distance you can barely discern a dark planet, which (when
you place the mouse over the image below) moves
against the backdrop of the Milky Way. Zoom in closer by
holding down the shift key and dragging the mouse
downward. During the days ahead, we will be adding
things to see and measure as you zoom in. For example,
astronomy students might be measuring the size and
distance between planets, geographers might be examining
the heights of mountains or the street patterns of
cities, and microscopists might be looking at the shape
of viruses or the geometry of atoms in various types of
metal cluster. In all cases a visceral sense of the
geometric relationship between these various pursuits will
be at hand. Already you can try characterizing the dark
planet's sun and moon,
some mountains and a skyscraper, as well as a 3[mm]
electron microscope specimen floating in space, waiting for
support from a human being sitting on a chair with tweezers
in hand. For other clues to what's possible, check out
this April 2005
Note: The mouse allows you to
re-orient and or spin the specimen, while the Shift key plus
vertical mouse motion allows zooming in on the model for a closer look.
Hitting the Home key allows you to return to the original
point of view. You can also move the rotation point in
space and in days ahead buttons will be added for leaping
from point to point, and for measuring more properties of
the field of view.
Puzzlers (stay tuned for more...)
Can you locate and snap a picture of Andromeda galaxy?
How far away is the dark planet from its moon, and its sun?
How far way is the chair from the skyscraper, and how tall is each?
How large is the perforation in the microscope specimen?
Are the blood platelets on that specimen of normal size?
What's that white thing setting over the horizon in the photo at right?
How deep is the hole in the ground on the other side of that chair?
accessible airtrack appears to have been built on a lonely outpost in this
same spiral arm of our galaxy, but by who?
23 Apr 2005: Suggestions for other structures to add/build are
invited. In particular we are interested in stuctures that can
be used in a wide range of empirical observation exercises, by
students with technical backgrounds that range from elementary
school through applied mathematics at the graduate level.
24 Apr 2005: The logarithmic
tiling of the dark planet's sphere allows us provide local
mesh information over a wide range of lateral size scales.
Hence I'm looking for topography information (it's easy to
interpolate from an equally-spaced grid) e.g. for the midwestern US
including the continental divide. In any case, putting in
more interesting topography should change model size and
display speeds by very little, so that is one place to start.