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Date: Tue, 26 Mar 2002 09:31:01 -0800 (PST)
From: Jerry Friedman 
Subject: Re: (urth) Green the Outer World

--- Michael Andre-Driussi  wrote:
> Duh!
> In my previous figurings, I put Green as a Venus stand-in.  Those
> jungles,
> doncha know.
> But hey, if Green is a full disk in the sky (iirc it is always a disk,
> never crescent--another big tip if that is correct, since outer worlds
> are
> always seen as disks),

Not quite.  It should never be an exact disk except when it's in
opposition (and when it's in conjunction on the *other* side of the
short sun), and if its orbit is only a little bigger than Blue's,
it should be noticeably gibbous at some points.

> then it must be located further from the Breenstar:
> an outer world dipping in, rather than an inner world reaching out to
> Blue.

You're presenting strong arguments for this.  The strongest argument
against it is that the narrator consistently uses "conjunction"
rather than "opposition" for the time of closest approach.  According
to , the astronomical meaning is
"3 a : the apparent meeting or passing of two or more celestial bodies
in the same degree of the zodiac b : a configuration in which two
celestial bodies have their least apparent separation".  Thus if
Green is an inner planet, it approaches closest when it's in
"inferior conjunction" with the short sun.  (Note, by the way, that
from the point of view of Bluvians, Blue is not a "celestial body".)
On the other hand, if it's an outer planet, it approaches closest when
it's in opposition, "1 : a configuration in which one celestial body is
opposite another in the sky or in which the elongation is near or equal
to 180 degrees".

> This could help a lot with the whole six-year problem.

Could you possibly remind me of the source of "six years"?  Somewhere
near the beginning of OBW, the narrator warns the Gaonese that the
conjunction will happen again "next year" or so it seems.  I'll try
to find a reference for that.

Jerry Friedman

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