Asteroid Density Plots

Not Much To say really, just some movies I made in my spare time plotting the density of known asteroids in the solar system. The data was taken from the astorb.dat catalogue, and uses the orbits of over 280,000 objects. The movies essentially show the addition of objects from the file, at first slowly but accelerating over time (if I added one per frame it would take over 3 hours to run!). I've not made any effort to map this to real dates, but the number of objects is on every frame so you can make a guess from that.

The plots show densities mapped in false colour, with a logarithmic scale so we can fit the full range of densities in a somewhat meaniful fashion. There are 2 versions of each movie, one has the density scale normalised to the peak density in each frame, the second has the density normalised to the peak density in the final frame. Two different mappings are displayed, one is a simple projection of the ecliptic, essentially looking down on the orbit of the planets, the other is a toroidal mapping which maps distance from the sun horizintally and altitude above the ecliptic vertically.

The movies are encoded using XviD which should be universally playable (even my DVD player understands the format!). The original frames have double the resolution, but for the sake of my bandwidth costs I'm only supplying the half resolution versions. If you're really interested I can make the original ultra high resolution movies available via imeem (my current project), or if curiosity really gets ahold of you there's raw data which takes up approximately 8gigs....

Anyway - on with the movies

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Copyright 2005 Scott Manley