Hairy Ticks of Dune

There's only room enough in this stillsuit for one of us! ... Wait, come back!

Monday, February 12, 2007

Dune sunset

Ended up doing some more work on the Celestia texture tonight...mostly just creating a basic equirectangular grid for later placement of surface details. Still wondering what color scheme to use, but am considering doing some samples of images of Mars from NASA.

I plotted Arrakeen on the texture and exported a JPEG version and fired up Celestia. Arrakeen came out right exactly where it was supposed to, so I know my formulae for converting the latitude and longitude data from the map in Dune to the XY coordinates of the image are correct. (Or at least coincide closely enough with Celestia's translation of the same data: the program uses normal geographical coords for surface locations.)

While I had the program running I decided to snap a shot of a sunset from the surface.

Under the current set up, Arrakis orbits 15 AU from Canopus. This is probably no good, but a proper distance—just like the diameter to use for the planet—is another one of those details I'm going to have to just wing since there's nothing definitive in the books. I thought about using the StarGen program to generate a bunch of random systems and choose one that looked good, but it's written only to handle G-type stars similar to Sol. Canopus is thought to be about 8 or 9 times as I'm also looking at rewriting the program to handle larger initial parameters. (I'll have to check the books to see what current theory says about solar systems around more massive stars...can they form at all, or would they be similar enough to what we have in mind?!)

All rather a pain, but at least it keeps me in the sietch and out of the open desert, right?


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