   


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Well from what I know of, all our planets orbit in the same directions. The planet themselves can rotate in a different direction though. Yes comment seem to orbit clockwise while the planets themselves orbit count clock wise if we look at it from the "North of the Sun"

I just find it funny how the planets orbit the wrong way in this game. I have to keep thinking I am looking from the bottom other wise, I get screwed up lol. I am just wundering if anyone else noticed this too.

(in reply to Wade1000)
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RE: Planetary Orbit? - 3/28/2010 4:53:10 AM   

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I just find it funny how the planets orbit the wrong way in this game. I have to keep thinking I am looking from the bottom other wise, I get screwed up lol. I am just wundering if anyone else noticed this too.

Interestingly, not all rotate on their axes in the same direction, though. Venus, for example, rotates opposite from earth. (so the sun rises in the west, and sets in the east).

Some planets and moons rotate at the same 1:1 as their orbital period, and thus always present the same face to what they orbit. This is called being 'Tidally Locked'. Apparently, this is fairly common for small objects. Examples: our Moon and many of the small moons of the solar system. Mercury is close to being tidally locked to the sun, but actually has a 3:2 orbit to rotation period..

(in reply to HsojVvad)
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RE: Planetary Orbit? - 3/28/2010 10:02:42 PM   


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Yeah I forgot about the planets not all rotating the same direction.

I am not shure now, in another trial game, I had one planet rotating clock wise, and another planet rotating counter clockwise. Interesting. Is this done on purpose game wise?

(in reply to pixelpusher)
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