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View Full Version : 2 questions for The Bad Astronomer...


Kid_Gilligan
06-02-2002, 08:17 AM
...or anyone else for that matter.

On your site (http://www.badastronomy.com), after correctly noting that Lucas screwed up using the term parsec as a unit of time, you mention that it would have no meaning in a "galaxy far, far away" since it involves the earths's orbit. But if beings from another planet could discuss a "day" as one rotation, why couldn't they have their own parsec?

Also, as to the missing star without the missing gravitation (http://www.badastronomy.com/bad/movies/starwars_aotc_review.html), I had assumed that the software had simply been instructed not to display the star. Over time, if the lack of gravity had not been displayed it would not have jived with the actual locations of those items the gravity was acting upon. Or, am I wrong?

Fern Forest
06-02-2002, 08:41 AM
Here (http://www.badastronomy.com/mad/1996/parsec.html) he explains why for parsec. It's not the day that matters but the displacement a planet experiences over half of it's orbit.

So Lucas is (perhaps unwittingly) making it so that there was a planet in this other galaxy which had an orbit around its star exactly like Earth's.

Fern Forest
06-02-2002, 08:51 AM
Your 2nd is an interesting point. What are the odds that the Jedi would not only realize that Kamino was of interest but then subsequently know it's exact position. Long odds ...
... as it's only by luck that they do. Kenobi was lucky to find a weapon traceable only to Kamino and then lucky again to know one of the few people on Coruscant to recognize it and be able to give Kenobi it's exact location.
So what's a conspirator to do. Erase gravity's effect and rely on secrecy or fail to compensate for it and hope that at no point any one checks the real positions of the stars with their expected positions. I'd rely on secrecy.

Good point.

minty green
06-02-2002, 02:22 PM
And of course, the bad guys wanted the Jedi to find the missing planet. Hence, the sloppy cover-up.

Chronos
06-02-2002, 03:15 PM
Another explanation for "parsecs" (used correctly, by the way, in this film: As a measure of interstellar distances) is that the folks in the Star Wars galaxy have some other unit of their own devising which happens to be similar in size to our own parsec, and in the process of translation (surely you don't think they were speaking English!), that unit was translated as "parsec".

I will note, though, that if the numbers they were giving were correct, the Star Wars galaxy seems to be awfully small (something fans have suspected for a while). Geonesis, for example, is only a parsec away from Tatooine. For perspective, that's less than the distance from the Sun to the nearest other star. So, either all of the important planets just happen to be really close to each other, or all of the distances in Star Wars are smaller.