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N-body simulation of KSP's solar system -- closeup of Jool's moons

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Published on Nov 10, 2013

I recently uploaded a video showing the results of an n-body simulation of Kerbal Space Program's solar system. Over a time-frame of 100 years the system is stable, all except for Jool's moons. Vall gets ejected from Jool very quickly, and Pol eventually follows a few decades later.

This video shows the motion of Jool's moons for the first 3 Ms of the simulation so that Vall's ejection can be seen clearly. After a number of close passes by Laythe, Vall's orbit is pushed high enough that it encounters Tylo, which boosts it into a much higher elliptical orbit. A few orbits later it has another close encounter Tylo and gets ejected from Jool entirely, and thereafter orbits Kerbol independently. By 2.4 Ms it's gone.

This simulation was performed using Dormand and Prince's RK5(4)7M fifth-order embedded Runge Kutta scheme with a local position error limit of 0.1 mm. The simulation of the 3 Ms of motion of the Kerbol system took just a couple of seconds. I've made a version of the program I used to do this simulation available here: https://www.dropbox.com/s/39mi6hqq3ve...

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