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Here are a few new simulations performed by Phil Oakley.

New Worlds One-Year Orbit 

This is a simultation of the Earth-Sun system, viewed edge-on. The star is in the center, blocked out by the New Worlds starshade. The glow around the edges of the star is the exo-zodiacal dust of the inner solar system. The Earth can be seen orbiting orbiting the Sun, in this year-long simulation. The Earth appears a "pale blue," due to the oceans. As the Earth orbits the Sun, at certain times it adds to the brightness of the exo-zodiacal dust. The other object in the simulation that begins on the left and reappears "under" the Sun is actually a comet!

New Worlds Five Day Simulation

This is a five-day simulation of Earth in it's orbit around the Sun. Again, the Sun is blocked out by the starshade. Note: The Earth does not "jump" around its orbit; this is just an error in our simulation. However, in the simulation, the Earth seems to be "pulsing" in brightness. This is due to the rotation of the Earth. The Earth's deserts appear very bright, while the oceans are very dark. As the Earth rotates, the planet's apparent brightness changes. Through photometry, New Worlds would be able to roughly map continents and oceans of extrasolar planets! (See the next simulation for more clarification).

Reflectance Simulation 

This simulation illustrates the changing reflectance of the Earth as the Earth rotates. Africa, due to the Sahara desert, is very bright, while the Pacific Ocean results in a drop in reflectance.

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New Worlds is a part of CASA at the University of Colorado, Boulder. Click here to contact the webmaster. Site design by Sarah LeVine.