Simon Bisson (sbisson) wrote,
Simon Bisson

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Ooops. I seem to have forgotten all my trigonometry...

I was doing some thinking about the Big Fermi Paradox Space Opera idea I'm playing with (those who've heard me discuss the Deepships idea will know the story I'm talking about) at lunchtime, and realised I'd completely lost a whole pile of mathematical knowledge. While I can design architectures for complex web systems, I don't seem to be able to recall how to calculate how big a 65km long artifact in a 100 Km orbit will look...

Especially as I need to think of it in terms of spherical geometries. I've worked out that it will cover 32 degrees of sky when viewed from the equator using simple trig after a quick web refresher (and some emails with Charlie), but the tricky bit is trying to understand how big it will look when viewed (for perfectly valid plot reasons) from the Canary Islands. I think it will still be a "chicken little" moment for the characters though, especially as the artifact was an asteroid only a few minutes before.

I'm now thinking if one of these shareware/freeware 3D astronomical viewing tools will help me out. I remember looking at one a while back that allowed you to place viewpoints and objects anywhere, and that handled most of the 3D graphics formats around.

But I'm still left wondering what happened to my mathematics O-level...
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