Re: "the Sun shine from one side first"


-Z- (Z@gundam.com)
Mon, 25 Jan 1999 20:25:21 -0800


At 19:34 1/25/99 -0500, you wrote:
>On Fri, 22 Jan 1999, -Z- wrote:
>> http://gundam.anime.net/world/spacecolony.html
>
>Hey how come i didn't notice that page before? Looking at this line
>about the sturcture of the colony:
>
> "They're divided into six lengthwise strips, three land panels
> alternating with three glass panels through which sunlight enters the
> colony. Thus, this design is sometimes referred to as an open colony.
> Attached to the colony are huge mirrors which reflect light in through
> the glass panels..."
>
>I didn't realize those were mirrors not solar panels! So the colony is
>like a flower that opens towards the Sun?

Yes. In fact, O'Neill refers to it as a "sunflower configuration" in his
1978 book, HIGH FRONTIER: HUMAN COLONIES IN SPACE.

>I've always wonder about a peculiar line from Salya Mass (when she looks
>ravishing in a 1-piece swimsuit on a beach):
>
>"It's so strange that the Sun shine from one side first."
>
>Implying that it's different from the colony. But how??? I always
>thought it's just bad translation (I watch the Chinese version). But now
>perhaps it make sense, if the colony relies on reflected Sun light and
>always point at the Sun then the Sun will never move! That explains the
>line, but it makes for awfully boring lighting arrangement in the colony,
>what's in shades is always in shades, and there'd be no night time?!?! Or
>you dim the mirror/glass panels somehow?

Quoting from page 65 of the aforemention HIGH FRONTIER:

"The cylinder circumference is divided into six regions, three "valleys"
alternating with three arrays of windows. By locating three large, light
planar mirrors above the windows, and pointing the cylinder axes always
toward the Sun, we can arrange that the valleys will receive natural
sunshine, and that the Sun will appear motionless in the sky even though
the cylinder is rotating. Varying the mirror angle will give dawn, the
slow passage of the Sun across the sky during the day, and sunset. The
day-length, weather, seasonal cycle and heat balance of the colony can be
regulated by the same schedule of mirror-angle variation. A large
parabaloid mirror at the [sunward] end of each cylinder can be collecting
solar energy 24 hours per day to run the community's power plant."

Alternatively, the mirrors could simply have shutters: open for day, closed
for night. Open and close them slowly enough and you get a "dimmer" effect.

But please note that this decription only applies to "open type" colonies
like Side 7. Side 3, from whence Sayla (AKA Artesia Som Daikun) originally
hails, is a "closed type" colony, where the cylinder has not windows and is
lit with a prism running down the axis, through which sunlight is
refracted. Here, there can be no illusion of a sun in the sky and the
on/off and "dimmer" options are the only ones possible.

-Z-



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