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Tue Mar 31, 2015, 12:37 PM

GIFs Show Constellations Transforming Over 150,000 Years


THE BIG DIPPER CHANGING OVER TIME, FROM 100,000 BCE TO PRESENT-DAY TO 50,000 CE TO 100,000 CE. GIF: MARTIN VARGIC

ANY GRADE SCHOOL kid can identify constellations like the Big Dipper or Orion in the night sky. But 50,000 years from now (assuming civilization hasn’t blotted the sky out with several millennium’s worth of chemical and light pollution) kids will be pointing out constellations that bear little resemblance to the ones you know.

Martin Vargic, a graphic designer from Slovakia, created a chart that shows how the Big Dipper, Orion, Crux, Leo, Cassiopeia, and Lyra have changed throughout human history, and how they will look from Earth in the distant future. Using data from the European Space Agency’s Hipparcos satellite, which collected data on celestial object positions from 1989 to 1993, Vargic estimated how the constellations would transform between 50,000 BCE to 100,000 CE.


The images that astronomers associate with constellations have always been a little…imaginative, but over these time scales certain constellations will distort beyond recognition. “The changes in these star patterns occur because the stars that comprise constellations are not physically related,” explains E.C. Krupp, director of the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles. “They are all independent objects, at different distances from us and from each other and moving independently from each other.” Over time, Leo (above) will contort into an anatomically impossible backbend, and Crux’s Southern Cross will transform into Southern Parallel Lines.

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http://www.wired.com/2015/03/gifs-show-constellations-transforming-150000-years/

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Reply GIFs Show Constellations Transforming Over 150,000 Years (Original post)
n2doc Mar 2015 OP
Binkie The Clown Mar 2015 #1
Overseas Apr 2015 #2

Response to n2doc (Original post)

Tue Mar 31, 2015, 03:31 PM

1. I see now why the cave men...

...called it "The Big Chef's Knife" instead of "The Big Dipper." It all makes sense.

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Response to n2doc (Original post)

Thu Apr 2, 2015, 08:55 AM

2. K&R.

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