Wouldn't it be cool if you could place a solar system with exoplanets onto your site? Okay, this may sound quite irritating, so let me explain... An extrasolar planet, or exoplanet, is a planet beyond the Solar System. A few hundred have been detected so far, most of them are Jupiter-like massive giant planets.
So how can we put something like that onto a website or blog? Well, we won't use any of the planets detected by astronomers, but we'll use virtual solar systems. And where is it possible to get virtual solar systems from? Quite simple, there's a community website called Galaxiki which is in fact a fictional online galaxy that anyone can edit think of it as some kind of Wikipedia-like galaxy where each star, each planet and each moon is represented by a Wiki page. Check it out if you don't know it yet:https://galaxiki.org
The Galaxiki community site contains over a million stars, most of them have planets, and some of those may even allow life forms to exist. Of course there are also double star systems (remember Tatooine, where Luke Skywalker grew up), black holes (dangerous stuff...), pulsars, neutron stars and other weird objects one might expect in a real galaxy. As a site member (free membership) you can name and edit stars owned by the community, or you can even buy your own solar system.
Okay, now that we know what exoplanets are and we also know that there's a place housing virtual solar systems we can proceed to the interesting bit: placing a solar system from Galaxiki onto any website or blog.To do so we'll use the so-called solar system widget. A web widget (sometimes also called gadget, snippet, mini or flake) is in fact a portable chunk of code that can be installed and executed within any web page, so you'll only have to copy a simple line of code and paste it into your website's or blog's template code to make it work. It's really that simple. The code required to place a solar system from the Galaxiki community site can be found here:https://galaxiki.org/widget
By copy-pasting the default widget code we'll get a 200 x 200 pixel 2D widget on a black background. The funny part of these widgets is that the planets are actually orbiting the stars following predefined physical rules, although you'll have to wait some time until you'll notice this (orbiting a star takes some time in most cases...)It's possible to use any solar system for your widget. Click onto the "Explore" tab to open the galaxy browser, which is in fact some kind of "Google maps in space". It allows to browse the galaxy and select any star or solar system. Alternatively you may also use the "beam me" feature which will take you to a random star in the galaxy. Then click onto "Make Widget" to get the widget code for the selected solar system. There's also an option to use a random star with your widget, this is explained on the widget page.Of course a 3D widget would be cool too - no problem, simply adjust the dimension parameters (width and height) in the widget code to anything you like. On the widget page you'll find an example of a 640 x 240 pixels 3D widget on a white background, although you may change these parameters to anything you like.But what is it good for? Well, after all it's just fun - having a 3D solar system on your website or blog may be interesting for your visitors, as it's something you probably won't see on a lot of sites.