An Orbit Map of the Solar System

June 14, 2019

If you want to know what a talent for scientific visualizations looks like, check out Eleanor Lutz. She’s a PhD student in biology at the University of Washington, and at her website Tabletop Whale, you can see her amazing work on full display.

Her latest piece is a map showing all the orbits of over 18,000 asteroids in the Solar System. It includes 10,000 asteroids that are over 10km in diameter, and about 8,000 objects of unknown size.

As the tagline at her website says, she produces “Charts, infographics, and animations about any and all things science.” This includes things like a “Visual Compendium of Glowing Creatures,” “All the Stars You Can See From Earth,” and a beautiful topographic map of Mercury.

But it’s her newest project that is garnering her a lot of attention in the space community. Lutz is working on an Atlas of Space, and has been for the last year and a half. It’s a collection of ten visualizations including planets, moons, and outer space. As she says on her website, “I’ve made an animated map of the seasons on Earth, a map of Mars geology, and a map of everything in the solar system bigger than 10km.” It’s that map of objects larger than 10km that is generating buzz.

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