Monday, March 9, 2020

What Saturn Would Look Like Close to Earth

Saturn approach
Saturn, from Earth.

What Saturn Would Look Like Close to Earth.

It is fairly routine in science fiction movies to see planets or moons in the distance that have rings like Saturn. Now, rings around celestial objects apparently are not all that unusual. What would a ringed moon or planet in (scientifically unlikely) close proximity to earth look like?

This is an interesting animation that shows what it would look like if planet Saturn were to come much closer to the Earth.

Obviously, as mentioned by the narrator, there would be intense and unpredictable gravitational effects if this were to happen in reality that would completely destroy the Earth and the Moon. Planets cruising around at random wouldn't have to hit anything to cause deadly changes.

This also is a good introduction to the structure of Saturn's rings and the causes of the rings being different colors.

While you wouldn't have known this unless you were a science geek, Earth and Saturn reached opposition - opposite sides of the Sun - on May 10. Thus, it was as close as it's ever going to get, 830 million miles away. This does affect the earth, though not in any noticeable way. If you know where to look, it will appear brighter than usual for a few weeks. You can see the rings with a telescope or even binoculars.

Saturn is so massive that from Mars’ orbit it would appear as bright as the full Moon and a quarter its size even though it would still be 150 times further away than the Moon. The rings would appear two-thirds the Moon’s size. That's big.

As Saturn came closer to the Sun, the ring particles would sublimate into gaseous form, making Saturn look like a giant comet. So the rings wouldn't be there to watch anyway.

Since Saturn's mass is 100 times that of the Earth, if it got anywhere near the Moon's orbit, we wouldn't still be around to be watching it. Earth’s remnants would eventually form a new asteroid belt in orbit around the Sun.

Saturn Cassini

From the youtube page:

Saturn's rings were created using Voyager data and Cassini Data, and tables from the IAU, and NASA Interestingly enough, the voyager data and Cassini data did Not completely match each other, More interestingly the differences between the two data sets were not consistent along the ring, specifically, the small Gaps along the rings are inconsistent between Voyager and Cassini. there are 3 conclusions I can reach from this,
1, the data is simply not perfectly accurate,
2, I interpreted the data incorrectly,
3, the Rings have actually changed a bit between voyager and Cassini.

To create the rings, I interpolated between the two data sets, so the rings are a mix between Voyager and Cassini data, there are multiple textures used, for scattering, translucency, transparency, and color, I think I probably have some of the highest resolution textures in use anywhere on the web (over 19k pixels across),

In Part 1, (the 2d blueprint video) the Planets are all correctly scaled to each other, except the SUN. The Orbits are also all correctly scaled to each other (except the Moon's). However, the planet size and the planet orbits are not scaled to each other. The orbital speeds are also all correct relative to one another,

In part 2, The illumination between the moon and Saturn is reasonably accurate, In case you didn't understand, this is Saturn as far away as the closest approach mars would get

In Part 3, the meteors ramp up and down in response to going through the very distended outer rings E, and G

The Meteors are Greenish, I've actually seen a number of large daylight meteors, all of them had flashes of green and blue, The velocity and direction they are in the video are accurate to the motion of Saturn in this video.


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