Topic Actions

Topic Search

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 7 guests

Breaking the Book of Hastings

This fascinating series is a combination of historical seafaring, swashbuckling adventure, and high technological science-fiction. Join us in a discussion!
Breaking the Book of Hastings
Post by Robert_A_Woodward   » Thu Aug 01, 2019 12:30 am

Robert_A_Woodward
Commander

Posts: 248
Joined: Sun Aug 09, 2015 9:29 pm

I was reading up on the Ptolemic model of the sky and I noticed that it had everything, including the sphere of fixed stars, revolving around the Earth. If Langhorne and company were so foolish to repeat that for Safehold, then a Foucault pendulum would reveal the lie. I would set it up as a device to measure air resistance. Since I am being sneaky about it, this would be first done at Eraystor (which happens to be on the equator, thus it won't reveal any rotation). When the experiment is repeated at Cherayth and Tellesberg (and elsewhere), then rotation will be revealed.

I previously stated I couldn't think of a theological valid reason to measure stellar parallax. I have now thought of an indirect way of doing that. It requires being able to measure the right ascension and declination of any visible star to .1 of a second of arc. If Charis manufacturing techniques can build equipment that can achieve that at on a mass basis, then various observatories can start mapping the locations of all visible stars in the sky. Just by "chance", they would start at different parts of the sky and just so happen to be measuring position of any star at different parts of the year.

A comparison of the observations will reveal differences for some stars. Re-measurements would be done, which (by plan by the Inner Circle) will result in more confusion, until it is realized (or pointed out by a member of the Inner Circle), that the differences were based on when the observation was made, not which observatory made it.
----------------------------
Beowulf was bad.
(first sentence of Chapter VI of _Space Viking_ by H. Beam Piper)
Top
Re: Breaking the Book of Hastings
Post by Peter2   » Tue Aug 06, 2019 11:51 am

Peter2
Captain (Junior Grade)

Posts: 348
Joined: Tue Sep 02, 2014 9:54 am

That's a start on a series of very interesting observations. I wonder if somebody could suggest building a decently accurate astronomical telescope? Binoculars are already in use on Safehold, light pollution will be minimal (no electricity) and I would be suprised if telescopes were not in use on ships. If Galileo could discover 4 of the moons of Jupiter using a telescope of only 3x magnification, then pointing such a telescope – or quite possibly a much better one – at Safehold's heavens should reveal more than a few very interesting objects up there.
.
Top
Re: Breaking the Book of Hastings
Post by ssl4000g   » Tue Aug 06, 2019 6:49 pm

ssl4000g
Lieutenant (Junior Grade)

Posts: 30
Joined: Sat Sep 03, 2016 8:00 pm
Location: Cinnaminson, NJ

Peter2 wrote:That's a start on a series of very interesting observations. I wonder if somebody could suggest building a decently accurate astronomical telescope? Binoculars are already in use on Safehold, light pollution will be minimal (no electricity) and I would be suprised if telescopes were not in use on ships. If Galileo could discover 4 of the moons of Jupiter using a telescope of only 3x magnification, then pointing such a telescope – or quite possibly a much better one – at Safehold's heavens should reveal more than a few very interesting objects up there.
.


Recall in HFQ that Rayno was looking through the "god' telescope when he saw the ship explode. That was Federation tech.

Optics are being developed at the Royal College so it's not really a long shot that they could be built for astronomical use. Their development of binoculars was a leap ahead during the Jihad too. They may be avoiding that just because of what's up there and, that the populace is not ready to wonder what is out there. They are world centric at this point. But yes, entirely possible.

W
Top
Re: Breaking the Book of Hastings
Post by Robert_A_Woodward   » Wed Aug 14, 2019 12:28 am

Robert_A_Woodward
Commander

Posts: 248
Joined: Sun Aug 09, 2015 9:29 pm

I suggested mapping the sky to .1" of arc; but I am not certain when that was done on Earth.

However, I just remembered something else. If there are any planets with orbits inside Safehold's, then observations with even a primitive telescope will see that planet in a crescent phase, gibbous phase, or possibly a full phase (though that would be very close to the sun and rather dangerous to observe). This is only possible if that planet is sometimes between the sun and Safehold and sometimes behind the sun (relative to Safehold).
----------------------------
Beowulf was bad.
(first sentence of Chapter VI of _Space Viking_ by H. Beam Piper)
Top
Re: Breaking the Book of Hastings
Post by Julia Minor   » Thu Aug 15, 2019 11:38 am

Julia Minor
Lieutenant Commander

Posts: 121
Joined: Mon Aug 06, 2018 12:58 pm

Peter2 wrote:I wonder if somebody could suggest building a decently accurate astronomical telescope? Binoculars are already in use on Safehold, light pollution will be minimal (no electricity) and I would be suprised if telescopes were not in use on ships.


Spyglasses are confirmed in use on ships during OAR.
Top
Re: Breaking the Book of Hastings
Post by Castenea   » Thu Aug 15, 2019 5:50 pm

Castenea
Captain of the List

Posts: 659
Joined: Mon Apr 09, 2012 4:21 pm
Location: MD

ssl4000g wrote:Recall in HFQ that Rayno was looking through the "god' telescope when he saw the ship explode. That was Federation tech.

Optics are being developed at the Royal College so it's not really a long shot that they could be built for astronomical use. Their development of binoculars was a leap ahead during the Jihad too. They may be avoiding that just because of what's up there and, that the populace is not ready to wonder what is out there. They are world centric at this point. But yes, entirely possible.

W

I am to a small extent surprised that someone has not already tried to recalculate the orbits of other planets in the Safehold system with newer better optics. Even better if that person is not a member of the inner circle.
Top
Re: Breaking the Book of Hastings
Post by Robert_A_Woodward   » Fri Aug 16, 2019 12:23 am

Robert_A_Woodward
Commander

Posts: 248
Joined: Sun Aug 09, 2015 9:29 pm

Castenea wrote:
ssl4000g wrote:Recall in HFQ that Rayno was looking through the "god' telescope when he saw the ship explode. That was Federation tech.

Optics are being developed at the Royal College so it's not really a long shot that they could be built for astronomical use. Their development of binoculars was a leap ahead during the Jihad too. They may be avoiding that just because of what's up there and, that the populace is not ready to wonder what is out there. They are world centric at this point. But yes, entirely possible.

W

I am to a small extent surprised that someone has not already tried to recalculate the orbits of other planets in the Safehold system with newer better optics. Even better if that person is not a member of the inner circle.


Recalculate? Why would anybody do that? I am quite confident that the Order of Hastings periodically publishes an ephemeris of everything noticeable in the sky and that ephemeris is ACCURATE (because it was generated by a computer in the Temple that used the correct model of the Safehold system). Besides, from what I can find in the series, the Safehold system might have only the star, Safehold itself and its moon (Langhorne, IIIC). I doubt that it does, but I have not found any mentions of wandering stars, of any stellar names or any constellation names.
----------------------------
Beowulf was bad.
(first sentence of Chapter VI of _Space Viking_ by H. Beam Piper)
Top
Re: Breaking the Book of Hastings
Post by Castenea   » Fri Aug 16, 2019 5:52 pm

Castenea
Captain of the List

Posts: 659
Joined: Mon Apr 09, 2012 4:21 pm
Location: MD

Robert_A_Woodward wrote:Recalculate? Why would anybody do that? I am quite confident that the Order of Hastings periodically publishes an ephemeris of everything noticeable in the sky and that ephemeris is ACCURATE (because it was generated by a computer in the Temple that used the correct model of the Safehold system). Besides, from what I can find in the series, the Safehold system might have only the star, Safehold itself and its moon (Langhorne, IIIC). I doubt that it does, but I have not found any mentions of wandering stars, of any stellar names or any constellation names.
The reason for recalculating and publishing that ephemeris is actually rather straight forward, when sailing out of sight of land or traveling through unknown lands (no native guide available) that ephemeris is very important to finding an accurate position if you do not have a chronometer with you (or someone forgot to wind it).
Top
Re: Breaking the Book of Hastings
Post by Joat42   » Fri Aug 16, 2019 6:57 pm

Joat42
Vice Admiral

Posts: 1530
Joined: Tue Apr 16, 2013 6:01 am
Location: Sweden

Castenea wrote:
Robert_A_Woodward wrote:Recalculate? Why would anybody do that? I am quite confident that the Order of Hastings periodically publishes an ephemeris of everything noticeable in the sky and that ephemeris is ACCURATE (because it was generated by a computer in the Temple that used the correct model of the Safehold system). Besides, from what I can find in the series, the Safehold system might have only the star, Safehold itself and its moon (Langhorne, IIIC). I doubt that it does, but I have not found any mentions of wandering stars, of any stellar names or any constellation names.
The reason for recalculating and publishing that ephemeris is actually rather straight forward, when sailing out of sight of land or traveling through unknown lands (no native guide available) that ephemeris is very important to finding an accurate position if you do not have a chronometer with you (or someone forgot to wind it).

I seem to remember that everyone more or less navigated by dead reckoning and experience.

---
Jack of all trades and destructive tinkerer.


Anyone who have simple solutions for complex problems is a fool.
Top
Re: Breaking the Book of Hastings
Post by Peter2   » Sat Aug 17, 2019 6:47 am

Peter2
Captain (Junior Grade)

Posts: 348
Joined: Tue Sep 02, 2014 9:54 am

Joat42 wrote:
[snip]

I seem to remember that everyone more or less navigated by dead reckoning and experience.


I can't remember any specific references off-hand, but I've got the distinct impression that only Charis's navy sailed the deep seas, certainly before Clyntahn got a bee in his bonnet about that nation's increasing wealth and power. Their galleons were larger and deeper-keeled than other nations', making them much more seaworthy, albeit slightly slower. This implies that the other nations' galleons were coastal vessels, who would use land sightings for navigation as well as their dead reckoning and experience.

Talking of experience, I think I remember reading somewhere that the sailors of Polynesia could navigate with astonishing accuracy by travelling at a given angle to the waves. OK in fine weather of course, while the Pacific is behaving itself . . . :o
Top

Return to Safehold