The Beauty of Relative Motion

Posted on March 1, 2014 10:00 pm

Since I read my first book about space, I’ve known that the earth orbits the sun, and the sun orbits the center of the Milky Way. I never really pictured what those two things together would look like.

But someone else has:

[The helical model – our solar system is a vortex] (Viewer #1,445,375)

By the way, when you’re offered the opportunity to click the link for part 2 (it pops up around the 3 minute mark) – take it.

Oh, and I chose to turn the music off when I watched it. It’s supposed to be hypnotic, but I found it grating after a while. You can choose for yourselves.

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9 Responses to “The Beauty of Relative Motion”

  1. tedwade73 says:

    I was under the impression that the planetary plane of the elliptic was roughly the same as that of the galaxy which would describe the sun’s orbit. This video implies that the sun travels at a right angle to the orbits of the planets.

  2. Harvey says:

    @1 – Not sure what to tell you, other than not all the planets have axes that are perpendicular to the orbital plane. Uranus is at 98 degrees:

    So I don’t know if this video was artistic license, or if the sun really does orbit the galactic center pole-first.

  3. Harvey says:

    @1 – Ok, Slate says the video is garbage:

    I say… well, it’s still an entertaining video, just take it with a 40-pound bag of salt.

  4. tedwade73 says:

    The Slate article answered my question right on point. Thank you for the follow up.

  5. Jimmy says:

    Yeah, his angles are all wrong. But you have to admit it looks good having our sun and planets drilling their way around the Milky Way. (Although 15 seconds of that would have been enough.)

  6. Veeshir says:

    So….. we trust Slate now?

    Sorry, I cannot trust someone who’s stupid enough to fall for an article on monkey-fishing.

    What I want to know is what the Milky Way orbits.

  7. Harvey says:

    @6 – As long as the topic’s not political, they’re probably at least as reliable as anything else on the internet.

  8. 4of7 says:

    Still, if the solar system is more or less on the same plane as the galaxy, then the planets spin around the center of mass of the solar system like a group of Frisbees while still oscillating up and down across the plane of the galaxy, which would also be a pretty cool graphic display.

  9. jw says:


    with penguins?

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