Kepler Orrery IV ups the ante on hypnotic space videos © Ethan Kruse

Kepler Orrery IV ups the ante on hypnotic space videos

A few years ago, the Kepler Orrery III animation showed more than 3,500 alien orbits in mesmerising detail, but the latest update proves to be even more hypnotic.

A few years ago, the Kepler Orrery III animation showed more than 3,500 planets in orbit in mesmerising detail, but the latest update proves to be even more hypnotic…

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Released by YouTube user and PhD student Ethan Kruse, the current video shows all the 1705 planets of the Kepler multi-planet systems orbiting to the same scale as our Solar System. The practicalities of making an orrery (digital or otherwise) mean the planets aren’t actually to scale, otherwise planets the size of Jupiter would be “annoyingly large” (Kruse’s words, not ours), but we do have the benefit of being able to see the relative temperatures of the planets thanks to their colours.

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Compared to the last release, which was ordered in a rigid square, this incarnation is much more relaxing, gently drifting away from our Solar System in concentric circles, adding to the calm. Also, the soundtrack this time is a little more blissed-out compared to Richard Wagner’s Ride of the Valkyries, which also helps…