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Archipelagan Astronomy

Discussion in 'Archipelago Archive' started by myrddin173, Oct 3, 2011.

  1. myrddin173

    myrddin173 Maester

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    The other day, while I was working on my island I wondered whether or not the Archipelago had a North Star. I thought it was likely but and I don't see why anyone would be against it. While I was on that train of thought I wondered what other objects are in the heavens. In the Tale of Two Moons thread Ravana mentioned a couple of constellations so I figured we should have a place to discuss what these look like and to add more to the List.

    We would need the common name of the constellation, its shape and its location.

    List of Constelations

    The Falcon

    The Bush-Rat

    The Nesting Serpent
    See post 4​


    Ciall's Scales
    See post 7​
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2011
  2. Ravana

    Ravana Istar

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    Funny you should mention that: I just started whacking together a chunk of astronomy for Machiavel. Nothing near complete, yet, mind you… but I should be able to draw on it for some cross-fertilization, at least.
     
  3. myrddin173

    myrddin173 Maester

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    That is funny, I guess great minds really do think alike. :)
     
  4. Ravana

    Ravana Istar

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    Well, the Nesting Serpent looks a bit like this:

    MythArch NestingSerpent.jpg

    Or, for those who prefer the road map:

    MythArch NestingSerpent lines.jpg

    Dunno about the other two. I don't even know what a bush-rat looks like, let alone what a constellation that looks like a bush-rat ought to. :p
     
  5. myrddin173

    myrddin173 Maester

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    I'm thinking of having a constellation shaped like a set scales, think libra, centered around the archipelago's north star. I will try to get a depiction up soon.

    @Ravana how did you make your pictures?
     
  6. Ravana

    Ravana Istar

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    I used GIMP (the only thing I'm using these days). The actual graphics are the cheap-and-easy way: I just used the dot "brushes" of different sizes to represent brighter or dimmer stars; once I had the layout the way I wanted it, I went back and played with color fills for a bit of variety. (The colors are actually somewhat exaggerated from what you'd really see: the yellow, in particular, probably should be more pale.) Then I added an extra layer for the lines.

    Note that the "scattering" of lesser stars isn't supposed to be typical of the overall night sky: this is supposed to be an open cluster with a much higher density of visible stars than normal, which is why it falls off toward the edges, though this isn't all that apparent since I didn't include a wide-scope view.

    For other examples, people can look at the zodiac I did for Machiavel; it's post #14 in the "Visual Aids" thread. (You probably already have, of course.) One thing that I knew going in, but which still caused me a bit of a problem as I went, was in trying not to have the star arrangements be too "convenient." I think I succeeded fairly well, because looking at that file without the lines, I was having trouble seeing the shapes some times. Mixing brighter and dimmer stars helped a lot with that, especially since the brightest stars often don't appear at the "obvious" places. And that's also without any stars from outside the constellations, apart from the few that make up combination shapes. If I threw a few of those in, and took the lines out, it might be interesting to see what shapes other people came up with that I didn't intend. I may add the "unenhanced" version for comparison, though that's more of an academic exercise than something the game needs. In fact, maybe I'll just do a more-or-less random chunk of sky, post it here, and see what constellations everyone else sees in it… could be fun. ;)

    (By the way, the background on that wasn't done by hand; I discovered that one of the available textures produced a pleasing scatter pattern when turned down to a low opacity level. You have to look carefully to actually see where it repeats… unlike most of the textures, which are pretty blatant.)

    Ironically, Libra is actually a great example of what it sometimes takes to "make out" a constellation: most people would never be able to spot it without a guide. It's hard enough to spot with one, if you live in a city.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 11, 2017
  7. myrddin173

    myrddin173 Maester

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    Here is the constellation the Enessi call Ciall's Scales.

    Cial's scales original.jpg

    and the road map version

    Cial's scales lines.jpg
     
  8. Ravana

    Ravana Istar

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    Not meaning to hijack the whole sky.… ;)

    Figured the easiest way was to go ahead and create a full hemisphere dome; plugged in the two constellations we have so far, and filled the rest randomly. Feel free to tell us all what you see.

    Sky Dome–unlabeled
    MA sky dome1.jpg

    Sky Dome–constellations added
    MA sky dome constellations.jpg

    The view represents looking straight up from about the middle of the archipelago (45º north). The "pole star" is the central star of Ciall's Scales; the Nesting Serpent is up and to the left; the rest of the sky is fair game. As we get more, I'll modify the image with the connecting lines to cover things. (Possibly in more than one version, if people see different constellations.) (There are actually a lot more stars than you can see; don't know if they'd show up if you copied the image and zoomed it or not. On the other hand, since they aren't prominent, they probably won't matter to constellation forming anyway.)

    Note that in reality, what is visible would vary seasonally, and also by latitude (about 10% more would appear along the north or south edges, depending on where you were). I'm too lazy to work out the correct arcs to cover these; maybe some other time, if I run low on other things to do (ha!). That does mean that if you are at a different latitude, though, and don't see anything you like, you can add a couple stars just off what's seen here to flesh out your constellations.

    Have at it. :)

    -

    EDIT: Oops… realized I am going to have to do those additional arcs–I forgot to account for rotation. (Which wouldn't have mattered as much if I'd put the pole star in the center, but of course the only way you ever see the sky that way is if you're at the pole.) So consider the above as starter material for now.

    On the good side, I can tell you that the above is how you'd see the sky if you looked straight up at about 10:00 PM on June 1… not that it's likely to do you much good knowing it. (Go ahead, ask me how I know.… :D )
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 11, 2017
  9. Ravana

    Ravana Istar

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    The Falcon and the Bush-Rat

    MA Falcon and Bush Rat.jpg

    Guess which is which. The Falcon is actually diving at the Bush-Rat upside down: the two nearest stars are the wings, the red one on the opposite side its talons. I realized that I had best put these in, since they had to be in a specific relation to the Nesting Serpent based on the Tale of Two Moons. Note that these may be interpretations idiosyncratic to the culture naming them; other might have different arrangements. (Especially cultures that don't know what a bush-rat looks like.)
     
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