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Universe Sandbox
July 11, 2008 11:44 PM   Subscribe

An Interactive Space Simulator "Smash planets together, introduce rogue stars, and build new worlds from spinning discs of debris. Fire a moon into a planet or destroy everything you've created with a super massive black hole. You can simulate and interact with our solar system: the 8 planets,160+ moons, and hundereds of asteroids, the nearest 1000 stars to our Sun, and our local group of galaxies." [31Mb, Windows only, sorry, but see inside for similar Mac and Linux apps]

If you're keen and you're not an XP or Vista user, you'll probably like Stellarium [Linux, Mac or Windows] and Celestia [Linux, Mac or Windows] [previously] as well, which are less physics simulation and more 'fly through the universe' brain food, but heaps of fun, too.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken (27 comments total) 21 users marked this as a favorite

 
I really enjoy the "speed-of-light simulation" in real time: waiting 8 minutes for your pulse to painstakingly crawl from the sun to the Earth.

Light is slooooooooooooooooooooooow in space.
posted by Avenger at 12:16 AM on July 12, 2008


will this melt my old CPU?
posted by joelf at 12:19 AM on July 12, 2008


Quick, everyone talk about how terrible this is so me 'n' my mac don't feel all lonesome!

Thanks for pointing the rest of us to some other very cool simulators, though - terrific post especially because of that!
posted by Solon and Thanks at 12:23 AM on July 12, 2008


Smash planets together, introduce rogue stars, and build new worlds from spinning discs of debris. Fire a moon into a planet or destroy everything you've created with a super massive black hole.

Awesome. You had me at "smash planets", but "fire a moon" and "rogue stars" are pretty catchy, too.

You can simulate

Simulate? What do you mean, simulate? What? NOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

Goddamn teases. I wanted to fire a moon at this planet. I just figured someone finally figured out how to use Windows XP or Vista for what they were originally designed to do.

Good stuff.
posted by loquacious at 12:44 AM on July 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


Light is slooooooooooooooooooooooow in space.

No, Space is big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the road to the drug store, but that's just peanuts to space.

-DA
posted by sourwookie at 12:48 AM on July 12, 2008 [2 favorites]


sweet, an opening! quick: someone think up a good eponysterical comment for me!
posted by Solon and Thanks at 12:52 AM on July 12, 2008


Windows only

STOP DOING THIS. JUST STOP.




Jes' kiddin', stav, jes' kiddin'...
posted by flapjax at midnite at 12:56 AM on July 12, 2008


I crashed the universe already.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 3:56 AM on July 12, 2008


The universe ALWAYS crashes under Windows.

stav, your description left me more than a little breathless. I've always been a megageek, but now I know the extreme level of megageekery that I operate under.
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 4:46 AM on July 12, 2008


No, Space is big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the road to the drug store chemist's, but that's just peanuts to space.

Hate to be a pedant, but... Douglas Adams deserves to be quoted correctly. The word is chemist's

'drug store' is such and ugly term, like side-walk, grave-yard and tube-steak.
posted by mattoxic at 5:01 AM on July 12, 2008


'drug store' is such and ugly term, like side-walk, grave-yard and tube-steak.

First off, no "d" in "an".

But OK, mattoxic, agreed on the "tube steak", that's kinda awful. But I also have to say I've never, ever heard anyone utter that term. I've seen it written, but haven't heard it spoken. Now, as concerns "drug store", it's probably a more accurate term when referring to shops the US. I mean, we're talking about a store that sells drugs.There may be no actual "chemist" within a hundred mile radius of many an American "drug store". So, Americans don't call them "chemist's". That would be, in many cases, inaccurate and pretentious. Plus, just try and imagine Otis Redding singing "that ain't nothing but chemists's love... Nah.

Now "graveyard" (no hyphen necessary) is a perfectly good word, as far as I'm concerned. But, pray tell, what are they called in England or Australia? And by the way, the rather more colorful "bone yard" has long been a favorite of mine (alright, favourite, if you insist). Reckon they don't call 'em "bone yards" in England or Australia, either.

No hyphen necessary in "sidewalk" either. Seems a very utilitarian term. I have no strong opinion on it one way or another. What are they called in England or Oz?
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:50 AM on July 12, 2008


If you have it crashing every time like i did, use this installer that i found on their FAQ.

Beware that it is a ONE HOUR trial version. Which probably means this gets boring too soon to even have a one day trial. It doesn't seem boring to me, but the developer sure has low confidence on it.
posted by CautionToTheWind at 6:13 AM on July 12, 2008


For all us Mac users, may I suggest Orbital. It Newtonianirific.
posted by JeffK at 7:09 AM on July 12, 2008


Cemetery and pavement.
posted by empath at 8:05 AM on July 12, 2008


Ah, hell, then! They're also called cemetaries, of course, in the US as well. And "pavement"? That's too generic, man. I mean, the street, where the cars go, is also "pavement", no? Or is that strictly" "tarmac" in Her Majesty's domain?
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:21 AM on July 12, 2008


Oh, and damn, I'm sorry, stav, I got carried away with this, but I realize it's a hell of a derail. Apologies.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:23 AM on July 12, 2008


It's "pay-mint" as they say here in South Philly. But then, we also say "Iggles" and "wooder" and my favourite, "beeyooteeful".
posted by subgear at 9:45 AM on July 12, 2008


I initially mis-read the post "the 8 planets, 160+ morons" and I thought "no wonder all the other solar systems make fun of us."
posted by subgear at 9:50 AM on July 12, 2008


"tube steak", that's kinda awful

But flapjax, that's what I used to endearingly call the muscles that ran up and down either side of a certain ballerina's spine. Not so awful, really, as I recall.
posted by StickyCarpet at 10:08 AM on July 12, 2008


It's kind of nasty not to let us know that it's a 1-hour trial version. I was just getting into it when the program started hectoring me to pay up.
posted by Zero Gravitas at 10:14 AM on July 12, 2008


ROTATO MADNESS!




[this is good]
posted by Busithoth at 10:36 AM on July 12, 2008


Beware that it is a ONE HOUR trial version

Oh shit, really? If I'd realized that I wouldn't have linked it. Sorry!
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 11:12 PM on July 12, 2008


Beware that it is a ONE HOUR trial version.

What?! That's not mentioned on the page... oh I see, the existence of that "buy" link is supposed to be my warning.

F A I L .
posted by JHarris at 1:41 AM on July 13, 2008


Eh, don't sweat it stav, it's an awesome post even if it's a trial version.
posted by absalom at 2:46 AM on July 13, 2008


How meta. Eventually we'll have universe simulators capable of a level of detail equivalent to our own universe, then we'll be stuck with an ethical quandry of what to do with all these sentient beings when we need to reboot.
posted by mullingitover at 3:15 AM on July 13, 2008


And "pavement"? That's too generic, man. I mean, the street, where the cars go, is also "pavement", no? Or is that strictly" "tarmac" in Her Majesty's domain?

We Australians call the bit you walk on the footpath. A path for your feet! The rest of you is allowed too. The green bit between the footpath and the road is called the `nature strip'.

Strictly speaking that's `tarmacadam'.
posted by tomble at 1:15 AM on July 14, 2008


To make up for the 1-hour crippleware, here's something similarly neato: ParticleMan, the first of the freely-downloadable Spore prototype thingies they're releasing.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:29 AM on July 14, 2008


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