moon time

Jul. 21st, 2017 09:44 pm
marycatelli: (Default)
[personal profile] marycatelli
It's a classic of the planetary romance genre, to have a few moons floating about the sky, just so you know it's not Earth.

My hero's kinda figured it out that it was another planet. Something about the foliage being every shade except green. Still, I got him to the open air just after sunset. He can't make out enough stars to tell constellations, which would not tell him much, but there are two moons.

Hmmm. How many moons should there be? Seven? Four? Thirty-two?

In fact, I'm working on two planetary romances. The other one, a story inhabited only by natives of the planet, has twelve moons, I suspect. That will be harder to introduce, since all the points of view take them for granted. Well, except for thinking moonlight lucky. It's a pretty cloudy planet.

Not even going to think about the calendar. Hmmm. Except to note it's a prestige occupation. I wonder if they quarrel over which moon is the proper one to keep time by.

Date: 2017-07-23 04:27 pm (UTC)
nodrog: T Dalton as Philip in Lion in Winter, saying “What If is a Game for Scholars” (Alternate History)
From: [personal profile] nodrog


Remember that the moons gravitationally interact with each other as well.  The only way that would be stable for any geological length of time is to have them wide apart and not very large.  Even having one orbit the other - say, Phobos or Ceres in orbit around the Moon - would cause wobbles in Earth and Moon (and Ceres) that would not be festive - or stable.

Parenthetically, Isaac Asimov mentioned something fascinating in one of his non-fiction articles:  Venus and Earth are almost identical in size.  If our Moon were orbiting the same quarter-million mile distance from Venus instead (Asimov dubbed the result “Cupid”), it would be plainly naked-eye visible as a bright spark next to and very obviously orbiting our sister planet.  He surmised such obvious evidence that the universe does NOT revolve exclusively around the Earth would put paid to the geocentric conceit from the start.  I doubt that, but it comes to mind now when I see the Morning Star.



Update to add:

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        Try this instead!

Edited Date: 2017-07-23 04:53 pm (UTC)

Date: 2017-07-23 05:32 pm (UTC)
nodrog: (Great World War)
From: [personal profile] nodrog


One thing he mentioned I hadn't considered, that while we know it full well, yet that the Evening- and Morning Star are the same thing is not intuitively obvious.  The presence of 'Cupid' would certainly make it so.

[He recycled the idea for his 'Black Widowers' story, “Earthset and Evening Star” - the guest that evening was concerned for his wife, who was being drawn into a cult of someone who claimed to be able to astrally project to Mars, which as Bradbury said, was Heaven, and he could see Earth, he said…  and it was Henry the waiter who said, “And what about the Moon?”  The leader never mentioned Earth's visibly obvious and obviously visible companion miniplanet - it hadn't occurred to him!]

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