Re: Orreries 'R' Us (was Re: 5/5/2000)

Damien Broderick (
Wed, 16 Jul 1997 17:40:50 +0000

At 09:35 PM 7/15/97 -0700, Michael Butler wrote:

>Well, I cranked up my copy of the freeware Home Planet program
>(written by the estimable John Walker)

Slaver. Must find it.

>It looks like all the planets do wind up on the same side of the
>Sun, *not counting the Earth* [snip]
>Hardly a line-up. At least by my orrery, all you get is a scatter of planets
>that all fall on one side of an imaginary line bisecting the Solar System.
[more snip]
>Well, *AS SEEN FROM EARTH* they would make a line; but this is
>just because they're pretty much more or less on the plane of the Ecliptic

No, this was shown in the `Millennium' episode *literally* with a
lead-balls-on-wire orrery, O-------, then `confirmed' by good ole Frank
firing up the net and getting the planets strung out on the screen, away
from the sun, making a straight line pointing at... the mote in God's eye,
maybe. Common sense told me that if anything *this* wonderful-looking was
on the cards, every astronomer in town would be crowing about the
2001-style spectacle, and every fruitcake would be howling abt the
apocalypse and the world flipping over. Then danny's post arrived in the
nick of time to show that I was right about that, at any rate, even when
all the silly little bits of dirt and gas are up to is roughly tumbling
along in the south-east half of the field. Aw shit, people. (Or am I
missing the smiley here somewhere?)

Damien Broderick