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©2011 by Richard Nolle

WOW! APR 18, 2011 - Virtual Orrery is eye candy and brain food all rolled into one. Yes, it's hypnotically gorgeous in a dark and cosmic way, this animated display of our solar system. Select your perspective - a heliocentric Copernican or a geocentric Tychonian - and watch the Moon and planets (and the Sun in the latter case) go through their paces. Set your own starting date, change the speed and direction of time or freeze it as you wish. Turn on the trace feature, in the Tychonian perspective, and you can see how the appearance of retrogrades is created - and how it's different from the inner planets (Mercury and Venus) to the outer. You'll also see for yourself how the Max Cycles of the various planets are part of their retrogradeation. There's nothing to understand or analyze here, only the pattern of motion here in our solar system to be experienced: watch it, don't try to figure it out, let understanding develop right before your eyes. (Thanks to Deborah Houlding for pointing out this wonderful online resource: I've seen lots of orreries over the years, but this one is the best yet.)

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