Ancient Planetary Model Animations

A very brief introduction to the models and an equally brief User’s Guide.

For more detail and background, try Six Easy Lectures on Ancient Mathematical Astronomy.

I. The following links point to animations which run in web browsers, and thus need the latest Flash plug-in from Note that right-clicking a link will generally offer the option of opening the animation in a new window, thus allowing you to easily open several animations simultaneously if you choose.

II. The following links point to stand-alone versions of the animations, for both Windows and Macintosh computers, which can be run in full-screen mode (ctrl-f in Windows, something similar for Macs):

Mercury Windows Macintosh

Venus Windows Macintosh

Outer planet (Jupiter) Windows Macintosh

Inner planet (Venus) Windows Macintosh

The above files have the advantage that you may save the executable files locally on your computer and thus avoid any dependence on a network connection when you want to use them. They have the disadvantage that if you do that, you might not have the latest version of the animations.

III. Some technical details which might be useful for anyone who wants to understand how the models work, or to create similar models.

IV. Links to Related Sites

Please consider all the animations as works in progress. Anyone is welcome to use them freely for any non-commercial purpose. They are particularly intended to be useful for teaching, independent study by students, and perhaps contemplation of just how clever the ancient astronomers were. Please with any suggestions for improvements, and especially if you notice any errors.