As I am the sort who tends to…

…only speak out when frustrated with something in the world at large or satisfied with the results of my own work, some people might get an impression I am even grumpier than I am.

But y’know, there’s stuff I love. It’s just that I usually can’t be bothered to type up a post when I am enjoying something.

And yet, some things are meant to be shared and promoted.

Here are two vids done by Russia’s very own Roskosmos team and reposted on the youtube channel of RT (aka Russia Today – which is the news source you should subscribe to if you ever care about how quite a number of Russians see the world, hint hint; I am actually much more of a political animal than I may seem online…) – there’s no politics in these, just some interesting visualisations of “alternative” Solar System characteristics.

But. Before you watch these, you should keep in mind that it’s not an exercise in comparative astrophysics (or any other sort of physics): it’s what it is, a visualisation, a purely geometric representation of how those planets and stars would have looked in our skies, if magically transported.

The bigger and the more luminous a star is, the farther the habitable zone lies from it. So there’s no way a planet could harbour life and be as close to, say, Polaris as the Earth is to the Sun. The illumination is also “normalized” (no way you’d be able to use the same camera settings on Earth and on a planet as close to, say, Sirius – overexposure much).

Then there’s also the issue of gravity. The Alpha Centauri system is a complicated mess, with all those stars rotating around a common centre. I’m having a hard time imagining where exactly they stuck the planet’s orbit so as to have the main duo so close to each other and so close in brightness… Jupiter is much larger than the Earth, so it’s the Earth that would be its “moon”, never the other way around. Yadda yadda yadda.

But still – if those vids make anyone interested in astronomy, they have done their job.

Watch and pass the torch! Don’t forget to turn subtitles on if you don’t read Russian.


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