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Old Jun 23 2014, 01:10 AM   #1
Xenolith
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Default Star Stones shift?

Was just rereading Dragonseye and a question struck me ... In ATWOP, if I recall correctly, the first two explosions slightly nudge the Red Star, just enough to skip an interval. So I guess my question is two parts:

1) would this mean the Red Star failed to line up with the Eye Rock before each "missed pass"?

2) how is it that, even with two nudges, the Red Star still lines up perfectly for the Ninth Pass?
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Old Jun 23 2014, 01:59 AM   #2
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Default Re: Star Stones shift?

Shhh....

Do not ask such questions! The answers will bring neither happiness nor enlightenment.

The answer to the first question is yes. For the second, it's really best not to think too deeply about the Pern system's orbital mechanics. Believe me, I have. Cometary orbits for a body that size are regular and predictable, but the chances that one would be on a resonant lock with another planet's year are infinitesimal, even before you start nudging it with antimatter.
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Old Jun 24 2014, 02:14 AM   #3
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Default Re: Star Stones shift?

When you embrace the inner truth that the Red Star and Thread were created weapons of mass destruction and that the anti-matter explosions were but misdirection, such matters will cease to trouble you. This is the path to true enlightenment.
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Old Jun 24 2014, 04:17 AM   #4
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Sorry, could you repeat that?

I had my tinfoil hat pulled too far down over my ears...
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Old Jun 24 2014, 04:59 AM   #5
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Default Re: Star Stones shift?

... but have you remembered to paint your windows with whitewash?
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Old Jun 24 2014, 06:35 AM   #6
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Default Re: Star Stones shift?

I always assumed that the star stones were still correct because the red star had to be in the same place to thread PERN. Hence why even after a long interval the stones still correctly announced the new pass.

The explosions shifted the orbit a little each time but the red star still passed close enough to thread until the third explosion shifted the red star enough that at the right point in its orbit it would get attracted by the gravity of something else and pulled completely out of its existing orbit.

Kind of like that game with a ball on a string, each time it passes the player with the bat, they hit the ball and the orbit changes a bit more each time.
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Old Jun 24 2014, 07:01 AM   #7
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Quote:
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I always assumed that the star stones were still correct because the red star had to be in the same place to thread PERN. Hence why even after a long interval the stones still correctly announced the new pass.
The red star does NOT stay close to Pern for very long, if at all.

Look at it this way: Pern orbits Rukbat just like the Earth orbits the sun. It travels in a massive circle that takes a full year... and it does this FIFTY times while a Pass is in progress.

The Red Star, on the other hand, has an orbit that takes 250 years. And, because of the way orbits work, it moves fastest when it's at its closest to Rukbat. You *CANNOT* have it in the vicinity of Pern's ORBIT for the full fifty years without breaking ever single one of the most basic laws of physics - and you certainly can't have it following Pern around for that time, either!

It will approach from the outer system, becoming more luminous in the sky. It will maybe grow big enough to be resolved into a disk with the naked eye, rather than a star-like point. But it WILL be on its way out again within relatively soon - likely within a decade of the Pass starting.

The problem: let's look at the first point at which the RS is the same distance from Rukbat as Pern is. Their orbits are inclined relative to one another, so there's no danger of them crashing into each other or anything. The RS will be at a specific point in space, probably a good fraction of a million miles from the closest part of Pern's ORBIT.

Now, that minimum distance between Pern's ORBIT and the RS's ORBIT is fixed, and WILL correspond to a specific point in time during each respective planet's year. But...what if the years don't line up? The only way to make the star stones work is to ensure that the RS's orbit is an EXACT multiple of some number of Pernese turns.

And you don't NEED that in order to make thread fall, because the thread comes from the cloud of ovoids that the red star drags with it, that it litters the inner system with. The fact that it doesn't STOP when Pern's moved several months around the sun further away from the point of closest approach of the two bodies' orbits demands that. It falls year in, year out, regardless of where Pern itself is at the time. So the ovoids must get EVERYWHERE. The Red Star can hit that point of closest proximity to Pern's orbital path when Pern's nearby, or when Pern's anywhere else in its orbit entirely, and it will not matter. Thread will still fall.

Quote:
The explosions shifted the orbit a little each time but the red star still passed close enough to thread until the third explosion shifted the red star enough that at the right point in its orbit it would get attracted by the gravity of something else and pulled completely out of its existing orbit.

Kind of like that game with a ball on a string, each time it passes the player with the bat, they hit the ball and the orbit changes a bit more each time.
Yup, and the nudges caused the long intervals directly. And yet, thread still fell, another 250 years later, and the star stones still functioned.

Yes, Anne did try very hard getting some solid science into Pern, and Steven B certainly did great work helping her out with Skies, but the orbital mechanics issues surrounding the RS and threadfall really, really, REALLY do not hold water.
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Old Jun 24 2014, 05:29 PM   #8
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Default Re: Star Stones shift?

Could we get this shifted the the science sub-section? It seems worthy of inclusion there.
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Old Jun 25 2014, 01:12 AM   #9
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Default Re: Star Stones shift?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kath View Post


Sorry, could you repeat that?

I had my tinfoil hat pulled too far down over my ears...
Tongue in cheek, but there's nothing in canon precluding it and several characters speculate about it over the course of a couple of books. And if you join the dark side you never have to care about whether or not the orbital mechanics make sense.
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Old Jun 25 2014, 10:00 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by P'ter View Post
Could we get this shifted the the science sub-section? It seems worthy of inclusion there.
Later P'ter; I'm just glad to have some discussion in here.
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Old Jun 25 2014, 11:20 PM   #11
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Default Re: Star Stones shift?

Now I know what happens when an astrophysicist gets cheesed off: We all hear thought-provoking stuff. ^n_n^
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Old Jun 28 2014, 08:03 PM   #12
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Default Re: Star Stones shift?

It's science FICTION, not science FACT.... just read the books and enjoy the escapism!
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Old Jun 28 2014, 09:26 PM   #13
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Default Re: Star Stones shift?

Oh I quite agree with you there Baggy - but some times you like to KNOW!
(or speculate)

(be nice to see more of you Baggy???)
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Old Jun 29 2014, 05:10 AM   #14
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Quote:
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be nice to see more of you Baggy???
I'm flattered Lily, but in this country, you can get arrested for that!
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Old Jun 29 2014, 05:21 AM   #15
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Default Re: Star Stones shift?

LOL

I am definitely with Baggy on this! On all counts? But i understand the fan cravings
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Old Jun 30 2014, 07:35 PM   #16
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Default Re: Star Stones shift?

I read and enjoy and try not to think of the science involved, it gives me headaches. I also do not think of time lines much. Sometimes time lines in different books do NOT line up. Ignore that as well.
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Old Jun 30 2014, 07:52 PM   #17
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Default Re: Star Stones shift?

Suspension of disbelief, that's the thing. The more you know about something, the less you can let an author get away with.

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Old Jun 30 2014, 11:11 PM   #18
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Default Re: Star Stones shift?

And then we've had so much fun trying to come up with explanations for how it could work!
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Old Jul 1 2014, 05:26 AM   #19
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Default Re: Star Stones shift?

Perhaps we need a book out there like "The Science of Disc World"?

With Edith and Kath as the joint authors/editors?
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Old Jul 6 2014, 07:25 PM   #20
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Default Re: Star Stones shift?

I'd read that. Until my head imploded. hehe
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Old Jul 8 2014, 07:18 AM   #21
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Default Re: Star Stones shift?

Well: if Kath and Edith are both going to be in the UK for the next few years ..... ?
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