Forum: Geography and Maps

Discussing: Where the stars are strange

Where the stars are strange

An astronomical question: How far south would I have to go until 'the stars are strange'? Would I have to cross the equator (which is WAY south of Gondor) or would I see different constellations sooner than that?

~Vilwarin

 

 

Re: Where the stars are strange

Would I have to cross the equator (which is WAY south of Gondor) or would I see different constellations sooner than that?

~Vilwarin


Way before you get to the equator.... I saw the Southern Cross from off the coast of Mexico, which is north of the equator.... it is not visible where I live in northern California.

Added: Come to think of it, London is at about the same latitude as Vancouver, British Columbia, so it is way north of me... so, even some of the stars that I see every night might already be "strange" to Aragorn.

Every bit that you go south (in the Northern Hemisphere), the Northern Star would be a bit lower in the sky, and you would be able to see a bit more of the southern sky (assuming a flat horizon)... so at least some of the stars would be "strange". The question is, how many of the visible stars were strange to Aragorn? If it was all of them, then yeah, he really did go far.

BTW, the "stars are strange" remark probably applies to Harad (the South), not (necessarily) Rhûn (the East).

- Barbara

 

 

Re: Where the stars are strange

Thank you. This was my way of thinking as well, and I am glad that it was assured. since I had never been dramatically to the south or north I had no real proof...

The question is, how many of the visible stars were strange to Aragorn? If it was all of them, then yeah, he really did go far.

Well, it seems to be Tolkien's habit to say everything in little words and leave much out.

~Vilwarin

 

 

Re: Where the stars are strange

Well, it seems to be Tolkien's habit to say everything in little words and leave much out.

*snicker* Yeah, you can say that again!

- Barbara, who is struggling with a Resource entry for the Trollshaws, which were never named in canon.... though Strider and the Hobbits spent several days lost there....

Edit: Forgive me.... Strider has sternly informed me that Rangers do not get lost in the wild.... so, let's just say, um, slightly misplaced.....

 

 

Re: Where the stars are strange

How far south would I have to go until 'the stars are strange'?

Interesting question!

I found this site: Comparison of Northern and Southern Skies

" At about 40 degrees north or south latitude, almost 1/2 of the stars in the other hemisphere are visible. So, most of the people in the US can see most of the stars in the Southern Hemisphere. However, at 40 degrees north, the stars overhead for an observer at 40 degrees south, are too close to the southern horizon to be easily recognized. Nonetheless, if you live in southern Florida, southern Texas or Hawaii, you should be able to make out the Southern Cross in May and June."

and this:

About the Southern Cross

"The Southern Cross used to be visible in Greece low on the southern horizon, and it was known to the ancient Greeks and Chaldeans who included it on their star maps. However, the precession (slow wobble) of the earth's axis has steadily carried this part of the sky southwards. 2000 years ago the Southern Cross was just fully visible from Palestine at the right time of year, while today it is just seen from southern Egypt."

Hope this helps!

Gwynnyd 

 

 

Re: Where the stars are strange

Elena: Forgive me.... Strider has sternly informed me that Rangers do not get lost in the wild.... so, let's just say, um, slightly misplaced.....

Ah, it is jut men and their pride! They have to defed themselves, especially if they have told you mere days ago that "wether short cut or detour, my feet never go astray."

Or because it is some burried trauma because his grandfather was killed there about a hundred years ago and he tended to avoid that area, who knows?  Say, why am I defending him? He could do that himself if he is already boasting.

Gwynnyd: So let s just take London (or Vancover) , which is about 51 degrees north  (which may represent Eriador) , and say Algeia (or Florida) which is about 28 degrees north . That makes a difference of 23 degrees. London is on the same longitude and 23 degrees north of Timimoun, a town in Algeria.

Now if we knew the distance... but I think it is well into Harad

~Vilwarin

 

 

Re: Where the stars are strange

Ah, it is jut men and their pride!

Well, you know how prideful these Dúnedain are....

Or because it is some burried trauma because his grandfather was killed there about a hundred years ago and he tended to avoid that area, who knows?

Could be!

Except that Arador was slain in the Coldfells north of Rivendell, and Strider was "temporarily misplaced" in the Trollshaws west of Rivendell.... Oh, well, hills are hills...

- Barbara, who just had to create an entry for Coldfells because she didn't know where they were.... ;)

 

 

Lost in the Trollshaws and Strange Stars

Frankly, I think this is just another of those circumstances where Tolkien needed an editor. The whole book is full of inconsistencies like Strider, who "never goes astray," getting lost in his home territory. It happens IMO solely for the purpose of allowing the Hobbits to run into Bilbo's Trolls.

These niggling loopholes leave lots of room for us fanfic writers to explore the contradictions. I've got quite a personal list, myself--hey, write something and put it in the Bookverse Improbabilities Nuzgul! Some of them (like Strider carrying around, seemingly, only a broken sword) were the inspiration for "Gandalf's No Good, Rotten, Really Bad Day."

Somewhere in the Letters (perhaps Barbara knows where) Tolkien gives European equivalents for some of the places in M-E--not exact equivalents, but just to give people the idea of the distances. With England as the Shire, Minas Tirith was at Florence, I believe. So Harad would be the equivalent of Northern Africa./Middle East. Further south than that, the stars would be (getting) strange, wouldn't they?

G.A. 

 

 

Re: Lost in the Trollshaws and Strange Stars

The whole book is full of inconsistencies like Strider, who "never goes astray," getting lost in his home territory. It happens IMO solely for the purpose of allowing the Hobbits to run into Bilbo's Trolls.

 

But half the fun is coming up with backstory to explain the inconsistencies.

Gwynnyd 

 

 

Re: Lost in the Trollshaws and Strange Stars

Except that Arador was slain in the Coldfells north of Rivendell, and Strider was "temporarily misplaced" in the Trollshaws west of Rivendell.... Oh, well, hills are hills...

Oh, hehe, see, he is not the only one gotten lost. But anyway, trolls are trolls, and perhaps it is them and not the land.

 It happens IMO solely for the purpose of allowing the Hobbits to run into Bilbo's Trolls.

Oh, yes, or perhaps Strider wanted to give them a sightseeing tour of the lovliest things his country as to offer: Midgewater marshes, a crumbled watch-tower, stone trolls...I am sure they appeciated that.

write something and put it in the Bookverse Improbabilities Nuzgul!

Ba, like Aragorn's very busy three months of the year 2980: Defeating the corsairs, going into Harad and Rhûn, uncovering some plots there and finally spending spring in Lothlorien.

So Harad would be the equivalent of Northern Africa./Middle East. Further south than that, the stars would be (getting) strange, wouldn't they?

Aye, they would start getting strange in northern Africa, see Gwynnyd's interesting post.

~Vilwarin

 

 

Re: Lost in the Trollshaws and Strange Stars

Orion is on the horizon in Southern England, and directly overhead at the equator.

 

 

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