Lim Jyue (lim_jyue@pacific.net.sg)
Wed, 31 May 2000 20:10:39 +0800


        I'm resending this because it looks like the first got lost -- if
this is a repeat, apologies..

At 20:15 05/30/2000 -0700, -Z- wrote:
>The Moon and three of the five Lagrange points (L3, L4 and L5) are all
>moving west-to-east at the same speed.

        I forgot part of the astronomy course I took, but shouldn't the
other two Lagrange points move in the same direction, although not
neccesarily with the same speed?

>Think of it as cosmic surfing -- you catch the wave and shoot the curl, in
>this case sliding down the gravity well by following the path of least
>resistance or, in ballistic terminology, the minimum-energy gradient.

        I think I understand the idea -- it's sort of like making use of the
gravitational pull of both the Earth and the moon in order to shift the mass
around with minimum external input, right?

>It would only cause an oscillation along the long axis and that would probably
>not exceed sixty degrees. In any case, the cylinders wouldn't move toward one
>another, but rather continue along their way with their noses and tails
>gyrating from side to side.

        Sigh. I guess I should have put a little bit more thought into
that.. could the gyration bring them into contact with each other? I guess
not. The pairs seems to have been set sufficiently far apart for this to occur.

>Of course, any collision of sufficient force to give Island Ease sufficient
>orbital velocity to catch up with the Moon, which leads it in orbit by some
>400,000 km (250,000 miles), would probably smash them both to smithereens.

        Wasn't this the entire idea? Delaz "bounced" Island Ease towards the
moon, and this decoy caused a major portion of the Federation to run out of
fuel in an attempt to catch it. The colony's propulsion system was later
activated, most likely to change it's angle of attack to loop around the
moon. I can't quite recall this portion of 0083 -- I think it's time for me
to revise this portion.

>Again, consider the inertia these things must have. Stopping them from
>rotating would probably take hours if not days and expend tons of
>propellent -- and to what end?

        To stop the damage caused by the increased rotation? As you said,
the cylinder appeared to be spinning at 4 times the normal rate. Do we
actually know whether the structure of the cylinder can withstand this
increased rate of rotation? The cylinder is likely to have sustained some
damage during the crash of the 2 Isle, and this rotation can make the damage
worse.

        The cylinder could concievably spall material off due to the
increased centrifugal forces exerted on it. This will make the cylinder ever
more vulnerable to damages during reentry, or to Federation action, either
the Solar Ray or as Blackeagle suggests, nukes.

-------------
Lim Jyue
ICQ: 24737555

I am careful not to confuse excellence with perfection.
Excellence I can reach for; perfection is God's business.

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