Results 1 to 12 of 12

Thread: What would be a good metaphor for the collective motion of belt asteroids or KBOs?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Posts
    5,657

    What would be a good metaphor for the collective motion of belt asteroids or KBOs?

    I've been thinking of "river" but I don't think the analogy fits. Can't think of anything better though. Any ideas?
    "Occam" is the name of the alien race that will enslave us all eventually. And they've got razors for hands. I don't know if that's true but it seems like the simplest answer."

    Stephen Colbert.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Depew, NY
    Posts
    12,207
    A vibrating hoop? Lobes increase with frequency.
    Solfe

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    14,421
    I think I would prefer stream to river. I think we often use stream to refer to the flow of water from a sprinkler, for instance.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    As above, so below

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    4,878

    Carry Us All

    Quote Originally Posted by parallaxicality View Post
    I've been thinking of "river" but I don't think the analogy fits. Can't think of anything better though. Any ideas?
    Carousel.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    19,228
    There are multiple streams or groups of asteroids, many broken off a parent asteroid in related orbits. I might imagine it as a little like currents in a river.

    "The problem with quotes on the Internet is that it is hard to verify their authenticity." Abraham Lincoln

    I say there is an invisible elf in my backyard. How do you prove that I am wrong?

    The Leif Ericson Cruiser

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Massachusetts, USA
    Posts
    22,123
    Of course the metaphor's quality depends on which aspect of this you want to apply to what other idea, and what aspects you think the audience doesn't already know. Maybe you'd like bugs buzzing around a bug-zapper, or maybe fallen leaves floating down a river, or spun sugar coming out of a cotton candy machine... None are nearly as good as a multitude of rocks of widely varying sizes orbiting the Sun mostly in the same direction.
    Forming opinions as we speak

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Central Virginia
    Posts
    2,152
    A circular swarm? .......... A disenfranchised donut?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Posts
    5,657
    Just glad you think river's OK. Kinda hinging the entire theme of the vid on it.
    "Occam" is the name of the alien race that will enslave us all eventually. And they've got razors for hands. I don't know if that's true but it seems like the simplest answer."

    Stephen Colbert.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Massachusetts, USA
    Posts
    22,123
    Quote Originally Posted by parallaxicality View Post
    Just glad you think river's OK. Kinda hinging the entire theme of the vid on it.
    I'm not thrilled with a river, mostly because there is such a wide variety of speeds that these things move, and many are well outside the plane of the ecliptic. I think the movement of a river is more smooth, and implies flow, whereas the asteroids rarely touch each other and move independently of each other. You can use the river analogy to explain certain concepts of the movement of the asteroid belt... like you would probably try to compare Jupiter's trojan asteroids to eddys near something jutting into the stream. One thing I've learned here at this forum is that you must be very careful to explain to people that your metaphor can only be applied in limited ways. In this case you're likely to get people thinking that asteroids have a current, or that you can go fishing there, or ride a casino boat.
    Forming opinions as we speak

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2020
    Posts
    25
    As it seems to me, besides the river, the name "stream" is suitable. Or maybe the "chain" will work?

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Nowhere (middle)
    Posts
    37,998
    A swarm of bees around a nest? Dust in the wind? Really, metaphors can only go so far, when dealing with multiple orbital paths so varied and scattered. The Belt is IMO really not even a belt, it's a statistical uptick compared to the density of asteroid orbits elsewhere in the inner Solar System.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    The beautiful north coast (Ohio)
    Posts
    49,987
    Quote Originally Posted by antoniseb View Post
    I'm not thrilled with a river, mostly because there is such a wide variety of speeds that these things move, and many are well outside the plane of the ecliptic. I think the movement of a river is more smooth, and implies flow, whereas the asteroids rarely touch each other and move independently of each other. You can use the river analogy to explain certain concepts of the movement of the asteroid belt... like you would probably try to compare Jupiter's trojan asteroids to eddys near something jutting into the stream. One thing I've learned here at this forum is that you must be very careful to explain to people that your metaphor can only be applied in limited ways. In this case you're likely to get people thinking that asteroids have a current, or that you can go fishing there, or ride a casino boat.
    I second that. I think most of these metaphors imply properties and behavior that are not correct for asteroids or KBOs. For one, they imply the density of objects that is often completely misrepresented in science fiction movies.

    As someone else asked, what property of these objects are you trying to convey with this analogy?
    At night the stars put on a show for free (Carole King)

    All moderation in purple - The rules

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •