All stars are in motion, so the patterns and constellations we see in the sky today were not always that way, and will not remain as we see them. The time scale is vast; a human lifetime is not usually long enough to notice any change in the positions of stars. What did the night sky look like to the first humans? How will they look to our descendents 100,000 years from now?
Drag the slider to visit distant past and far future views of the Big Dipper. Drag and zoom the stars to alter the view.
Data is sourced from the HYG stellar database. Star velocities are given as simple linear x, y and z Cartesian vectors and no allowance is made for n-body problems. Thanks to Amir Hajian and Dave Reed for astrophysics and math tutoring.
So far this project is designed for non-touchscreen modern browsers only. Actually only for Chrome on my Macbook. Feel free to send ideas and feedback to
romer[dot]brian[at]gmail[dot]com or tweet me at @briromer