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Atlas of Light

Atlas of Light

In the intensely dark night, our eyes get lost.
they scan the slightest source of light - in search of a marker.
From Earth, we contemplate the Sky. From space, we admire the Earth,
the Moon, next the planets and the other small bodies of our Solar System.
But what would we feel beyond this physical border?

ligne horizontale
point The sky visible with the naked eye from Earth

Here begins our journey in the Universe... On the surface of our Earth. Move away from artificial lighting, turn your eyes to the sky and contemplate the many points of light that dot the darkness, the void, the infinite, the unknown ... Their colors, their brilliance differ, their spatial distribution as well. So that our ancestors have grouped them into constellations displaying for most animal forms (Ursae Majoris, Draco, Canis Majoris, etc.), for some human forms (Orionis). All seem to be distributed on the surface of a sphere centered on our Earth. Our journey will show that this assertion is only an illusion, however...

point The Earth, this thin crescent of light

In the age of NewSpace, let's take a ticket to space. Let's embark aboard a space shuttle. Let's put on our suit, our helmet, and sit comfortably in the seats provided for this purpose. The engines light up, the rocket shakes. 3, 2, 1 ... Go! Here we go. The flight is nominal. After a few hours of cruising, we are already 50,000 kilometers from Earth. At this precise moment, our planet appears to us under the aspect of a thin crescent of light, relatively close to the constellation of Orion and the star Sirius.

The Earth crescent

This 3D view of the Earth illuminated by the Sun is the result of numerical simulations combining satellite images of the Earth and algorithms of positioning of the stars (Earth, Sun, stars) on the celestial vault. It simulates a view acquired on March 31, 2022 at a distance of 50 000 km. At this precise moment, the constellation of Orion and the star Sirius are located relatively close to our Earth. In the absence of any light pollution, the Earth appears as a thin crescent of light.
point The Earth, one of the planets of our Solar System

As we move away from our Earth, various objects of different sizes and colors appear within our field of vision. These are the other planets of our Solar System. Some are rocky (Venus, Mars), others are gaseous (Jupiter, Saturn, Neptune). But all of them are near a plane called the ecliptic, centered on the Sun.

Planetary alignment

This 3D view shows the planets Venus, Jupiter, Neptune, Mars, Earth and Saturn illuminated by our Sun. It results from numerical simulations combining satellite images of the planets of our Solar System and algorithms of positioning of the stars (Earth, Sun, planets, stars) on the celestial vault. It simulates a view acquired on May 5, 2022 at a distance of 150,000 kilometers from Earth.