AstroResearch 1

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Created by Helge


Intro

Day of Awakening, week 2 of the Raven's starfall, 986

Yesterday night, when I looked up in the sky, I started wondering about the Wurm universe.
I wondered if I could find the rotation center of the sky and Martin got caught by the same kind of thoughts.
The situation developed and we decided to find out some clear facts about this virtual universe and the planet of Wurm.

I started taking pictures, clipping them together to get some trails on the stars. Martin and I made some calculations and discussed the results.


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Rotation center of the sky

Finding the rotation center was quite simple.
First, a look directly up in the sky, facing magnetic north. This picture was taken by clipping many pictures into one:
050529_-_around0000_-_N_straightup_-_stars_going_towards_south.png
By looking at the picture we surprisingly concluded that the visible rotation center was somewhere near the western horizon, and not north or south as on earth.

Then, a look straight west, a little above the horizon:
050529_-_around0200-0300_-_W_-_stars_going_counter_clockwise_-_01.png
This picture clearly shows that the rotation center is directly towards magnetic west.

Conclusions:

* Wurm's geographic north (rotation center) is towards Wurm's magnetic west.
* Sun rises in magnetic north (geo. east), travels around magnetic east (geo. south)  and sets in magnetic south (geo. west).
* Sky rotates counter-clockwise around the visible rotation center.
* We're located on the geographicaly north hemisphere of the Wurm planet (magneticaly west).

Some thoughts:
The Wurm planet must be in the middle of a pole switch, which explains why the magnetic poles are messed up compared to the geographic poles.
This has happened several times in earth's history with regular intervals. On earth, this can be seen in the magnetic patterns in the minerals on the bottom of the oceans.
Pole switches are when North becomes south and south becomes north.
The pole switch theory also explains very well why the birds seem to have trouble navigating. Pole switching normally makes the magnetic field of a planet very unstable, and both Martin and I wonder why the dangerous radiation from the sun doesn't hurt us.


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Latitude and current axis pitch

Next we wanted to find out was our latitude and the current axis pitch of the Wurm planet.
This required quite some calculations, and the results may not be very accurate because they were based on some estimations of a tree height.

First thing to find out was the angle per pixel scale, and for that we used simple trigonometry. Notch has once said that a tree in Wurm is approximately 12m high. Reading the distance to the nearest tree was no problem - it's just a matter of counting tiles and using pythagoras.
050529_-_W_horizontal.png
Then we had to find the exact rotation center and distance to the horizon in pixels (to calculate the angle). To find the horizon we simply used the same distance in pixels from a top of a distant mountain as on the photo above (photo aboce was taken looking directly west with eyes aligned on the horizon).
050529_-_around0200-0300_-_W_-_stars_going_counter_clockwise_-_02.png
Finding the axis pitch was quite easy after we found the latitude. We just looked straight up and took a picture when the time was 12:00, calculated the angle to the sun.


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Results

* Latitude (angle of rotation center): 17°

latitude001.png

* Maximum solar altitude: 72°, west horizon (18° from being vertical).
* Axis pitch: 35°

axis_pitch001.png


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Final comment

Wurm is a very strange and interresting planet. Even though it's in the middle of a pole switch and the current axis pitch is around 35° (which would be absolutely fatal for the life on planet earth), it is full of life and very habitable.



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Helge