Rare Star Systems

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Re: Rare Star Systems

Postby Hawkeye on Wed 02 Jan 2013 11:04

Argh, not the "oh my god, a black hole, we are all dead!" stupidity again.

Sorry, I am calm again now.


This is one of my pet peves with novels/movies, I am afraid.

A black hole (I am talking about a regular here, couple of sun-masses, not something like the super-massive black hole in the center of the galaxy) is just mass. It is not the end-of-all-living thing, books and movies make it to be!

If our sun would turn to a black hole right now (yes, the sun is not massive enough for that to happen, just lets assume someone had a "turn anything into a black hole" machine), what would happen?

Well, 8 1/2 minutes lates, it would get dark on earth, temperatures would drop, oceans would start to freeze and so on. It would be a catastroph and humanity (and all life on earth, for that matter) would die.
But the earth would keep orbiting around it, because, from a gravitational point of view, nothing has changed. There was 1 solar-mass in the center of the solar system before, and there is 1 solar-mass in the center of the solar system now.

A space ship entering the schwarzschild radius would be destroyed, of course, but the schwarzschild radius of a 1 solar-mass black hole is about 3 km. A ship at 3 klicks from the center of the sun would be dead long before it gets that close!

The surface gravity of the sun is at somewhat around 27g, so if your ship can pull, lets say 30g (and the crew can survive that), you can close to the radius of the sun (about 700.000km) to the black hole and pull away again, no problem.

The point I am trying to make is:
If the warp points were fare enough away from the star for a ship to survive entering the system _before_ the star collapsed, the warp points will be far enough away _after_ the star collapsed.

Now, of course, the warp points might shift position during the stars collaps, but they would have to be bloody close (definitely less than a system hex) for a black hole to be deadly for an entering ship.


Note: I am not talking about accretion disks and the associated radiation. This _could_ be deadly even at larger ranges, but then, that radiation usually comes in bursts, so you would have a chance to get fried, but also a chance not to.
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Re: Rare Star Systems

Postby Crucis on Wed 02 Jan 2013 13:08

Hawkeye wrote:Argh, not the "oh my god, a black hole, we are all dead!" stupidity again.


It's actually a bit of a pet peeve of mine as well, but for somewhat different reasons.

My primary reason for disliking black holes as used in the game is that I look at it from a role-playing perspective. If the system you enter contained a black hole and it destroys your ship, preventing you from returning to report that the system has a dangerous black hole, how does your empire KNOW that there's a black hole thru that WP? All you REALLY know is that no ships ever return from the WP. For all your empire knows, the WP could emerge deep in the corona of a star, inside a star, or perhaps in the middle of a super dense asteroid belt, like in the Theban system, whose WP in Lorelei in the Canon History was assumed to be connected to a black hole prior to star ships exiting that WP just prior to the Theban War.

So my point of view is that the system that the WP connects to isn't necessarily an astronomical "black hole", but rather is simply a colloquial black hole from which no ships ever return for unknown reasons.



Sorry, I am calm again now.

This is one of my pet peeves with novels/movies, I am afraid.

A black hole (I am talking about a regular here, couple of sun-masses, not something like the super-massive black hole in the center of the galaxy) is just mass. It is not the end-of-all-living thing, books and movies make it to be!

If our sun would turn to a black hole right now (yes, the sun is not massive enough for that to happen, just lets assume someone had a "turn anything into a black hole" machine), what would happen?

Well, 8 1/2 minutes later, it would get dark on earth, temperatures would drop, oceans would start to freeze and so on. It would be a catastroph and humanity (and all life on earth, for that matter) would die. But the earth would keep orbiting around it, because, from a gravitational point of view, nothing has changed. There was 1 solar-mass in the center of the solar system before, and there is 1 solar-mass in the center of the solar system now.

A space ship entering the schwarzschild radius would be destroyed, of course, but the schwarzschild radius of a 1 solar-mass black hole is about 3 km. A ship at 3 klicks from the center of the sun would be dead long before it gets that close!

The surface gravity of the sun is at somewhat around 27g, so if your ship can pull, lets say 30g (and the crew can survive that), you can close to the radius of the sun (about 700.000km) to the black hole and pull away again, no problem.

The point I am trying to make is:
If the warp points were fare enough away from the star for a ship to survive entering the system _before_ the star collapsed, the warp points will be far enough away _after_ the star collapsed.

Now, of course, the warp points might shift position during the stars collapse, but they would have to be bloody close (definitely less than a system hex) for a black hole to be deadly for an entering ship.


I do think that this is sort of the reason that SDS has used to justify deadly "black hole" star systems "eating" starships. That is, that in the formation of the black hole, any remaining WP's in the system have been pulled into the BH itself, making it impossible for ships to escape the gravitational pull (assuming that they weren't instantly destroyed by gravitational shearing forces, that is).

But this reason fails for me for the one big reason I described initially. How does the empire KNOW this to be true if no starship returns from the system? Which is why I don't personally assume that the system contains a astronomical black hole but rather no starships ever return for unknown reasons and just say that the system is a colloquial, not an astronomical, black hole.
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Re: Rare Star Systems

Postby AlexeiTimoshenko on Wed 02 Jan 2013 20:52

Personally, I think that the existing Starfire Black Holes are Intermediate mass (about 1000 solar mass size). This would account for the wp's being sucked inside of the event horizon. It also allows for stellar mass black holes to be a rare system type with very nasty radiation effects.
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Re: Rare Star Systems

Postby tmul4050 on Thu 03 Jan 2013 10:03

I would have thought that 1000 solar masses was rather large. I was under the impression that it only took a stellar remnant of 3 to 4 solar masses to form one. It seems logical that the smaller sort would be more common. Unless of course all those deadly WP lead straight to the galactic centre and the monster that lurks there.

Also I was under the impression that WP are stable fixed points that do not orbit (that point was emphasised in the crusade suppliment) and so seem unphased by gravity (I could be wrong about that). Would a super nova affect one? Would the formation of a black hole? Can a WP exist under an event horizen or even in the acretion disc?
Now that I think about it the fact that warp points are fixed is odd. They would still have to move with the system as it orbits galactically.

I might be over thinking this, sorry.

It could be argued that the creation of a black hole warps the space time of a region shifting WP or even destroying them.

(nasty thought: imagine if you have just entered a system with explorers, and started to survey it when something like a super nova or even a helium flash occurs. :o run little explorers run!)

But anyway appocalyptic scenarios aside, I agree that entering a system with a black hole in it should not be lethal. It could even be profitable for both science and economic reasons. :)
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Re: Rare Star Systems

Postby Dawn Falcon on Thu 03 Jan 2013 10:54

Under WP oddities in Elite and later, there's the Nexus, which lists a black hole being "nearby" (75sH).

That's about as close as is safe...
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Re: Rare Star Systems

Postby AlexeiTimoshenko on Thu 03 Jan 2013 10:56

There are intermediate mass black holes that tend to form at the center of globular clusters. Bigger than stellar black holes but not as big as galactic core size monsters. While the wp's themselves may not be inside the event horizon, the gravitational stresses may well be enough to destroy a ship.

The stellar black holes could be a scientific bonanza but I'm not sure about economic benefits.
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Re: Rare Star Systems

Postby tmul4050 on Thu 03 Jan 2013 23:02

The economics benefits can occur in three ways
1/ Pure science research.
Historically pure research has thrown up many practicable benefits, many of which are ver y profitable. Researching the black hole could generate new drive tech, new weapons or even shield tech. It could even help the over economic tech.
2/ the remnant of the black holes system is availiable to exploit, with the chance of rare types of elements avaliable. Stuff way down the periodic table perhaps in industrial amounts.
OK I am guessing this but no one knows what could be left in such a system ofter a super nova. And this is Science Fiction so extrapolate a little.
3/ "X" This is the X factor. New techs, maybe lots of WP (the mother of all nexuxes) or even great Chuthulu :o (ok joking about that). Maybe antimater floating free :D (boom). Odd things could be possible.

I know that some of this would be hard to place in a game like this, but I have always thought that this sort of research should add to the economic level of a star nation simple because it adds to its body of knowledge. But thats another topic I guess.
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Re: Rare Star Systems

Postby procyon on Fri 04 Jan 2013 05:23

As for the possiblilty of a black hole system with WPs - they wouldn't be death traps unless they - in some way - interact with the WPs or the DF of ships.

How they would do this is not really spelled out because just what a WP is and how the DF works is kind of (ok, more or less completely) glossed over.

But WPs are in some way shape or form a gravatic phenom, or affected/associated with such. Otherwise they wouldn't accumulate asteroids in a belt. And several other things they are attributed to do in games implies they are a gravatic phenom.
The fact the DFs can use these things imply they have some interaction with gravity, and by inference space/time curvature.
Perhaps the extreme curvature of a black hole has profound effects on one or the other of these things. Who knows.

But if you ask my players - they do have a single system they have found that did contain a black hole as its primary. So I'm ok with them.
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Re: Rare Star Systems

Postby AlexeiTimoshenko on Fri 04 Jan 2013 17:07

The space/time curvature around a stellar mass black hole should be manageable at the distance that most wp's form. The obvious exception would be a coronal wp. I think the key may be to look at the wp modeling of the potential progenitor star. In this case it would be a super/hyper giant with the appropriate wp generation modifiers. Using that model, I would say that any wp's at 1 sH range may well be instant death due to radiation/accretion disk effects.
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Re: Rare Star Systems

Postby Cralis on Sat 05 Jan 2013 02:46

Just so you know, ULTRA and SSF use a pseudo-science assumption that black holes are such deep gravity wells that WPs form practically on top of the black hole, rather than some distance away as normal.
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