The Nacreous Oughts

20 March 2018

impossible music 

    "Ghazal of the Impossible Music

Sound admitted through doors of tomorrow alone
one day it's said truth itself will appear alone

plainly dressed in colour that cannot be buried
appearing like day does over not one land alone

a mandolin and an oud make love
it is not necessary to be alone

impossible music, new poetry
not just for you or me alone

like lungs a tide breathed in out
in time something grew true alone

planet turn us back into ourselves
rotating us out of the unreal alone"

--Adam Reynolds in the new Ghazal Page (soon* to be defunct)

*"After eighteen issues and a year and a half of dealing with Squarespace, on top of the 1990-grade speed of Hughes Internet, I have arrived at the point where I do not expect to be able to keep up with the Ghazal Page unless it can be removed from Squarespace to a more functional host. Unfortunately I do not have time to manually move the thousands of pages, nor the expertise to automate the process before the current hosting period expires (at the end of March). Unless some volunteer appears to help migrate the site, the Ghazal Page may cease publication and in any case the existing archives will not be salvaged.

There will be at least one more issue of the Ghazal Page; any poems which have already been accepted will be published."


30 January 2018

at a morgue 

(pic by Richard McBride via Karen Osborn Evans on Fab)

16 January 2018


I finally got around to running the numbers for the planet of Ross 128, aka FI Virginis, Gliese 447, & Hip 57548. Using the Hipparcos parallax (".29958) & Visual magnitude (11.12) rather than those used by the discoverers (".29580 & 11.15) i get a visual luminosity of 0.0003459189604 or 1/2891. Since they go ahead & give the stellar mass & radius as 0.168 & 0.1967, i'm going to go with those, which means that for the effective temperature of the M4.5 star of 3192 K, the Bolometric Correction they used was 2.53.

So the total luminosity of the star is 0.003556103292 (1/281). For an orbital period of 9.9 days (1/37), the semimajor axis is 0.049788383 AU (4.6 million miles). The mass is given as 1.35 Earth's (131/97). There are two kinds of assumptions one can make for a nearly Earth-sized planet: the density increases gradually with the mass, or the density is somehow related to the stellar metallicity (here: 0.955 the Sun's). On the first assumption, this planet comes out at around 8573 miles in diameter (MINIMUM)--79/73, its gravity is about 15% greater than Earth's (137/119), & its escape velocity is about 12% higher. Alternately, Josaphat might be 8852 miles in diameter, with 1.08 gravity & 1.1 Ve.

For combinations of Albedo & Greenhouse effect of 0.19/20 to 0.51/60, the average surface temperature works out at from 37 to 43 C. Or, say, 25 degrees warmer than Earth.


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17 October 2017

aklo polka 


The "heterogeneous palindrome" as named (& probably invented) by Anthony Etherin is almost too ingenious to be appreciated by the reader, yet there is undoubtedly intellectual-beauty to be found in the way it can encode number sequences (such as several decimals of a famous irrational number) into a verbal construct (i hardly dare call them "poems"--yet what else are they?). One way to make its structure more obvious is to use color. For example, i observe that, since the larger digits become unwieldy quickly (around five, i'd say), there is virtue in using a lower number base than our regular base-10. I can put the significant number 365 into base-4 as "11223" & thus create a sequential palindrome using, in turn, 1,1,2,2,3 letters (+ 1 to hinge upon):

To foal ort, mortal foot.

I call this method "aklo polka"...

Postscript. I am informed that "heterogeneous palindromes" are now "aelindromes." (From αἴλινος 'dirge' ?)

Also: Filemot: orator mole if. One more.

A few using the number 666 (22112 in base-4)>


14 June 2017


27 February 2017

ninja fern elk fry 

19 February 2017


No one could have been more excited than me to hear of the new exoplanet around Lalande 21185 (AKA HD95735 & GJ411). True, it is only a "hot Neptune" & technically not in the habitable zone (0.14-0.27 AU). But at 8.3 light years away, this makes it the second closest exoplanet to Earth.

What do we know of this world? It orbits in 9.8693 days (or a neat 1/37th of a year), & has a minimum mass of 3.82 (or 42/11) Earth's (0.012 Jupiter). With the star's mass being given as 0.46 (i had thought more like 0.31--), that puts it at 0.069509978 AU (about 1/14). That's pretty close-in...

So how hot is this "hot Neptune" anyway?? Using the parallax of 0."39342 & visual magnitude 7.520 (via Simbad), i get a visual luminosity for this "M1.5" star of 0.005524425636 (1/181) solar. Here's where it gets tricky. The stellar radius is given as 0.393 & its effective temperature 3838 K. In my frame of reference, that's more like a late K star--& solving for a fit on radius alone, i figure around BC -1.235 [M0.5] & 3375 K for 0.39 solar. I could figure out the Bolometric Correction they used from just that, but i happen to know that the resultant planetary temperature is relatively nondependent on these precise stellar factors. (It's different for the mass, though...) In short, i'm guessing it has a blackbody temperature of around 384 K (Venus is 328*)--less if it is figured as slow-rotating, with little atmospheric circulation (not according to our current ideas, especially for an exoplanet appreciably large than the Earth). Plugging in some hypotheticals (Albedo=0.6, Greenhouse effect=80) i get an average surface temperature of some 113 Centigrade. For water not to boil at this temperature (let's use 400 K), the pressure would have to be 1500 mm Hg, or 2.0 atmospheres (it is probably higher--but see below).

By other assumptions, i find a diameter of 11,370 miles 1.436 or about 102/71); a surface gravity of 1.852 (or 113/61) (=three-legged, rather than two or four); an escape velocity (1.63 or 31/19) fortunately below the amount needed to hold hydrogen or helium, so no "snowball effect" & Uranus-Neptune planetary structure. A recent study suggests that planets of red dwarf primaries will, in their early days, be stripped of much of their atmospheres by the intense solar wind of the pre-Main Sequence evolution. I haven't studied this issue deeply, but i think this means that smaller exoplanets close-in may be practically airless, while larger ones (which might otherwise have held too much atmosphere) could be reduced, but not eliminated--& perhaps actually made more "inhabitable" in the upshot. but this is all without looking at the numbers... Apparent size of its sun (assuming the clouds part): 5.6 the Sun as seen from Earth.

I call this planet "Rhexergon" after a character in Richard Horne's 19c epic poem Orion. De Camp's Ormazd (Rogue Queen) is the earliest naming of a planet in this system (Earth-equivalent). Latiffa (or Gatewood) is very near where we found this one. The ghost planet of van der Kamp & Lippincott (1951/74) was used by Hal Clement, as "Dhrawn", in Star Light.


*Venus, of course, did not start out with its oceans evaporated & its carbon dioxide all released from the seas & crust, & from a temperature & chemical constitution not dissimilar to present-day Earth's, developed a runaway greenhouse effect, because a G-type sun such as our own grows appreciably brighter from its initial ZAMS (Zero-Age-Main-Sequence) state

Also: "Lalande 21185's sigil is two sides of a pentagram meeting in the top center point and a thin oval crossing them"

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