Tag Archives: orbital diagram

JPL Small-Body Database Browser Has A New NON-Java ‘Orbit Diagram’ Viewer.

by Anura Guruge


Click to ENLARGE.

The announcement in ‘small type’.


In action. In this case with the 2018 GE3 asteroid that came very close to Earth on Sunday — with no warning at ALL.


I discovered this, to my utter joy, yesterday, when I was researching the rogue asteroid, 2018 GE3, that whizzed past Earth on Sunday with nary a notice. You can see the orbital diagram for that above, in the NEW orbital viewer.

It is NOT Java-based. That is so, so good. Running Java applets had become such a pain — with Web browsers, like Chrome, quite rightly, obsessing about the security vulnerabilities.

I had more or less stopped using the JPL Small-Body Database because the orbital viewer no longer worked.

And then … BINGO. Voila!

It is brilliant. Very nifty and has a built in screenshot capture as well as full-screen mode. You couldn’t ask for more.

Thank YOU, JPL. Good use of our taxpayer dollars.


Related posts:
Check Category ‘astronomy’.


by Anura Guruge

A/2017 U1 — Too Speculative To Claim That It Is ‘Interstellar’.

by Anura Guruge


Click to ENLARGE. From NASA/JPL @ http://www.jpl.nasa.gov.


Click to ENLARGE. Wikipedia: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A/2017_U1


Definitely extremely interesting and intriguing. Wow. Orbital eccentricity of 1.1922! The greatest we have ever seen — the keywords here being ‘ever seen’. Comet ISON, that crashed and burned on Thanksgiving Day 2013 had an eccentricity of 1.0000015.

But, here is the deal with eccentricity. Anything over 1.0 means that the object will eventually leave our Solar System. That we know. But, what we cannot tell as yet is WHEN A/2017 U1 got that highly eccentric orbit. We just do NOT know — as yet. And maybe never will.

To claim that it must have originated OUTSIDE of our Solar System — is speculative. We do NOT have enough evidence.

NASA/JPL’s official statement confirms that: “So far, everything indicates this is likely an interstellar object, but more data would help to confirm it.” Note the ‘likely‘ and the part about ‘more data … for confirmation‘. That is exactly MY POINT and what I am trying to impress.

The claim that its orbit was NOT influenced by a close encounter with a planet — typically one of the BIG ones — is speculative. It could have been majorly torqued around by Uranus or Neptune. We don’t know.

I have a druthers that this is a very old comet — a periodic one at that, which on its last trip out, maybe 400 years ago got too close to a gas giant and had its orbit turned ‘upside down’.

We don’t know.

All I am stressing is do NOT jump to conclusions.

We know so little about what has happened in OUR Solar System and what is happening right now.

But, it is exciting.


Has a ton of good information about comets.

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++++ Check Categories ‘Events’ &  ‘Astronomy’ for other related posts >>>>


by Anura Guruge