The aim of the models made though the duration of this project (linked at the bottom of the page) was to enable the pubic to find out more about planets outside of our own solar system by creating computer models of them.
There is a flexible model which has been designed so that the planetary systems can be added simply, by roughly giving the mass and orbital elements of a planet. If added correctly you can see how interesting planets orbit around each other and interact. the code enables the planets to orbit each other realistically due to the settings of gravity in the world we created.
Information about these systems can be found at http://kepler.nasa.gov/Mission/discoveries/ and http://exoplanets.org/table.
We used the example model of Kepler-62 and Kepler-36 to run a small research experiment. By running test in the NetLogo BehaviorSpace we found the mass of the planets masses more accurately than given on the aforementioned databases, the results of the tests and full report have been attached.
The model of our own solar system was created as a useful learning tool, it contains replicas of our own sun and the eight planets in our solar system (not to scale). The reason this model is so interesting is because of the fact that it is replicating the real life forces acting on the planet. The model is interactive and it is easy to adjust the strength of gravity and the laws that apply the force of gravity. Helpful features on the model are the graphs that show a planets distance from the centre of mass of the solar system. you can track the movement of different planets.
Have a go at playing with the models or creating your own see what you can discover!!
Flexible models ready to use:
Analysis of the experiments below and the process of creating the model can be found in the project report.