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Date: Mon, 8 Apr 2002 13:08:23 -0700 (PDT)
From: Jerry Friedman 
Subject: Re: (urth) Green ain't Lune

--- "Roy C. Lackey"  wrote:
> My excuse for missing this is that it is only my second reading of RTTW,
> and
> I wasn't looking for it the first time through. On page 163 Silkhorn is
> answering Pig's question about what he had been thinking:
>     "The three whorls. Two large and low, by which I mean near the Short
> Sun. This one near the stars. I don't know whether Green's bigger than
> Blue,
> or Blue's bigger than Green; but both are much bigger than this whorl
> we're
> in, the Long Sun Whorl."
> Now, it's true that he gives no absolute answer to the question of which
> body is larger, Blue or Green, but the fact that he has been on both
> worlds,
> seen both from a lander in space, and was unable to distinguish one from
> the
> other by size indicates, at the very least, that there is little
> difference
> between them with regard to size. Earth is about four times the size of
> the
> moon; Urth is presumably four times the size of Lune. Blue cannot be
> four
> times the size of Green, or someone would have noticed.

I don't think that follows.  If you see planets from space, you
can't tell which is bigger unless you know which one is closer, and
it's hard to see how Horn could have had any information about his
distances from Blue and Green.

> Also, the Green-born inhumi would have had a hell of a time flying
> around on
> Blue with all those extra gravities dragging them down. And if it was
> hard
> for them to escape Green's gravity to hunt on Blue, as Jahlee indicated,
> then it would be just about impossible to escape Blue's and return to
> Green,
> if Blue had much higher gravity.
> Does this finally kill the Blue=Urth idea?

One of the few things I think is clear is that Green, Blue, and Urth
have about the same gravity.  If Green is the moon, it must have been
terraformed even as to the gravity (which of course is possible and
might even have been a necessary part of the terraforming, but which
there's no direct evidence on).

My latest theory about what Wolfe may have had in mind: Blue and
Green are a double planet orbiting each other with a period of six
years (could someone remind me of the cite for that period?), and
orbiting the Short Sun with a much longer period.  They would have
to be very far from the Short Sun, which therefore would have to
be many times brighter than our sun, but I suspect it's possible.

This would be consistent with Silkhorn's comment (when he tells us
the Gaonese date, somewhere in the first half of OBW) that different
towns use different years, which is hard to reconcile with Blue's
having a period of about an Earth/Whorl year--you'd think they could
all pretty much agree.

The only objection I can see to this theory is that "conjunction"
would be a misnomer for "closest approach", but I don't think
"conjunction" can be the right word anyway.  Are there objections? 
Has someone suggested this before?


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