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Simple Fictitious Solar Systems
written by Todd Timberlake
The Simple Artificial Solar Systems package is a zip archive containing a set of thirty different Java programs (created using Easy Java Simulations) that simulate the night sky for fictitious solar systems.  Each simulation illustrates the motion of a "Sun" and some "planets" relative to a fixed background of stars.  

Students can use these simulations to make qualitative and quantitative observations of the solar and planetary motions.  These observations can then be used to construct models (Ptolemaic, Copernican, Tychonic, etc) for that solar system.  Handouts for these projects are provided as supplementary documents.

All of the solar systems were constructed such that all planets orbit in a common plane around the central "Sun".  All orbits are circular, and thus the planets move uniformly on their orbits.  This makes the geometry of the models much simpler.

Included in the zip archive is a spreadsheet giving the required data for each system.  Instructors who want their students to complete the projects individually should assign the 30 solar systems at random and privately document which solar system (by number) each student receives. Change the name of the solar system file from "ejs_YourSolarSystem01.jar" to "StudentNameSolarSystem.jar" (using the actual names of your students, of course) and then distribute the files to your students. That way your students will not know which system they have, so even if they get a copy of the solar system data file they will not be able to determine the data for their solar system without doing the necessary work (unless they want to rely on a 1 in 30 chance of guessing correctly).

Please note that this resource requires at least version 1.5 of Java (JRE).
4 supplemental documents are available
1 source code document is available
Subjects Levels Resource Types
- Astronomy Education
= Curricula
- Historical Astronomy
= History of Astronomy
= Philosophy of Science
- Solar System
- Lower Undergraduate
- High School
- Instructional Material
= Project
= Simulation
Intended Users Formats Ratings
- Learners
- Educators
- General Publics
- application/java
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Access Rights:
Free access
This material is released under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 license.
Rights Holder:
Todd Timberlake
Copernicus, EJS, Easy Java Simulations, OSP, Open Source Physics, Ptolemy, Tycho, deferent, epicycle, orbit, planet, retrograde
Record Cloner:
Metadata instance created January 3, 2013 by Todd Timberlake
Record Updated:
January 4, 2013 by Wolfgang Christian
Last Update
when Cataloged:
January 3, 2013
Other Collections:

ComPADRE is beta testing Citation Styles!

Record Link
AIP Format
T. Timberlake, Computer Program SIMPLE FICTITIOUS SOLAR SYSTEMS, Version 1.0 (2013), WWW Document, (https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=12569&DocID=3161).
T. Timberlake, Computer Program SIMPLE FICTITIOUS SOLAR SYSTEMS, Version 1.0 (2013), <https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=12569&DocID=3161>.
APA Format
Timberlake, T. (2013). Simple Fictitious Solar Systems (Version 1.0) [Computer software]. Retrieved October 20, 2017, from https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=12569&DocID=3161
Chicago Format
Timberlake, Todd. "Simple Fictitious Solar Systems." Version 1.0. https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=12569&DocID=3161 (accessed 20 October 2017).
MLA Format
Timberlake, Todd. Simple Fictitious Solar Systems. Vers. 1.0. Computer software. 2013. Java (JRE) 1.5. 20 Oct. 2017 <https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=12569&DocID=3161>.
BibTeX Export Format
@misc{ Author = "Todd Timberlake", Title = {Simple Fictitious Solar Systems}, Month = {January}, Year = {2013} }
Refer Export Format

%A Todd Timberlake
%T Simple Fictitious Solar Systems
%D January 3, 2013
%U https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=12569&DocID=3161
%O 1.0
%O application/java

EndNote Export Format

%0 Computer Program
%A Timberlake, Todd
%D January 3, 2013
%T Simple Fictitious Solar Systems
%7 1.0
%8 January 3, 2013
%U https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=12569&DocID=3161

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Citation Source Information

The AIP Style presented is based on information from the AIP Style Manual.

The AJP/PRST-PER presented is based on the AIP Style with the addition of journal article titles and conference proceeding article titles.

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The Chicago Style presented is based on information from Examples of Chicago-Style Documentation.

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Simple Fictitious Solar Systems:

Is Based On Easy Java Simulations Modeling and Authoring Tool

The Easy Java Simulations Modeling and Authoring Tool is needed to explore the computational model used in the Simple Fictitious Solar Systems.

relation by Wolfgang Christian

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