Product: Orrery
Variocentric Orrery   (+6)  [vote for, against]
'Jeeves, set my orrery to the Tychonic system, post-haste!'

The movement of this orrery is entirely contained within the model sun. The planets are attached on arms much stronger than the usual spindly stalks.

Each sphere has a type of bayonet fitting at its north pole, and the stand has a single column with a matching fitting from which the orrery hangs. The idea is that you can detach the whole mechanism from the support column and mount a different planet at the centre. The movement is strong enough to support anything from a heliocentric solar system to a plutocentric one.
-- mitxela, Dec 30 2014

browser based simulation
[mitxela, Jan 02 2015]

Ooh I likey.
Can we change and morph the shape and size of the Earth at whim too?

Variocentric Orrery $129.95
Flat Earth/turtles-all-the-way-down expansion pack $59.95
Causing Ptolemy to continually spin in his grave... priceless.
-- 2 fries shy of a happy meal, Dec 31 2014

Excellent! This reminds me of another idea, which I've been meaning to post for a while...
-- pertinax, Dec 31 2014

You could have a rotating, telescopic support arm for the sun, obviating the need for changing the support.

Problem is, the planetary arms would give the game away, demonstrating it to be merely an offset heliocentric model. Better to have each body mounted on a seperate, rotating, telescoping arm.

If each body was formed as a coloured / printed rubber ballon, their relative sizes could be adjusted by a base-mounted air pump. Possibly some kind of scale/laminar-construction could be used for similar effect.
-- pocmloc, Jan 01 2015

It certainly would be nice to give no indication of the mechanism, and let the viewer decide on what makes the most sense to have at the centre.

One day I shall build a variocentric orrery out of brass (possibly with the option of interchangeable flat earth/great a'tuin) but in the mean time I have built one out of javascript.
-- mitxela, Jan 02 2015

^ (+)
-- 2 fries shy of a happy meal, Jan 02 2015

Thanks for a fun half hour [mitx]!
-- pocmloc, Jan 02 2015

^ ^^ (^^^)
-- FlyingToaster, Jan 02 2015

random, halfbakery