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From: Kieran Mullen <kieran@phyast.nhn.ou.edu>
Subject: (whorl) Re: Digest whorl.v010.n096
Date: Mon, 3 Apr 2000 16:27:56 

> --------------- MESSAGE whorl.v010.n096.1 ---------------
> From: Adam Stephanides <adamsteph@earthlink.net>
> Subject: Horn's body, Green's orbit, and candles
> Date: Sun, 02 Apr 2000 14:52:58 -0700
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> References: <200004021510.IAA12260@lists1.best.com>
> alga wrote:
> I have a great deal of trouble putting together the fragmentary
> information in OBW on the orbits of Blue and Green.  At first I assumed
> that they orbited each other, like Earth and the Moon or St. Anne and
> St. Croix (possibly because I'd read the speculation that Blue and Green
> were St. Anne and St. Croix).  But then I read Horn's words on p. 182:
> "We know that conjunctions with Green occur every sixth year.  That
> interval is determined by the motion of both about the Short Sun."  This
> seems to say that Blue and Green independently orbit the Short Sun, and
> simply come near to each other in their separate orbits every sixth
> (Blue) year.  And if Green orbited Blue, and conjunction occurred only
> every six years, that would mean that Green's orbital period around Blue
> was six times as long as Blue's around the Short Sun, which I doubt
> would be possible.

   I don't think that is correct.  Imagine two cars circling a race track.  If 
one catches the other every six laps, then that means it is going 7/6 (1.16) 
times as fast.  If one were 6 times the speed of the other, it would pass it 6 
times or so in one year.

>  And
> again, on p. 195 when Horn is in the pit, he writes: "I remember seeing
> Green directly above my upturned face, and later seeing it no longer,
> but only the innocent stars that had fled before it and returned when it
> had gone."  This also suggests that Green moves visibly with respect to
> the stars in a single night.  True, it might just be a clumsy way of
> saying that the stars moved and Green moved with them; but elsewhere
> Horn's narration is neither clumsy or pedantic. 

   I think that's exactly what it means.  The solid angle visible from the well 
tracked across the night sky.  At some point Green filled the visible portion 
and later it didn't.  It looked like Green moved across the opening.

> Furthermore, as someone
> else once pointed out, if Blue and Green's orbits brought them into
> conjunction as frequently as every six years, they would not be stable:
> the repeated perturberations from each other's gravity would pull them
> into new orbits.

    Hmm... I don't think this is correct.  It is true that if their periods were 
exactly integer multiples, you would have a problem (like the Shepherd Moons and 
the Cassini divisions of Saturn's rings).  But if they are not integer multiples 
you should be ok, I think.  (After all, the gaps in Saturn's rings do not deny 
the existence of the rings themselves!)

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