Designing the Night Sky and Fine-Tuning the Spin of the Spheres
I've been trying to build a picture of what a world might look and behave like in astronomical terms if created by an omnipotent creator that wasn't shy of making his/her work evident. Although the world is meant to be the product of intelligent design, I want the end product to be something that can run of it's own steam once in motion (no coming back and tinkering with it afterwards). This is all very speculative and very much outside anything I've formally studied, so any input is very gratefully recieved.
The first thing I want to do is alter the solar system so as to make a decent calendar possible. Our calendars are hampered by the reality of how our solar system actually works.
Here's my first set of suggestions: I want a solar year that divides neatly into 360 days (no leap years). I want the lunar month to be synced with the solar year so that there are exactly twelve lunar months per solar cycle. This results in a calendar where each year is divisible into twelve months of 30 days (divisible into five six day weeks), with each new month being marked by a new moon (or maybe a full moon; I haven't decided which is aesthetically better). I'm not sure if it's the most mathematically elegant calendar imaginable but it seems a lot less messy than the ones we're stuck with in reality.
I did consider making days, weeks, months and years increase in order of sixes, so six days a week, six weeks a month (36 days a month), six months a year (216 days a year). Counting in base6 (Senary), that would mean 10 days a week, 100 days a month and 1000 days a year (nice and elegant). However, that would decrease our orbit by 0.59, which places us at about the same range to the sun as Venus; so, unless we tinker with the size of the sun, we would all burn to death. If we reduce the size of the sun by the same ratio (0.59) then I speculate that we'd achieve the same level of heat and gravity because we'd have moved the 'sweet spot for life' into the new location of the Earth.
The other option would be to make the calendar in the order of twelves; twelve days a week, twelve weeks a month (144 days a month), twelve months a year (1728 days a year). This produces the same numbers as before in Base12 (duodecimal). This time we're increasing the orbit by a ratio of 4.74, placing us at about the same distance from the sun as Ceres, a dwarf ice planet. Again, maybe increasing the mass of the sun might be all we need to make that orbit habitable, my astrophysics isn't strong enough to say.
The model I proposed first has the advantage of being very close to our current orbit, so it's relatively uncomplicated. Ideally, I'd prefer either of the other two (It comes down to whether you prefer senary or duodecimal as a counting system, I'm fond of both).
The next bit of creation I want to fiddle with is the night sky. Assuming that this universe is based solely around this planet, we can now align the stars to form any constellations we want. Real-life constellations are imagined lines between stars but we can place any number of stars we want wherever we want; we can make art out of the night-sky. However, one thing we will want is for the solar year (the time taken to orbit the sun) to align with the sidereal year (the time taken for the sun to arrive back at the same point in relation to the stars).
At the moment, we're out of sync by about one day every 72 years, which is why the tropical zodiac is so misleading. The concept of the zodiac was based around dividing the sky up into twelve 30 degree sections, each named after a constellation in that space. Unfortunately, the constellations have since moved. I was born on 05 July and so my 'Sun sign' is Cancer, but the constellation of cancer wasn't on the ecliptic on that day, the constellation of Gemini was. I don't want to build a night sky that falls out of sync every few millennia.
The cause of this problem seems to be the gravity of the sun and the moon interacting with the tilt of the Earth. This immediately favours the base12 calendar orbit, as the moon is further away and thus will screw up our designs less (the sun is also further away but also presumably with a greater gravitational pull). We could also simply reduce (or remove) the tilt of the Earth (although it would be a shame to lose the seasons entirely). One way or another, we need to remove this effect or at least render it negligible to complete the next step.
The first thing I want is a line of twelve (or six) characters across the ecliptic, each representing one month of the year. A person would then be able to look at the horizon at dawn and know instantly what month of the year it is. To either side of these characters would be longer images marking out the seasons, equinoxes and solstices (our representations would need to be abstract, as they would be seen by people on both sides of the globe and thus would need to represent both summer and winter to different lands), this obviously assumes that we still have at least a little axil tilt. To the North and the South would be bright and brilliant constellations marking out the direction to the North and South poles, making navigation obvious to anyone without any education or training.
I would really like to see the movement of years and epochs marked in the night sky too. Unfortunately, the 'fixed stars' aren't much use for this. Stars do move independantly of each other but not at speeds significant for anything but the largest spans of time. What's more, there's no way that I can think of to make them move around the night sky in the same way as the precession of constellations mentioned a moment ago (that would seemingly require the constellations to be actually orbiting our solar system, which would seem impossible)
The best I could imagine is that we could put a very bright star in orbit around a very dense black hole, which might create an orbit quick and wide enough to create a speck of light that moves forward and backwards against a point of night sky. We could then decorate the area around it with nearer stars that would stay in place. This could create a timer where the star would return to centre point every (base6/10) 10, 100, or 1000 years. My main worry would be whether it would be possible to set up such a super-massive set of objects close enough to show in the night sky without sucking us all in. I wouldn't know how to even begin the maths on that one.
We might instead have to settle with 'Wanderers' (aka planets) that have long orbits that mark out the years. Jupiter has an orbit of nearly 12 years and Saturn has an orbit of nearly 30 years, yet both are visible to the naked eye (light pollution aside), so something might be worked out to denote longer periods of time using a series of gas giants in the outer solar system. It may help to give them an inclined orbit and border their path through the night sky with 'fixed stars', although it might be simpler to watch their progress across the same constellations used to judge the month of the year (although I'm a little worried that they might be blotted out by them if we make our constellations too vibrant!)
These are just some ideas in any case. I'm sure there are problems that I haven't thought about but I also suspect that there are possibilities that I haven't begun to imagine. What I wanted to do is sketch out an idea of the sort of night sky that one could look up at and really feel justified in saying 'This is proof of intelligent creation, someone must have made this'. If I can scratch out a few ideas like these, what would an omniscient being do?
I don't want to disparage the cosmos we have; the cosmos is immensely beautiful. What I would like to say is that it's beautiful in the sense that a cave or a mountain is; we can look at those things and admire their beauty whilst never entertaining the notion that they were designed for our benefit and use. The sort of beauty that I've wanted to grasp at here is the beauty of architecture; something not only elegant and beautiful but clearly made by an intelligent designer for our use, and that's just not the sort of beauty our cosmos has.