The Nacreous Oughts

26 April 2013


"And in fact there is some value in keeping distinct different views of history without collapsing them into one another, and I think this tension can be healthy rather than unhealthy." Edward W Said

(via barewalls dot com)

"The double dawn had risen; the orange sun overpowered the wan light of the blue sun..." Kameron Hurley, God's War (2011)

From the descriptions in the book, the planet Umayma orbits either zeta Aurigae itself, or else another "Zeta Aurigae System"; obviously i am choosing to go with the former, since images of this star have been repeatedly attempted since the days of Chesley Bonestell. Curiously it has two other names which are never used in sci-fi OR astronomy as far as i can tell: Haedus I. & Azaleh. "Haedus I." affects my imagination differently from "Azaleh", & "Zeta Aurigae" differently still. Additionally, it is designated as HD 32068 & HIP 23453.

Hipparcos gives the parallax as ".00414, which works out to 787 light years (somewhat greater distances are also mentioned). I am going to use a visual magnitude of 3.751 & the interstellar absorption 0.25 mag as adopted by Bennett (1996), although not all of my calculations square with his in the end. His visual magnitude difference between the two stars, 2.22, gives a visual luminosity of 2021.153591 combined, with the orange star 1789.550684 & the blue star 231.6029066.

Many of the models i've looked at end up with a bolometric correction rather in excess of the scales i am used to seeing for cool supergiants. So i wiill take the observed diameter, ".0055 which works out to 142.8 times our Sun. Then the best fit seems to be around T= 3825 K, BC -0.83 & bolometric luminosity of 3857.182597 (nearer to gK2 than the K3 or K4 usually given). Then, i'm taking the secondary as 13000K & Bc -0.64 (B7), so that its bolometric luminosity equals 417.5841494 & its radius would be 4.067628534.

An earthlike planet might orbit the twin suns at a distance of 154 AU. If their combined mass is 10.6 solar, its orbital period becomes 590 years. From this distance the large star would seem to be nearly as large as our own sun seen from Earth; they would spread apart as widely as three times its diameter during the 2.7 year binary period. There are about 220 of these stellar revolutions in one planetary "year".

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- (12/14) According to my revised calculations, the semimajor axis of a habitable planet would be more like 65.69837451 AU, & the derived orbital period would be 163.5607164 years, or around 61.45 times the double stars' revolution period. Making that an even ratio of 61, the planet would orbit at 65.37560877 AU in 162.3568761 years. The apparent size of A would be 2.18, & the planet would roughly correspond to the sixth from the suns--although at least the first one, at 4 AU, is likely to be unstable in its orbit.


12 April 2013

2 lists 

In response to a list i saw on Facebook, & another within it, i made my own.

      21c list

Gary Shteyngart- Super Sad True Love Story
China Mieville- Perdido Street Station
Adam Johnson- The Orphan Master's Son
Lissa Wolsak- Squeezed Light
Reza Negarostani- Cyclonopedia
Jon Armstrong- Grey
Robot X.- [The Best of] Issue 1
Patti Smith- Just Kids
Elizabeth Hand- Generation Loss
Lyda Morehouse- Archangel Protocol
Rebecca Solnit- A Field Guide to Getting Lost
James Kunstler- The Long Emergency
Sarah Waters- Fingersmith
Michael Muhammad Knight- The Taqwacores
Daniel Abraham- A Shadow in Summer
Mark Z Danielewski- House of Leaves
Christian Bok- Eunoia
Rohan Kriwaczek- An Incomplete History of the Art of Funerary Violin

This is far from definitive. I really don't try all that hard to keep up with the innumerable new books as they come out, though i'd like to know which writers are the best among my contemporaries. (In the process, I've been noticing that post-"Nine Eleven" writing that fails to acknowledge this, in some way, makes me a little impatient.) What strikes me now, though, is how porous the previously-ironclad boundaries of genre have become, across the board. I would've thought the distinguishing feature of 21c writing to be its derivativeness, but instead i have to acknowledge there actually is quite a bit of originality nowadays, only not in the ways writers used to be original before.

      Books by Women

Djuna Barnes- Nightwood
George Eliot- Middlemarch
Gwyneth Jones- White Queen
Sylvia Plath- Collected Poems (rather than The Bell Jar--c'mon!)
Gertrude Stein- Tender Buttons
Simone Weil- The Need for Roots
Diane di Prima- Revolutionary Letters
Mina Loy- The Lost Lunar Baedeker
Lady Murasaki- The Tale of Genji
Angela Carter- The Bloody Chamber
Doris Lessing- The Golden Notebook
Leonie Adams- Poems: A Selection
Gwendolyn MacEwen- The TE Lawrence Poems
Susan Sontag- Against Interpretation
Annie Dillard- A Pilgrim at Tinker Creek
Joan Didion- The White Album
Virginia Woolf- The Waves
Dorothy Allison- Cavedweller
Shirley Jackson- We Have Always Lived in the Castle
Edna St Vincent Millay- Collected Sonnets
Anne Rice- Interview with the Vampire
Frances Yates- The Rosicrucian Enlightenment
Emily Bronte- Wuthering Heights
Suzanne Langer- Philosophy in a New Key
Hannah Arendt- The Human Condition
Starhawk- The Spiral Dance
Christina Rossetti- Complete Poems
Gertrud Kolmar- Dark Soliloquy
Kathe Koja- Bad Brains
Delmira Agustini- The White Book (& others)
Maya Deren- The Divine Horsemen
Maria Gimbutas- The Goddesses and Gods of Old Europe
Keri Hulme- The Bone People
Kate Braverman- Lithium for Medea
Rhoda Lerman- The Book of the Night.
Vicki Hearne- Adam's Task

I could easily make a different list just as long, but these are just the first names that came to mind. This would not seem to be a topic that requires defending, except for the prevalence of obtuse critics who think the Canon came down to us on stone tablets instead of being the product of chance, prejudice, & many separate acts of revision & recovery.

Somewhat supplementary (via Gwyneth Jones on livejournal).

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