I’ve retreated into an unbloody world of animated depictions of astronomical measurements. All this trauma has got me dissociated. I’m out of body and I’ve gone cosmic.
A few years ago, I wrote a book about the 2012 hoopla, where I learned about how the Solar System orbits around the center of the Milky Way galaxy once every ~240,000,000 years (one Galactic Year). The trajectory has been classically described as a “horse-on-a-carousel” motion, passing through the Galactic Plane every ~35,000,000 years.
So it’s interesting to see all of this data animated in what looks more like a corkscrew trajectory, or what is here being called here the Helical Model by musician (and slick computer animator) DJ Sadhu. This same creator made a video about the orbit of the Solar System’s planets around the Sun that went viral worldwide, including on this site. You’ve probably seen it, it’s very cool.
DJ Sadhu says the animation was based on the work of Indian ethnobotanist, Dr. Keshava Bhat and he admits that the scale of both the corkscrews are off. Bad Astronomy’s Phil Plait says the errors here are more than just about scale.
Plait, a professional skeptic who’s served as the President of the James Randi Educational Foundation says first, that the orbits of the planets are tipped by 60°, not 90° as shown, so the planets are sometimes ahead and sometimes behind the Sun; they’re not being dragged behind the Sun in a “vortex”. Second, the “carousel” motion of the Solar System occurs with a periodicity of four times per Galactic Year, not the dozens of times shown. Finally, the massive curlicue trajectory shown of the Solar System as it revolves around the Galaxy is completely wrong; Bhat confused the Ecliptic Plane with the Galactic Plane.
Otherwise, Plait calls Sadhu’s animation “lovely”, which it is and I think still worth contemplating – anything to put the hideousness of what’s happening in America into a greater context – and that transports us away!