Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Travel to another star

I've been digging through my old graph theory books, and the HabHyg near star list, to look at the interstellar movement rules we discussed before.  I have also been looking at Iota Persei, a nice solitary G0V star that I have decided will have a nice, earth-like world in orbit around it.  I have also decided to add a cost in time to jump travel proportional to e^distance (in pc).

Given that, here is the shortest (in time) path from Sol to Iota Persei.

N HabHyg Name Sector Type Mass (Sol) Abs Mag distance time
0 0 Sol 0:00:00 G2V 1.00 4.85 3.11 22.34
1 12 Gl 905 0:00:00 dM6 e 0.13 14.79 1.42 4.14
2 31 DO Cephei 0:01:00 M6 V 0.13 13.29 2.51 12.30
3 98 Gl 34 B -1:1:0 K7 V 0.74 8.64 1.63 5.12
4 161 Gl 53 B -1:1:0 M8 0.10 11.61 1.77 5.88
5 257 Gl 51 -1:1:0 M5 0.21 13.88 1.47 4.35
6 318 NN 3126 -1:1:0 M4 0.38 11.03 1.93 6.86
7 354 NN 3182 -1:1:0 DC9 0.50 15.25 1.10 3.00
8 378 Iota Persei -1:1:0 G0V 1.10 3.94

Now, I will confess that this is output is not that pretty straight off.  Each row shows the star we are jumping from, the basic specs for the star, and the distance (in pc) and time to the destination star; that destination is on the next row.

The mass is estimated (by hand at the moment) based on the spectral class.  Gl53B has no spectral type in the dataset, so I plugged it based on the magnitude.

NN3128 is a continuous degenerate star (a cool white dwarf with no discernable spectra lines).  The data to determine the mass probably does not exist yet.  White dwarfs are very old star between .5 and 8 solar masses.  The "C" types are probably very old.  I have no particular faith the the assigned mass; but I doubt that anyone will pay any great attention to it in the near future.

One of the things you have to be willing to do in SF is make decisions that fit very imprecise data -- decisions that no scientist would every be willing to stake a reputation on.  If we are not willing to do that, we have to either waffle our game and plot lines around the fuzzy bits -- you can do that in a novel but not in a game -- or stuff everything to the far side of some convenient dark nebula.

The next thing I need to do with this table is work out what happens at each jump according the the rather complex "jump radius" rules I defined early in the blog.

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