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This program shows the movement of planets under the influence of gavitation. To be able to show everything, the output is not to scale.
In the roll-down list in the upper right, you can choose the desired Planet. All Options only appliy to this Planet. The bar below it shows the color of the planet.
Using the top scroll bar you can change the mass of the chosen planet. The radius of the planets in the Output are directly proportional to their masses. The Number of planets can be changed by reducing the mass of some Planets to zero. This planets then disappear.
Using the other two scroll bars you can seperately set the starting velocity of the planet in X-direction (left to right) and in Y-direction (bottom to top).
You can change the position of the planets by pointing the mouse onto them, pressing and holding down the left button of your mouse and dragging the planet to the desired position.
Checking the top round option box draws the acceleration in all of its components onto the planet. The components are drawn in the color or the planet causing the acceleration component. The resulting acceleration is drawn in the color of the accelerated planet.
Checking the second round option box draws only the resulting acceleration on the planet, without showing the single components.
Checking the third round option box is comparable with checking the first one, but it shows gravitational forces instead of acceleration.
Checking the fourth round option box shows the resulting force on the planet, without showing its components.
Checking the bottom round option box deactivates the functions described above.
Using the button "Start" you can start the simulation. The button's caption then changes to "Stop", with which you can end the simulation.
"Pause" holds the simulation until it is continued using the "Resume" button, which then replaces the "Pause" button.
"Random" puts all planets onto random positions, masses, and starting velocities.
The squared check box "Show trail" prevents the program from deleting the actual picture before drawing the new one. Then all planets leave trails which document their movements.
If two planets fly trough each other, they might produce little falts in the calculation due to the high accelerations which are involved.
A system of more than two bodies is a chaotic system in most cases. Which means that tiny differences cause a completely different behavior of the system. This also applys to the simulation.
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"Black holes aren't black - After Hawking they shine!" Presented by Angie, Matthias and Thorsten Team C007571,ThinkQuest Internet Challenge 2000. Last modified: 2000-08-14.