Astronomy

The sky of the World of Isles is much like our own, with stars of greater and less brightness which can with imagination be made into constellations, a milky way, faint zodiacal light, planets which wander at inconstant speeds roughly along the ecliptic, a pale blotched moon, and a bright yellow sun which daily drowns the sky in blue. The chief difference is the presence in the sky of the World of Isles of a brilliant fixed star: Indarian. Indarian never moves in the sky, is brighter than Venus ever gets in our sky, and is visible even during the day (if you know where to look). Because of its fixity, Indarian is invisible from one half of the World of Isles. Seen from Gehennum, it hangs low in the western sky.

Astronomy is reasonably well-known in Gehennum. Even in the Archaic Period astronomers know that the World of Isles is a sphere, and in the Classical Period they have discovered that the planets revolve about the sun, and that some of them have satellites. The question of whether the world goes around the sun or vice-versa is not considered significant, except by sun-worshipping mystery religions.

Astronomy is part of a liberal education. An educated man is expected to be able to find named stars and constellations, and navigate by the stars and Indarian. A little knowledge of astronomy is necessary to read a World-of-Isles map.


Copyright © 1991 by Brett Evill. All rights reserved.