Shifty stars.

From: Alex Ferguson (abf@interzone.ucc.ie)
Date: Fri 09 May 1997 - 22:57:26 EEST


Owen Jones wonders:
> can anyone recall if we have a pole star?

There is, but it's no use for navigation, unless where you want to
go is Straight Up. However, finding north is very easy, as Kalikos
is a fixed(ish) body in that direction, and the sun (allegedly)
always rises (and sets) directly east (west). (This assumes
throughout that none of _these_ bodies shift their apparent position
as one moves around Glorantha, which is anything but certain.)

> Do we have other stars in fixed positions?

Lots, see Elder Secrets. (Partially Gregged, but not in this respect.)

> this would require the stars being close enough that your bearings
> on them altered noticably as you moved about the lozenge.

The body most likely to show an observable parallax is the Red Moon,
and conveniently, it's also stationary. I kicked around some thoughts
on this ages ago, but the most popular answer was that "its height
(and other observable features) are magical", a non-response from
the point of view of the observational celestologist, or indeed
prospective navigator. I _believe_ Nick assumed for purposes of
his Ephemeris program that the moon shows a constant sized disk all
over Glorantha, suggesting its parallax is at best small, but I'm

not 100% about that. NB?

As for the stars, I'm even less certain. If they show a very large
parallax, one would see some very strange effects as one (say)
sailed into the far south. The idea of the sky being demonstrably
on the order of a thousand or so klicks across seems faintly hokey
and Diskworldesque to me, but I'd be surprised if we got an unambiguous
statement to the contrary (i.e., that the stars behave as if infinitely
distant) from the Creator Gods, as this might be seen to do damage to
the Objective Fact of the truth of the whole Sky Dome concept.

Uncertainly,
Alex.

------------------------------

End of Glorantha Digest V4 #394
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