[LMB] Soletta design, and moons more generally.

pouncer at aol.com pouncer at aol.com
Sun Oct 21 03:58:26 BST 2018


I don't see the need for a moon, UNLESS the soletta is at a Lagrange point.

As has been identified, the target of the redirected sunlight is anyplace on
Komarr's surface.  There is no need for a geostationary orbit.  There is
no need for an equatorial orbit -- orbiting over the poles, perpendicular
to the equator, works too. That the soletta has several mirrors suggests
that they can be tilted, like sails, to adapt to orientation with respect to
light and solar wind, and to use the pressures of either to slowly change
position. 

A disadvantage of distant orbits, either Lagrangian or geo-stationary, is
that unless the mirrors are optically perfect, or nearly so, the reflected
light disperses, falling with the square of distance. (With a perfectly
flat mirror, the (nearly) parallel rays from the Komarran sun remain
parallel when sent down.  But if the mirror is fabric or a bunch of 
panels,  the light scatters as it is reflected.) So an near orbit that keeps
all the reflection hitting the surface is better.  There are trade offs
between keeping the soletta far out of the shadows and near enough
the surface. 

The discussion makes me wonder about Barayarr's moons. Is there
any chance at least one of the (two, small) moons is artificial?  Say,
while the Firsters still had ships in-system, a comet or even a natural
irregularly orbiting moon was shifted into an orbit that was not-quite-
geostationary.  I wonder if a moon, with a 24 hour period,  wouldn't
be useful to a word with a 26.something hour rotational day.  A way to
compare an astronomical clock of Earth-standard-time against local
time.  (This sort of assumes the ship-in-system is a tug or shuttle that
has crew reacting to the realization that the JumpShip, mothership, colony
planting vessel is NOT coming back... ) 




More information about the Lois-Bujold mailing list