Friday, January 29, 2010

The Sun From Other Planets

Sol as seen from a hypothetical planet around alpha Centauri A (Click to embiggen). Last week I looked at what the Southern Cross would look like from planets circling other stars. The week before that I made a stereogram of the Southern Cross by overlapping the view of the Southern Cross seen from Earth with that seen from Alpha Centauri A, only 4 light years away.

This week I'm looking at what our Sun, Sol would look like from the "surface" of alien planets.

To answer this I've used Celestia yet again, to travel to exoplanet locations and see what Sol woul look like in their skies. As with last week, most of these planets are "hot Jupiters" and the concept of surface is problematic, so I've shown the view from orbit. From a hypothetical planet around alpha Centauri A, Sol is a bright magnitude 0.5 star (almost as bright as Acrux) situated between Perseus and Cassiopeia. I wonder how aliens would incorporate Sol into their mythology of the skies? Would they merge the constellations?

Sol from from Epsilon Eridani B, 10.5 light years away. Sol is a 2.3 magnitude star, moderately bright (like Gacrux, gamma Crucis), in the constellation of Serpens. It would fit right in.

Sol as seen from the super earth Gliese 581 d, 20 light years away. Sol is a faint, 3.8 magnitude star (like epsilon Crucis, the fifth, dimmer star of the Cross), between the highly distorted constellations of Taurus and Cetus.


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