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Miscellaneous 2014 ()
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Peter Ahlstrom

Come on, guys, there are major major reasons Roshar can't possibly be a moon and one of the moons a gas giant. Think about it.

digitalbusker

Nobody ever remarks on how one of the "moons" takes up a quarter of the visible sky?

Peter Ahlstrom

Each moon is in the sky only once per day and moves across the sky in a couple to a few hours. What does that tell us about their orbits?

Could a gas giant be far enough away to look like a small moon, yet have this rapid of an apparent motion? (The answer is NO.)

Kurkistan

That they're really fast/close, I would think. Perhaps unusually so...  

Peter Ahlstrom

You may not be aware, but Mars's moon Phobos orbits in less than 8 hours, and gets less than 6,000 km from Mars's surface.

Kurkistan

Curses! Foiled again by SCIENCE!!!

Okay, so the orbits aren't magically augmented.

Still, that leaves us some information. The three moons are likely captured asteroids, then, rather than having split off from Roshar during its formation, Luna-style. Three captured asteroids at the same time in relatively stable, seemingly very close orbits... Anything significant in that, science people?

Peter Ahlstrom

I expect the moons were put in their current orbits artificially, but by whom or what I do not know. On astronomical terms, these are not stable orbits, but astronomical terms means millions of years. A few thousand or even a few hundred thousand years are no problem.

By the way, I minored in astronomy while at the university, for expressly science fictional purposes.

Leiyan

Were the moons also artificially created, or were they originally formed naturally?

Peter Ahlstrom

I don't know.

Barnes & Noble B-Fest 2016 ()
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Questioner

I was wondering if the Tranquiline halls, if that's in the spiritual, the physical, or the Cognitive?

Brandon Sanderson

So... that's a big fat RAFO, because that's actually a false dilemma, there are other options than those three. One of which just being that it is a mythological piece from their theology and not an actual location.

Questioner

So it's not an actual place?

Brandon Sanderson

That's a fourth option for the three, does that makes sense? So its a bigger RAFO even than that, it's a RAFO in that I'm not going to confirm that its one of those three. Good question.

Words of Radiance Philadelphia signing ()
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Leiyan

I'm curious about the sun because it's described as white, and our sun is typically yellow. I assume it's a different type of star?

Brandon Sanderson

The yellowing of our sun is not actually caused...so our sun being yellow is not based on the star's actual color.

Leiyan

So is it bigger than our sun? Smaller? If there's anything you want to throw out there I'll take it.

Brandon Sanderson

Okay...I'm having to reach into my memory. This is not canon. Younger and larger, I believe it is both. Younger and larger.

Brandon Sanderson

The star's age, at Roshar...Earth astronomers would say that is a star which could not have planets with life on them.

Words of Radiance Philadelphia signing ()
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Leiyan

There are three planets in the solar system, are they all in the habitable zone, with the water...at least two of them must be...

NutiketAiel

When you say three, is it actually three in the solar system, or is it three...

Brandon Sanderson

There are three planets with sentient beings on them.

Leiyan

There are more than three planets in the solar system?

Brandon Sanderson

There are. With non-sentient beings. There are three planets of importance. So I didn't give you very much, because you wanted something...I could give you something.

Leiyan

Yeah I knew that, I should have said that I knew that before I asked.

Brandon Sanderson

You may have...here's one for you alright. You may have heard a reading from one of those planets today.

Arcanum Unbounded release party ()
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Questioner

On the Roshar system diagram, each planet had the sigil of a certain Radiant. I was wondering why you did that

Brandon Sanderson

We're using Roshar itself as a frame of reference, and that is how people on Roshar have named the planets. And they can't see them all, I don't believe, but the naming convention sticks.

Questioner

And thats why you added the sigils?

Brandon Sanderson

Mmhmm. I don't think they've discovered them all on-planet, but since other people off-planet know about them... and in the old days, they knew about them all.

Words of Radiance Philadelphia signing ()
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Leiyan

Can you tell me which is the most massive moon [of Roshar]? Not the biggest, but the most massive moon.

Brandon Sanderson

I think the biggest is the most massive. All three moons are much closer than our moon is.

Leiyan

Yes, I gathered that. And so is that Nomon?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes.

Leiyan

How big is Nomon on the night sky, compared to our moon?

Brandon Sanderson

Larger than our moon, but not dominating of the sky.

[Interruption]

I do believe Nomon is, I told Peter, bigger. But he had to run the actual calculations, so he may come back and say, "No Brandon, that's not possible." But I believe it is bigger than our moon in the sky. You're supposed to be able to see moderately well by Nomon.

Words of Radiance Philadelphia signing ()
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Leiyan

So I had some things I figured out, I just wanted to know if they're maybe true or not. So I have that the orbits of the moons would precess so that the farthest point is always pointing towards the sun.

Brandon Sanderson

So, one more time.

Leiyan

[Holding out and point at diagram she brought] So they precess, so that the long point is always towards the sun?

Brandon Sanderson

Ok, so, we have figured all this out. It's in the wiki...so me just saying...it's not in the wiki that you can find. I would need to go compare this to what we have. 

Leiyan

Because I was wondering how accurate these were, but that's ok, so I can skip that bit. I had like...

Brandon Sanderson

All the calculations on things like this...this is stuff where I sat down with Peter, who knows much more astronomy than I did and said "here's what I want" and he's like "well it has to be this" and I'm like "ok".

Shadows of Self Houston signing ()
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Questioner

In The Stormlight Archive, Damnation is a physical planet, or place, to my understanding. The Tranquiline Halls seems a little less tangible, is it a physical place and will we see it?

Brandon Sanderson

So, Damnation and the Tranquiline Halls, are they physical places? In Rosharan mythology they are places, much like heaven and hell are places. Tranquiline Halls is-- and so they believe that they do exist, but they're not sure if they exist on this plane or the next plane, or things like that. And that's all I'm going to say about it.

Words of Radiance Philadelphia signing ()
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Leiyan

Do you know, do the moons orbit the opposite direction of Roshar's rotation?

Brandon Sanderson

I believe they do but I'm not 100% sure.

Leiyan

There's no eclipses as far as I can tell, so the plane of the orbit must be inclined pretty strongly, because there'd be an eclipse every day if there were eclipses...

Brandon Sanderson

We had to fudge that because as you said, if there were any it'd be all the time.

Salt Lake City Comic-Con 2014 ()
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Questioner

How much involvement does the other planet in the same system as Roshar have with Roshar?

Brandon Sanderson

*long pause* Your question has a fundamental flaw to it.

Questioner

And that is?

Brandon Sanderson

That there are multiple planets that have an influence on Roshar.

Questioner

I thought there were multiple planets in the system that...

Brandon Sanderson

There are, but you said "the other", there are more than one so the phrase, "the other" doesn't make sense.

Questioner

How much influence do the other planets have?

Brandon Sanderson

A great deal.