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Farquharson

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The Sun King and the Solar System
A Cassini-Huygens AAR




Introduction

When the Cassini-Huygens space probe hit the news headlines on its arrival in orbit around Saturn in June, being interested in these sorts of things, I asked myself, “What or who are Cassini and Huygens?” I quickly discovered that they were two seventeenth-century astronomers who between them had discovered the first five of Saturn’s numerous moons. “Seventeenth century?” I thought, “That sounds like an idea for an AAR!” But then I thought, maybe not - these were probably a couple of super-nerds with their heads in the clouds - a bit hard to link their life’s work into the cut and thrust of the power struggles of Renaissance Europe. So imagine my surprise and delight to find that both of them, as well as a clutch of other European astronomers, had been eagerly sought out and recruited by none other than Louis XIV of France.

“Why?” I hear you asking. Well, that’s what this AAR is all about. If you’re wondering why on earth Louis XIV was remotely interested in the moons of Saturn, then this AAR is for you.

I will of course be playing France, in the vanilla “Age of Mercantilism” Scenario, starting therefore in 1617, with Louis XIII on the throne. The AAR will end with the death of Louis XIV in 1715 - short and sweet! My goals are primarily related to writing about the science of the day and how it related to advances which made a significant impact in the political realm. Thus I’m not specially trying to grab this or that piece of territory, and I’m certainly not trying to conquer Europe, Africa, the world or anything else.

I will probably change the course of history primarily by concentrating less on European wars, which Louis XIV tended to get embroiled in, and channelling France’s resources more into colonizing far-flung parts of the world. This will be to emphasise the importance of navigational science, and particularly that all-important landmark in EU2, the arrival at and exploitation of naval tech level 27, which enables all ships to explore uncharted waters. If I have one definite goal it will be to reach that landmark before anyone else.

Initially I was planning to write this as a completely serious novel-style AAR, which would certainly be a first for me. In the end, I’m ashamed to say, I’ve chickened out of this challenge. The basic story will be serious and “historical” in the sense of writing about the events of the game like real history, but the style I hope will be a tad more entertaining than the average history textbook. How exactly it turns out, you’ll just have to wait and see - along with me!

Most of all I am motivated to write this by my fascination with the history of science, and it’s links with the modern-day exploration of the solar system. If it gets a few other people interested, and even fascinated along with me, then I’ll be more than satisfied.
 
Last edited:

CatKnight

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"This is the last time I let you navigate!" Lord Cardigan the zebra told his lion friend rather sharply. He stared at the distant cliffs of Brest through his spyglass and snapped it shut. "France. Just so."

"What? We've never been here either!" Simba protested. The lion craned to see, finally tired of this and snatched the glass.

"We were headed for Australia," Cardigan reminded him sharply. "This is not Australia."

"Australia's so yesterday," Simba began. "Think of the adventure. Court politics, war and colonization, France surrounded by a whole pack of nations that would like to do them in?" Simba was excited. The chaos of seventeenth century Europe appealed to his mind.

"So are we. The year was 1819 as I recall."

"Yeah..well, we crossed the International Date Line seventy four thousand times, and here we are."

"More of your brilliant navigating I suppose?"

"Hey!" the lion called excitedly. "Someone's waving to us!"

------------------

Good luck Farq! I look forward to your uh..jaunt through the solar system. ;)
 

unmerged(26933)

Captain
Mar 19, 2004
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That's a good idea and I want to see that.

Catknight, that was pretty funny. "Yeah..well, we crossed the International Date Line seventy four thousand times, and here we are."

Good Work
 

unmerged(33557)

Captain
Aug 24, 2004
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there is a good work
 

Rythin

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As I want to be trendy I will write short stories too! Of course they will be simple, primitive, hopeless and dull. Rejoice.

Farquharson is sitting with his French friend in the pub.
"Oh, mate... They stole my car!"
"Did you call the police?"
"I did. They didn't do it."
 

unmerged(33557)

Captain
Aug 24, 2004
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Farquharson said:
The Sun King and the Solar System
A Cassini-Huygens AAR




Introduction

When the Cassini-Huygens space probe hit the news headlines on its arrival in orbit around Saturn in June, being interested in these sorts of things, I asked myself, “What or who are Cassini and Huygens?” I quickly discovered that they were two seventeenth-century astronomers who between them had discovered the first five of Saturn’s numerous moons. “Seventeenth century?” I thought, “That sounds like an idea for an AAR!” But then I thought, maybe not - these were probably a couple of super-nerds with their heads in the clouds - a bit hard to link their life’s work into the cut and thrust of the power struggles of Renaissance Europe. So imagine my surprise and delight to find that both of them, as well as a clutch of other European astronomers, had been eagerly sought out and recruited by none other than Louis XIV of France.

“Why?” I hear you asking. Well, that’s what this AAR is all about. If you’re wondering why on earth Louis XIV was remotely interested in the moons of Saturn, then this AAR is for you.

I will of course be playing France, in the vanilla “Age of Mercantilism” Scenario, starting therefore in 1617, with Louis XIII on the throne. The AAR will end with the death of Louis XIV in 1715 - short and sweet! My goals are primarily related to writing about the science of the day and how it related to advances which made a significant impact in the political realm. Thus I’m not specially trying to grab this or that piece of territory, and I’m certainly not trying to conquer Europe, Africa, the world or anything else.

I will probably change the course of history primarily by concentrating less on European wars, which Louis XIV tended to get embroiled in, and channelling France’s resources more into colonizing far-flung parts of the world. This will be to emphasise the importance of navigational science, and particularly that all-important landmark in EU2, the arrival at and exploitation of naval tech level 27, which enables all ships to explore uncharted waters. If I have one definite goal it will be to reach that landmark before anyone else.

Initially I was planning to write this as a completely serious novel-style AAR, which would certainly be a first for me. In the end, I’m ashamed to say, I’ve chickened out of this challenge. The basic story will be serious and “historical” in the sense of writing about the events of the game like real history, but the style I hope will be a tad more entertaining than the average history textbook. How exactly it turns out, you’ll just have to wait and see - along with me!

Most of all I am motivated to write this by my fascination with the history of science, and it’s links with the modern-day exploration of the solar system. If it gets a few other people interested, and even fascinated along with me, then I’ll be more than satisfied.
You have borrow all this from an site?So i want see
 

Semi-Lobster

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You sure have a talent when it comes to making creative AAR's! :D
 

TreizeV

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Ah! you have beaten me to taking this theme after I finished my VIVE L'EMEPEREUR story.

Well, considering that it took me almost a year to get to the point where my aar is now and that I'm half done... lol i think its better if you wrote this right now :D.

An interesting approach to the great Louis XIV. i'll keep track on this. I also hope to see a guest appearance of our favourite musketeers (well they might be a little old but Meh ) if the author wills it :D
 

AmbassadeBelgie

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You gonna sail through the Zodiacv like the Argonauts, or r u gonna take a 17th century space shuttle and blast off into, no not space, Germany or Spain???
Jus kidding... Great idea, lookin' 4ward 2 this 1!!!

th :rofl:
 

unmerged(21523)

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Visit site
High atop the cliffs of Brest, the First of an intrepid pair of migratory birds was waving eagerly to a distant yet familiar ship. The 2 birds had started out their journey some 202 years into the future aboard the Zebra's Pride but had taken to the wing after crossing the International Date Line for the 60,000th time, feeling almost 2 centuries younger. Still exhilirated by the joy of finding his friends Cardigan and Simba in a very different place from where he last saw them, the First Bird eagerly turned to the Second Bird and blurted out, "I've had a wonderful idea for our next migration--Saturn!"

"Saturn!" a stunned Second Bird shot back, "You do know Satrun is 746 million miles away at its closest."

"hmm," said the First Bird, "that's a longs ways off, perhaps we'll settle for Mars."

"That's still 35 million miles," answered the Second Bird, whose wings grew tired even thinking of such a figure, "plus there's no gravity in space, so our wings won't displace any air."

"Aha, I have a solution!," replied an exuberantly positive First Bird, "we'll get Cassini and Huygens to build us a space craft."

"We'll get who to build what?" asked a flabergasted Second Bird.

"I see you didn't join me on my detour through the 21st Century on our way here," said the First Bird, who rarely got to upstage his friend and was enjoying every minute of it.

"No I"m afraid I didn't," spoke the Second Bird, who had flown farther back in time to 1453, where he had aided a certain force of turkeys in the conquest of Constantinople.

"Well, once we get Cardigan and Simba ashore I'll tell you all about it..." began the First Bird.

This should definitely be interesting, count me in.
 

Farquharson

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CatKnight: :rofl: Well, I was just wondering how to make this AAR more entertaining - that certainly did the trick!

Zeno: Welcome aboard!

Rythin: Glad to see someone is continuing the tradition of keeping my AARs well OT! :p

Giamaica: The very nice piccie (an artist's impression of course) is from the JPL website, where you can follow all that's going on day-to-day up there around Saturn: Cassini-Huygens Home Page

Semi-Lobster: This is my seventh AAR now - I have to do something different or I'll bore myself to death! :eek:

Hastu Neon: Great - the more the merrier!

TreizeV: Sorry to steal your idea. To tell the truth, I was worried someone else might think of it first!

AmbassadeBelgie: To tell the truth, I'm not too sure where I'm going with this AAR, but I hope it will be fun!

Troggle: How dare you post here before you're 1200th! :p

Zachary: :D :D I knew those birds would turn up sooner or later!

Well thanks to all for giving this thread a successful blast-off. Now let's see what's actually happening back in 1617...

(stand back everyone - yes, you too, Rythin...)
 
Last edited:

Farquharson

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Chapter 1
A Far-sighted Revolution




February 1617, off the coast of Greenland

Captain Vaubeuge was standing, wrapped in copious furs, on the deck of his ship, the Splendide, with a long brass tube held up to his eye, looking through it and trying to compensate for the pitch and roll of the deck in order to keep what he was looking at fixed in his line of view.

“See that Monsieur le Comte?” he said to the man, similarly clad, standing next to him, “The settlement there in the fjord - and the Danish flag flying from the spire of the town hall?”

The Comte de Bellemont strained his eyes to gaze at the distant shoreline, a dark line with snow-covered mountains rising behind it.

“I can’t see a thing, Capitaine.” he said in some irritation, “I take it this is this new ‘telescope’ that everyone is talking about? You heard what happened to Signor Galilei, I take it? Does the Pope know that His Majesty King Louis’s naval officers are being issued with this... this... instrument of the devil?”

Captain Vaubeuge laughed heartily.

“My good fellow, the mistake Signor Galilei made was to point his telescope at the heavens. Keep it firmly horizontal...”, he paused to demonstrate that this was in fact just about possible even on the deck of a ship at sea, “... and you won’t run foul of Mother Church in any way.”

“Hmmph!” grunted the Comte de Bellemont, “A child’s toy, then - nothing more.”

“Here,” said the captain handing the tube to his companion, “Take a look for yourself.”

The Comte took it and put it to his eye.

“Can’t see a damned thing!” he said, his voice betraying a certain note of triumph. The captain put out his hand and gently pushed the tube downwards so that it pointed at the coastline, not into the sky.

“See anything now?” he asked. The Comte started, and whipped the tube away from his eye to look at the coastline without it.

“What the devil!” he cried. Gingerly he raised the telescope to his eye once more, and after some moments managed to find the coastline without the captain’s help. “What is this? Black sorcery?”

Captain Vaubeuge laughed again.

“Not at all, monsieur le Comte, not at all!” he said, “It is a perfectly natural phenomenon. Inside the tube are two lenses arranged in such a way as to magnify anything that is viewed through it. The lenses are just the same as have been used in spectacles for centuries.”

The Comte held the telescope in his hands and stared down at it with a look of grudging admiration.

“Think about the implications, Monsieur,” went on the Captain. “Already I am able to chart a great deal more of the coasts which we sail past - information that will be invaluable in the future. And in warfare, both on land and at sea - you realize what the use of such an instrument means for military intelligence?”

The Comte looked once more at the telescope, then slowly raised it to his eye.

“You are a far-sighted man, captain,” he remarked.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>O<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<​

Legend has it that the first telescope was cobbled together by a Dutch lens-grinder named Hans Lippershey, who used it as a sort of sales-gimmick in his spectacle shop. It took the genius of Galileo to realise the true significance of the invention. Having heard of the notion in 1609, within a couple of days he had worked out exactly how it worked and built his own version. Soon Venetian aristocrats were clambering up a tower to peek through one of his telescopes and see ships far out at sea, invisible to the naked eye. It was not long before he turned his telescopes skywards, however, and began to see things no-one had ever seen before. The age of modern astronomy had begun.



One of Galileo’s new gadgets​

But what was it that he saw in the heavens that so offended the theologians of his day?

1) Rashly looking at the sun through his new invention (he later went blind because of activities like this) Galileo noted that there were spots on its surface, and that the sun appeared to turn on it’s axis


As a heavenly body the sun was supposed to be perfect and without flaw!

2) Checking out the moon, he noted that there were mountains on it


The moon was also a supposedly flawless heavenly body - it shouldn’t have lumps on it!

3) Turning to Jupiter he found that it had no less than four moons circling it


Everything in the universe circled the earth - nothing could be circling a distant planet!

Worst of all, Galileo observed the planet Venus and saw that it had phases like the moon - clear proof that it was circling the sun, not the earth. In other words, Galileo was busy proving that Copernicus’ view of the universe, with the sun, not the earth, at the centre, was actually the better theory.



Galileo astounds his friends​

By the way, for purists who are wondering how all this relates to my EU2 game, indeed whether I am even playing EU2 at all (tsk, tsk, shame on you!), the Splendide was of course part of the Escadre Bleue which was sailing from Brest to Stadacone on a mission to fetch the explorer Samuel de Champlain, whom Louis XIII had decided to send to the coast of Africa to found a chain of French colonies there. The fact that Captain Vaubeuge could now see Eiricksfjord and Vestbygden when no passing Frenchmen had been able to before was presumably thanks to his new-fangled telescope (represented by naval tech level 18 - France is currently at 21).
 
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unmerged(28992)

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There's just no stopping you is there Farq? Oh well I guess I'll just have to concede defeat and start preparing excuses for why it took so long for me to do anything at work.....
 

coz1

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A wonderful idea and a grand start, Farq. So far, this certainly lives up to your prior work and the style you are employing I think will work well. Just watch out for heresy! ;) I look forward to more.
 

unmerged(26933)

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I love that hersay button! Also, the reasons why it was hersay actual made me learn something :eek:
 

AmbassadeBelgie

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I don't get the purists, then...I think this is a great intro! Really cool, keep it up!

Th :rofl: