3d Orbit Plotter (Python)

Click the link to view the code on GitHub:



Screen shot 2013-06-20 at 1.31.20 PMThis is a 3d orbit plotter written in Python for the internal game engine of the open source program called Blender. The setting of the simulation is such that the Earth is fixed at the origin, and an orbiting body is placed at any point in space. Prior to the simulation the user sets the following attributes:

  • Mass of objects/planets
  • Starting coordinates of the orbiting body
  • Initial velocity of orbiting body
  • Number of time units to simulate

The user can change perspectives with the middle mouse button (drag and drop style) as well as zoom in/out by scrolling. The orbiting body may also be grabbed and moved (drag and drop style) using the left mouse button

Screen shot 2013-06-20 at 1.35.43 PMOnce the simulation begins, the trajectory of the orbiting body is graphed through 3d space. The user is permitted to alter the initial velocity of the orbiting body using the keyboard. The graphed trajectory is then updated in real-time. The user is warned via printed text if the altitude drops too low or if escape velocity is reached. Natural constants such as the gravitational constant, and the mass and radius of the Earth are taken into account for the most realistic results.

Screen shot 2013-06-20 at 1.30.23 PM

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