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HreshtIronBorne

Do any of the 'Planets' have Rings?

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Hey Glorantha experts,

Do any of the planetary bodies in the day or nighttime sky of Glorantha have Ring Systems like Saturn?

Mostly asking because I just love astronomy and would love to find some way to incoporate it in future Questing. :D

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Alkoth is a city in Peloria that is feared for the worship of Shargash (the Gloranthan equivalent of Mars).  It has huge green walls and is widely thought to be in the Underworld.  

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Shargash or Lightfore/Kargzant might be good candidates for rings because they have both collided with another heavenly body.

Since you can't see rings with the naked eye I guess this is more of a spirit world or hero-quest sort of consideration

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I know you can't see rings on planets in the real world but, in Glorantha how far away exactly do all the Stars/Planets appear? How large are they in the sky? Farsee is a spirit magic spell that is fairly widely available, so I figure people that are interested could see stuff about Planets/Stars. 

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2 hours ago, HreshtIronBorne said:

I know you can't see rings on planets in the real world but, in Glorantha how far away exactly do all the Stars/Planets appear? How large are they in the sky? Farsee is a spirit magic spell that is fairly widely available, so I figure people that are interested could see stuff about Planets/Stars. 

They vary in size and luminosity, but I believe they are about as visible as IRL, with certain exceptions, such the Lightfore (which is really more like a RW full moon, as far as I understand), and possibly The Red Planet (Shargash/Tolat), which is quite large.

I agree with you though - it would be cool to have rings on some of them. Other celestial phenomena as well. If nothing else, then at least for flavor.

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23 minutes ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

Other celestial phenomena as well. If nothing else, then at least for flavor.

I agree. Stuff like nebulas and different types of stars would be a great way to make to sky dome look really cool.

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I rather wonder whether any planets other than the Twin Stars have orbiters/satellites of their own (discounting Orlanth's Ring here). The Red Moon has orbiters, IIRC, but other than casting the shadow (or un-casting it?) they are not visible to the uninitiated.

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It'd be interesting of some of the stars/planets that died when Umath disturbed the sky left nebulas behind, as remnants of supernovas. Doesn't have to make a huge amount of sense, astronomically, but would be fitting mythically, and looks cool.

A mention of the Green/Golden Age Red Planet having a green ring around it would be pretty cool too.

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19 hours ago, HreshtIronBorne said:

Farsee is a spirit magic spell that is fairly widely available, so I figure people that are interested could see stuff about Planets/Stars. 

I've never thought about this usage, but of course, any gloranthan scientist / sage worth his salt would have done it. Well thought.

Kloster

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1 hour ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

It'd be interesting of some of the stars/planets that died when Umath disturbed the sky left nebulas behind, as remnants of supernovas. Doesn't have to make a huge amount of sense, astronomically, but would be fitting mythically, and looks cool.

A mention of the Green/Golden Age Red Planet having a green ring around it would be pretty cool too.

I could see nebulas being common amongst the Love Star and War Stars/Celestial Marsh/The Lakes.

The stars there are already so dim that it appears more like smudged light rather than a proper constellation. There may be a bunch of nebula there. (Which fits well with Histipis' claim that there are planets there producing new stars.)

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Just how high is the Sky Dome if the planets look pretty small (as shown in the Guide, Appendix A)? Or is there some sort of magical effect going on here to do with how far you can see up and how large objects appear? I'm aware that the usual laws of physics don't apply.

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5 minutes ago, Steve said:

Just how high is the Sky Dome if the planets look pretty small (as shown in the Guide, Appendix A)? Or is there some sort of magical effect going on here to do with how far you can see up and how large objects appear? I'm aware that the usual laws of physics don't apply.

If it is a true demisphere, then it must be thousands of kilometres high at its peak.

However, if it is just a flat sky that curves down to the earth at the edges, then it doesn't have to be very high at all.

Do any mountains reach the Sky? I have a vague recollection that Cragspider's Castle touches the Sky, but could be wrong, I usually am. Kero Fin probably doesn't touch the Sky, for mythical reasons. Not sure about Top of the World, though.

In any case, the Sky Dome should be higher than most mountains. If it is irregularly high, so has bumps and hollows, then it could be lower in places. Certainly it is lower at the edges, as it reaches down to touch the Pillars at North, South, East and West.

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10 minutes ago, soltakss said:

If it is a true demisphere, then it must be thousands of kilometres high at its peak.

However, if it is just a flat sky that curves down to the earth at the edges, then it doesn't have to be very high at all.

The planets are on the Sky Dome, right?

So are the planets tiny (compared to RW planets), or is there something else going on here in terms of how big things appear on the Sky Dome?

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3 minutes ago, Steve said:

The planets are on the Sky Dome, right?

That is debatable, but we'll say yes for the time being.

The Moon, for example, isn't on the Sky Dome, but might not be a planet.

 

3 minutes ago, Steve said:

So are the planets tiny (compared to RW planets), or is there something else going on here in terms of how big things appear on the Sky Dome?

These are small, those are far away ...

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1 minute ago, Steve said:

The planets are on the Sky Dome, right?

No, the two major planetary paths are below the Sky Dome that carries the stars, and below the blue sky that obscures the stars in the day. The stars are on the hemisphere layer that we usually recognize as the Sky Dome. The planetary paths form a hemisphere, or possibly an ellipsoid alternating in height with the seasons, that is occupied by these paths and little else.

It might just be possible to measure the distance between the Gates of Dawn and the Gates of Dusk. Both are clearly inside the Sky Dome, as is a good portion of Sramak's River.

1 minute ago, Steve said:

So are the planets tiny (compared to RW planets), or is there something else going on here in terms of how big things appear on the Sky Dome?

The planets were inhabited by humans - at least the Blue Moon that rose in the Storm Age was, and the blue planet the Zaranistangi descended from (which may have been the planet identified as Mastakos or Uleria - it certainly is worshipped by the Zaranistangi of Melib). They were spheres (like the Red Moon - the orb model of stellar bodies) or disks inhabited on one side (the Sun Disk model toted in the Sun threads). The surface must have been about country-sized in case of the Veldang and the Zaranistangi, so maybe the area of Tarsh. But that applies only to the people on the surface of those planets, and doesn't necessarily translate into the diameter of the celestial object observed from the Middle World. Distances in the Outer World are prone to re-interpretation.

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23 minutes ago, Steve said:

Just how high is the Sky Dome

Something for the God Learner sages to ponder. Let us approximate it as a sphere containing the Earth Cube that is Glorantha. Let's also assume the cube surface is right on the equator of this sphere.

The greatest length is the diagonal from the northwest of Hudaro Ocean to the southeast of Togaro Ocean, which, peering at a map from the Guide, looks like 6600 miles. The diameter of the sphere is at least this, and possibly no longer. Let us assume the Oceans there touch the Sky Dome. (This is improbable if we consider the cube and sphere to be sorcerously precise objects, because the top of the cube would rest higher than the equator, but for the sake of argument.)

The greatest height of the Sky Dome is then at least half the length of this diagonal: 3300 miles.

I presume that that point is above Magasta's Pool. Towards the edges, it would be lower than that. 

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29 minutes ago, soltakss said:

In any case, the Sky Dome should be higher than most mountains.

I have heard rumours that Yelmian Heroes quest to the tops of the highest mountains, in order to touch the Sky Dome from there and so undo Umath.

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To quote (or at least closely paraphrase) Nick Brooke:

The Sky Dome is a perfect hemisphere 7000 miles across and 50 miles high.

(reposted to the Illumination Riddle thread.)

Edited by Joerg
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1 hour ago, Joerg said:

The Sky Dome is a perfect hemisphere 7000 miles across and 50 miles high.

As a Maths Graduate, I must say "Does not Compute!"

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1 hour ago, soltakss said:

As a Maths Graduate, I must say "Does not Compute!"

It can compute under very select circumstances. Namely that the "50 miles high" is measured from the tallest point/peak in Glorantha, and that such a point is 3450 miles above sea level. But I don't think there is any evidence about any land mass being that  high up, or the existence of a Gloranthan  "Tower of Babel", so I'm with you on this.

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The distance in the RW from the Earth to the Moon is approximately 250,000 miles.

So if the Gloranthan planets are of the order of magnitude of 100 times closer than our own Moon, then how small must they be to appear as they do? Surely tiny?

I would have thought that there must be some other mythical explanation for this. Something making the planets looking a lot smaller than RW physics would make them look.

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3 hours ago, Steve said:

The distance in the RW from the Earth to the Moon is approximately 250,000 miles.

So if the Gloranthan planets are of the order of magnitude of 100 times closer than our own Moon, then how small must they be to appear as they do? Surely tiny?

I would have thought that there must be some other mythical explanation for this. Something making the planets looking a lot smaller than RW physics would make them look.

Well if they're 100 times smaller than our moon that still gives us enough space to work with if we consider that each moon probably supports a single culture at most. 14,600 square miles is still more land area than roughly 20% of our Earth's nations. They also probably don't have to worry about stuff like reduced gravity and oxygen due to their tiny size, as they don't operate by our laws of physics.

Edited by Richard S.
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12 hours ago, Atgxtg said:

It can compute under very select circumstances. Namely that the "50 miles high" is measured from the tallest point/peak in Glorantha, and that such a point is 3450 miles above sea level. But I don't think there is any evidence about any land mass being that  high up, or the existence of a Gloranthan  "Tower of Babel", so I'm with you on this.

Nick's statement clearly refers to the personal experience of distance when traveling in one of these directions. Distances in the Outer World (which includes the Upper World aka Middle Air and Middle Sky, and the Underworld) become subjective. The height of mountains like Kero Fin or Top of the World enter such uncertain dimensions, too.

Effects like parallax don't work on localized orbs hovering over the local ziggurat analogon (like e.g. the Crater or Mt. Kerofin).

But there are similar effects available on the surface of Glorantha, like travel into the borders of the Ban which took several days of travel in and a few hours out.

The original concept of the Hidden Greens (before they became dully the portions of Genert's Wastes explored by pioneer khans) and Hidden Castles and Valleys were more along the Mythago Wood metric, where such a feature could be traveled around in a few miles, but crossing it directly might take hundreds of miles. This weird non-Euklidian geometry in Glorantha would be a result of semi-realized shards of Godtime memory imperfectly woven into the Web of Arachne Solara.

Different magical realities can play havoc with distances, too, like the perceived height of the Red Moon inside and outside the Glowline.

6 hours ago, Richard S. said:

Well if they're 100 times smaller than our moon that still gives us enough space to work with if we consider that each moon probably supports a single culture at most. 14,600 square miles is still more land area than roughly 20% of our Earth's nations. They also probably don't have to worry about stuff like reduced gravity and oxygen due to their tiny size, as they don't operate by our laws of physics.

Yes, the "down" or gravity vector on the Sky Dome is a matter of mythic preference. For most stars when regarded as fortresses in the sky, the local down vector is away from the Earth that would be observed overhead. For the Skyfall River, the down vector clearly points to Skyfall Lake.

Edited by Joerg
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