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Near-Earth stars

  • Thread starter Black Globe Generator
  • Start date

Black Globe Generator

"My god...it's full of stars..."

This month's Astronomy magazine features an article on the twenty-five or so nearest stars to Sol. It includes a nifty diagram and the distance in light years from the Solar System.

The issue is largely devoted to stars and includes a helpful article on the H-R diagram describing the different star types and their distribution and chemical contribution, plus the most "extreme" stars (hottest, coolest, most chemically enriched, et cetera).

I'm usually more of a Sky and Tel man, but this was such an interesting Astro issue that I had to pick it up.
<Reposted, as I frakked up the URLs>

As I said before ;) I consider the above URLs to be extremely useful.

Who says you can't have RPG fun with real stars?
What are the stellar percentages for "around here" versus "somewhere else"?

For example,

expected stellar percentages:

in the galactic disk/arm.
between the arms
in the galactic halo.
in a globular cluster.
in deep intergalactic space.

are they generally the same?
are there appreciable differences?
do special types appear in clusters?

If we laid out a 1000 x 1000 grid = 1 million stars, how would all these different stars fall?
Soooo.... just how accurate does Traveller portray the near-Earth stars in terms of distance?


A) Oh, very accurate! GDW did their research durn good, mate! (Except for the 2D starmaps, but that's another issue).

B) Accurate enough. Marc Miller did an ok job of researching local astronomy when they designed this game.

C) Are you kidding me?! Those dorks at Game Designer's Workshop couldn't tell Uranus from a Crab Nebula! They just made a bunch of things up, and Traveller absolutely has no bearing on REAL astrography.
Originally posted by Maladominus:

C) Are you kidding me?! Those dorks at Game Designer's Workshop couldn't tell Uranus from a Crab Nebula! They just made a bunch of things up, and Traveller absolutely has no bearing on REAL astrography.
Sorry, but true, though I would not put it so rudely.

There are 11 stars within 10 lt yrs (about 3 parsecs). 7 are red dwarves, 2 are hot Type A, all of which would require high-tech colonization. That leaves Rigel Kentaurus A and B - better known as Alpha Centauri; Most scientists believe that the gravitional tides of that double-star system plus Proxima a short distance away will screw that system up royally. In short, there are NO worlds within 3 light years habitable without high-tech. Supplement 11's Solomani rim map shows 11 inhabited worlds.

OTOH, finding information like that 10 years ago was extremely difficult, very much harder in the 70's, and only made easy withthin the past few years due to the internet.

Actually, the question points out the biggest flaw in Traveller - the assumption that most worlds are inhabitable. They are not without "dome colonies" which are not and never have been part of Traveller.
I imagine dome colonies would have to exist in Traveller, especially with relatively low TL colonies on worlds with unbreathable atmospheres. MT mentions these domed cities as being part of the Doom Trade, doesn't it?

The OTU is amazingly inhabitable, which in my mind can be a happy coincidence of (1) randomly favorable local distribution on a galactic-evolutionary scale, and (2) widespread, low-intensity Ziru Sirka terraforming efforts.
Why domed colonies ?
Just a waste of space, but perhaps cinemtic....

The only thing You need on a world to make a place to live is energy.
Once the power supply problem is solved (and this happens at TL8/TL9) a colony could exist nearly everythere.
There are a couple of domed cities mentioned from the MegaTraveller era.... if I recall in the Traveller's Digests.

Also, Gadarur/Magyar is mentioned as an example of the Vilani Imperium trying their hand at domed settlements.


Last but not least... umm, the Vilani were known to have done lots of terraforming projects in the First Imperium. Doesn't mean they always succeeded, but we can deduce that at least SOME terraforming projects were highly successful every now and then. The Terrans also started the terraforming craze during the Rule of Man.

Read the sourcebook Solomani & Aslan. On the section about Solomani, it clearly says that in 1120 MegaTraveller period, Mars has been terraformed to death.... so much that it already has breathable atmosphere (thin), plus Mars (Sol System) has many millions of inhabitants. Mars started out with domed colonies, but the Terrans eventually learned that terrforming was the best way to go.

Read GURPS Rim of Fire, it says the exact same pattern. The Solomani terraformed a multitude of worlds in the Solomani Rim alone. Oh and even the Vilanis could be bothered to terraform a couple worlds in "That Faraway Worthless Rebellious Rim Province" as well. Read the entry under Darrukesh, an ancient Vilani provincial/colonial world in the Solomani Rim, that had been undergoing on-and-off terraforming for nearly 3,000 years.
Could you please elaborate on your statement? I think what is truly necessary to inhabit a world is an environment (natural or artificial) that can sustain human life while keeping at bay all the enviro factors that would kill us; temperature extremes, hard radiation, poisonous atmosphere, etc. All of those things can be accomplished with sufficient power supply but there are other bits of technology required.

Best Regards,

Bob Weaver
"... the question points out the biggest flaw in Traveller - the assumption that most worlds are inhabitable. They are not without "dome colonies" which are not and never have been part of Traveller." -- Bill Downs.
My counter-assumption is that canonical TEC is determined after the presence of starports, bases, and gas giants specifically to allow for a high enough TEC to compensate for worlds that are not the ideal "867" Earth-normal types.

Since canon (specifically CT Book 3 only) does not directly address dome colonies, I propose that TEC determine what kind of structures might be used on the surface of hostile worlds.

TEC-8: Advanced Base. Slight modifications might allow them to be directly attached to each other. May also be constructed over or in the front of a cave to provide more space. ATM-8 or less only.
TEC-9: Cutter Modules. Each of the three types listed in CT Book 2 would be used. They could be interconnected by docking tubes, or directly connected to each other. May be buried -- partially or completely -- for further protection. ATM-9 or less only.
TEC-A: Geodesic domes, 30m in diameter. ATM-A or less only.
TEC-B: Geodesic domes, 100m in diameter. ATM-B or less only.
TEC-C: Geodesic domes, 300m in diameter. ATM-C or less only.
TEC-D: Geodesic domes, 1000m in diameter. ATM-C+.
TEC-E: Geodesic domes, 3000m in diameter. ATM-C+.
TEC-F: Geodesic domes, 10000m in diameter. ATM-C+.


1) TEC-C+ habitats are the beginnings of the true "Arcologies" of Traveller lore.
2) Each habitat provides an ATM-6 "Shirtsleeve" environment preferred by Humaniti.
3) Your results may vary.

I personally prefer to have MTU be less hospitable to colonization than the OTU; I always thought the OTU had way too many warm and sunny population centers. I like my sci-fi gritty!

Plus I think it will make us tough to have to build artificial habitats and geneer our own to live in the stark bleakness of this neighborhood. Hopefully, we'll be good and mean when we run into the Vilani!
If I was designing a "realistic" TU from scratch, I wouldn't have any habitable worlds besides Earth. I might have a couple of terraforming projects in the works, but they wouldn't habitable for another thousand years or so.

Of course, "realistic" TU's are very limiting! There is a good reason why the OTU is firmly Space Operatic.

CJ Cherryh's Alliance/Union setting would be the closest to a playable "mostly realistic" setting that I can think of.

Incidentally, the statement '"dome colonies" which are not and never have been part of Traveller' is a new contender for Dumbest Comment Ever. Start with Across the Bright Face...
Traveller is about the history of mankind's flight into space 3,000 years from now. Are you guys saying that in 3,000 years, Humankind could not possibly be smart enough to create and invent advanced tools to colonize space?

Sorry, I have to politely disagree with your take. In my opinion, if Mankind can survive 3,000+ years into the future (without wiping itself out), then it will most certainly have discovered and invented 50 bazillion ways to easily colonize and conquer cold deadly space. Guaranteed.

250 years ago, colonial Americans had zero technology to conquer or thrive in the unforgiving wastelands that are called "Hot Desert" regions. Today, Americans build glittering neon cities in a place like Las Vegas.

It's called human innovation... and the ability to overcome and conquer harsh deadly unforgiving environments. It's just a matter of some time until innovative humans come up with solutions. "Realistically", 3000+ years is plenty of time to innovate and to invent numerous technologies that allow us to settle and colonize space.
I always assumed that the numerous inhabitable planet paradigm of the OTU had more to do with the ancients leaving partially/fully formed planets everywhere, with humans just starting from that basis.
In the Imperium boardgame, worlds could be terraformed by both sides in 100 years.

And at least one terraforming project is mentioned in the original Spinward Marches book.
^ IMTU, humans don't have the know-it-all yet to fully terraform a world, but they are learning. The most Earth-like planets IMTU are creations of older civilizations, meant for common use by them and their human servants. Even then, without tweaking, some have become out right inhospitable to short sleeved travellers right out of the Sulieman.

Around Earth, the pickings are slim, but that doesn't stop the Solies from building space stations, raising domes, hollowing out asteroids, and burrowing into regolith to provide habitats and more importantly, forward bases of operation for scouts and prospectors.
While the Vilani and Solomani may have Terraformed a lot of marginal worlds. I always figured that the Ancients did the truly bizarre/extreme Terraforming. I doubt that TL15 could terraform to a Size 2 world to have a Standard (6) atmosphere, but LBB3 allows it.

Blame the Ancients or another advanced/dead race.
:eek:o: I know the threads been dead for a while but here goes.
This crosses over to the Forbidden Technology and Ancients threads. If one of G'fathers kiddies was set to terraforming, there might well be many more than seems likely, especially in the region of earth. If you go with the many fore runner races hypothesis, again you could have a great number of unlikely worlds.