Ultimate space simulation software

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Watsisname
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08 Jan 2017 15:48

That's some serious color. :)  It's interesting to me how in the winter, even if you're not very close to the arctic circle, the sun is still low enough even in mid-day for the scattering to affect the color, and everything has a kind of golden yellow quality in the light.
 
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08 Jan 2017 15:53

Watsisname,yeah you right, i can see that here too few times per winter. and my country is close to the equator. much more south than you two countries
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midtskogen
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09 Jan 2017 01:30

The sun is 6 degrees above the horizon at noon in mid-winter here, and I don't really perceive the light as yellow, but a digital camera will disagree objectively.  The only thing special about mid-winter noon is that if there's a thick cloud cover, then the day never feels fully bright.  This is particularly felt in December if there isn't any snow yet to make things brighter.

I think the sun needs to be just 2 - 3 degrees above the horizon to be perceived distinctively different.  Like the midnight sun in northern Norway in the summer.  Sure, the sun is still up at midnight, but unless it's overcast, you still have a diurnal cycle.  The sun gets yellow or red at midnight.  Only when you go very far north, like Svalbard, the daily cycle truly vanishes in the summer, when the sun even at midnight is brilliantly white for two months.  Likewise in winter, the sun doesn't rise in northern Norway, but there still is twilight and a diurnal cycle.  Even in Svalbard the southern sky is not completely black towards the south in clear weather on 21 December, and if you have a low horizon, the sky has a greenish or even orange tint just above the horizon at noon, though the terrain is completely dark unless the Moon's up.  Only the final 5 degrees around the poles will have no diurnal cycle whatsoever, and only for a few weeks a year.

Which leads to an interesting fact.  One could perhaps hastily think that the extra light in summer equally cancels the darkness of winter at high latitudes, but if you define daylight as, say, >10 lux, the north pole and south pole are the places on Earth with the most daylight over a year.  By far.  The tropics have the most darkness.
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Watsisname
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09 Jan 2017 02:43

Weird.  For me the midwinter sun gets at most ~19° above the horizon, and even then I see the light as yellower.  This angle is equivalent to viewing through three atmospheres.  The effect becomes very obvious when it's less than ~10 degrees above the horizon (5-6 atmospheres).  Maybe the next clear day I'll photograph it, but as you say, it's easier to see with a camera than the human eye since we naturally white balance.  Or perhaps my eyes are just not very good at white balancing? :)

This is also extremely important in astronomy, since it affects the color (not to mention magnitude) of stars and you have to account for it.

I'd really like to take a trip up to Alaska or somewhere very north and see the midnight Sun.
 
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DoctorOfSpace
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09 Jan 2017 02:46

Watsisname wrote:
Source of the post I'd really like to take a trip up to Alaska or somewhere very north and see the midnight Sun.

You and me both, furthest north I have been is Toronto :(
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midtskogen
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09 Jan 2017 04:25

My northermost is 79[color=#ffffff]°12'N (11°57'E).  We had planned to pass[color=#ffffff] 80° north of Spitsbergen, but ice blocked the north coast that summer.  This was in the 90's when the ice conditions were worse than today (even today in January there's open water to [color=#ffffff]82°).

Personally, I find the 24 hour darkness more fascinating than the midnight sun, since it's more of a challenge.  In particular you realise that there is no "it can wait till we get some daylight" when you need to fix or find something, which is particularly frustrating if all you have are a paraffin lamp and a lousy flashlight.
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My furthest south is Buenos Aires, 34° 49'S. :roll:

EDIT: I have no idea why this post has these color-tags.  Looks like it has something to do with the degree signs, but everything looks good in the edit box.[/color][/color][/color]
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Mosfet
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09 Jan 2017 07:42

If you changed colors during the typing, then you hit return, it's possible that color tags nested and closing tags were carried with new lines, generating this.
Speaking of prolonged darkness, I'm more and more interested in antarctic programs, and people passing months in isolation in places like Concordia or McMurdo bases. I always think of a tweet a couple years ago, showing a -68°C on a screen, when someone around me is making noises for a "cozy -4" Celsius :)
http://www.antarctic-adventures.de/
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midtskogen
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09 Jan 2017 10:12

Mosfet wrote:
Speaking of prolonged darkness, I'm more and more interested in antarctic programs, and people passing months in isolation in places like Concordia or McMurdo bases. I always think of a tweet a couple years ago, showing a -68°C on a screen, when someone around me is making noises for a "cozy -4" Celsius :)
http://www.antarctic-adventures.de/

Both McMurdo and Concordia are further from their pole than the 2000 inhabitant town of Longyearbyen, which is much more accessible and have fresh food flown in almost daily year round.  But the climate near the north pole is of course much more pleasant than its southern counterpart.  McMurdo is a big station with more than a 1000 people living there during the summer and about 250 during the winter.  So it's more or less a company town.  Coincidentally, I watched a TV programme last night about life in McMurdo year around.  Apparently, many people feel somewhat confined during the winter.  Not much outdoor activities beside work.  For Norwegians this seems odd.  Many Norwegians (and other nationalities, mainly European) move to Svalbard because they love outdoor life in the wilderness, and the winter darkness doesn't stop them.  It would be unthinkable for me if I were to spend a winter at McMurdo not to ski regularly dark or not, or wander off as far from the station as my work obligations would allow.  The coldest month there averages -26°C, which isn't much to complain about unless it's very windy.  On the plus side, there are no predators to worry about in Antarctica.
A nuisance of spending winters at high latitudes comfortably lodged in a town or station is the low humidity.  Constant static electricity indoors, and your skin gets dry and itchy.  That applies to any cold place, really.
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scalbers
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09 Jan 2017 11:56

It seems the red sunset can be helped by ducting as that would extend the path of the sun through the lower atmosphere allowing for more Rayleigh scattering. Refraction would be accordingly increased as well.

A second factor to keep in mind is that any ozone reduction can increase the reds since ozone is a strong absorber of red and green light.

In general having a low cloud base with few aerosols are also helpful.
 
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10 Jan 2017 14:15

not my image but it was taken in a town close to mine by someone today:
but yours look more impressive and red color, i guess its because of norther place
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Watsisname
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10 Jan 2017 20:24

Spacer wrote:
Watsisname,beautiful image! added to backgrounds folder! it seems washington state very cold this time of the year

It was actually pretty nice when I took that picture.  Calm and a bit above freezing (at least near sea level -- colder up high or far from water). Today was much different though.  It started at around 0C, but steadily dropped throughout the day (despite being perfectly sunny), with winds out of the north at up to 30m/s.  Like a clear-day ice hurricane.  Brrrr!~  

(This weather pattern tends to happen a few times per winter here, when super-cold and dry arctic air dams up behind the mountains and funnels through terrain gaps.  The winds can sometimes reach over 50m/s in places when this happens, with very low windchill. The upside is that it gives you the most perfectly clear air you've ever seen, and distant mountains look like they're right next to you.) :)

Pretty sunset!
 
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11 Jan 2017 06:25

Watsisname,sound awesome. i never felt cold clean air in my life. coldest temp i ever been was -3c
also there is always high dust level in the air here because i live next to several deserts like the sahara. (also sucks because of my asthma) i hope i would feel one day such clean northen air
"Exploration is in our nature. We began as wanderers, and we are wanderers still"
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Gnargenox
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03 Feb 2017 02:17

It just came to me in a delirious, sleep-deprived vision, so I just had to create this decoupage before going to bed!

Castle Grayskull with 4 moons B.jpg


On a fictional terrestrial planet called Eternia sits the mighty Castle Grayskull, jutting out of an abyss in a barren plain just on the edge of the Evergreen Forest. It was once the beautiful Hall of Wisdom, the center of Eternian culture and a storehouse of all knowledge of the universe & meeting place of the Council of Elders. One day, the elders saw a vision of a beautiful woman dressed in snake armor who warned of future danger and also the coming of a stranger. The elders concentrated all of their power into a magical orb. The elders then magically transformed the Hall of Wisdom into Castle Grayskull in order to frighten away intruders and protect the orb.
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Gnargenox
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08 Feb 2017 02:11

I've always loved the idea of a computer simulation program encompassing the entire Universe. I think that is the simple reason I love Space Engine.

Things have come a long way since the days I first played around with a cassette tape recorder and a Radio Shack TRS-80 MC-10 produced by Tandy in the early 80s. I couldn't wait to be able to fly through the Solar System exploring each planet someday. So the first chance I got, I created my own! The Unreal Tournament game was released in December 1999. It was an arena styled first person shooter game. It was a doorway to a new universe for me.

Unreal Editor, also called UnrealEd, was the level editor used to create levels for the series. All Unreal games on the PC had the level editor included for free. Amateur level designers from all corners of the world created their own levels for the game and uploaded them to various forums, providing a near endless amount of additional content for the game. In addition, the built-in scripting language called UnrealScript (similar to Java) allowed for editors to customize game content. So, that's what I did!

The arena or level had limitations, especially the size of them. I had to stay within a certain sized box basically. I maxed out the area and placed all the orbits (perfect circles) of the planets, including Pluto. I found out though, if I kept the scale of the planet inline with the scale of the orbit, they would be way way too small to ever see from anywhere. I had to enlarge them all, except the sun, which stayed in scale with the orbits. The final result was a playable map with all the game play elements and a chance to finally see textured spheres rotating and orbiting all at their correct speeds while I could fly around and day dream.

It is almost laughable now at the horrible graphics and clunky movements, but I share it with you now in hopes that you can fully appreciate the shear awesomeness of Space Engine.

Release date: 11-23-2002 with 1,124 Downloads (I just CANNOT believe it but someone actually downloaded it around 8 hours ago! LOLOL)

Version 3 was re-writen by someone else in 2014 to fix OpenGL issues

You can check it out at:
http://www.mapraider.com/profiles/Gnargenox
http://www.mapraider.com/maps/unreal-to ... olarSystem
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Watsisname
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10 Feb 2017 18:50

A pretty nice moonset, showing the green/red rim effect.

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The lord of sky:

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