Falling in Circles
Simulation of 260,000 Trojan asteroids
More About This Demo From The Author
This demo simulates the effect that the gravitational interaction between the Sun and Jupiter has on about 260,000 asteroids. After it runs for a few minutes, you will begin to see some patterns develop. First, Jupiter will clear out most of the asteroids from its orbit but will leave some inside its orbit and some outside. Second, you will see two pockets of "Trojan" asteroids develop about 60 degrees ahead and behind the planet. These are locations of gravitationally stability where the forces balance out and allow objects to remain in lock-step with Jupiter. Select info icon in the top-left of the screen to learn more.
This simulation of the asteroids is done entirely on your computer's GPU. Normally used for rendering graphics, the GPU is also an extremely powerful vector processor, allowing many calculations to be done in parallel.
Left mouse button - Click and hold to spawn asteroids in a circular orbit around the Sun.
Right mouse button - Click and hold to spawn asteroids with velocity relative to the mouse. Drag the mouse while spawning to affect their starting velocity.
Space bar - Toggle between a Sun and Jupiter perspective. In Jupiter's perspective, the locations of gravitational balance are highlighted.
About this Demo
This demo is released under the Apache license.