Relativity of Space is an accurate 3D simulation of the solar system. It’s an attempt to add different perspectives to how we view the space we live in.
1. Visit all the planets, from the rocky worlds to the gas giants: NASA provided real images taken from space probes and terrestrial telescopes from its online archives, meaning that the planets’ textures are very realistic. The user interface provides the main information, as well as a set of data and links to NASA’s website.
2. Track the apparent motion of the sun and the planets relative to any planet: when you choose to travel to a planet, the center of the tracking system is reset to the planet of destination. For example, when you visit Earth you can track the apparent motion of the sun and the other planets from Earth's perspective. You can visit all the planets and discover, for the first time, what the solar system looks like from Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. Finally, you can track the planets individually and focus on a single motion at one time.
3. Track the motion of the solar system relative to nearby stars: the sun is moving, with respect to the stars in the solar neighborhood, pointing in the proximity to the star Vega, inside Hercules Constellation. For the first time, you can follow the sun in this special trek across the galaxy.
The user interface is designed to keep your most complex tasks simple. The basic controls are standard: navigate with the tap of your finger and pinch to zoom in and out.
Light in the void travels at the constant speed of about 300,000 km/sec but it's still very slow when we consider cosmic distances. In fact light takes more than eight minutes to reach Earth from the surface of the sun.
In this simulation we need to be much faster. It’s for this reason that you can exceed the light speed during your explorations. It’s important to keep this topic in mind, this is the only radical deviation from reality of the whole simulation! (a speed indicator appears under the info button when the time rate is set to "real time")
The simulation is very realistic, because all the data refers to public NASA factsheets, which are available on the NASA website. Distances, dimensions, orientations, stars and constellations, rotation speeds, orbital parameters, textures of the planets and the time rate are all accurate.
The center of the mass is approximated with the center of the sun.
The third law of Kepler is achieved by a geometric approximation (the orbital period is still correct).
There is no precession of the equinoxes.
After a long time on maximum speed the precision can lower due to the approximation of the irrational number Pi. If you’ve been using the application for 1 hour or more on this speed setting, return to the menu and start again before tracking the syncronized motion between Earth and Venus.
Relativity of Space is a personal and individual project, and is the first application I’ve released. I'm currently working on adding better graphics and many new features.
This includes an ‘extras’ page, which will have some independent chapters focusing on a specific topic. For instance, the first chapter will allow you to make a fast comparison between the dimensions of the planets and the sun.
What’s more, there’ll be a moon system of all the major moons of the gas giants, visual guidelines for the planes of references and asteroids fields, and a giant zoom-out to the galaxy.
Credit to NASA for sourcing the textures used in the planets, stars and constellations. No changes were made to the planets and the stars, though the look of the constellations has been slightly edited.
Thanks to Raptor Recording Studio for the music of the video, and to Lisa Rivera Leano for the help with the English translation.
Lastly, many thanks to my friends and family for their continued support.