Author Topic: So about that planet Riviera Station orbited  (Read 2859 times)

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Offline y3k

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So about that planet Riviera Station orbited
I've got a bit of a conundrum for you guys.

I'm on a bit of a project to come up with a somewhat-detailed stellar cartography of the Freespace-verse, designing roughly-realistic systems and colonies (which is a bit tricky considering the canon stars provided, let me tell you) to try and flesh out the GTVA, because I'm insane and aimlessly worldbuilding is sort of what I do for ****s and giggles.

I'm currently making my way through my first pass/rough draft starting from Dubhe, and I've come to Ross 128, and I find myself stumped.

See, Ross 128 is a tiny red dwarf star (and a flare star at that); SolStation places its would-be habitable zone at less than a tenth of an AU.  That's much closer to the star than even Mercury is to Sol.  And while the size of the star would definitely mean it wouldn't be as big in the sky as Sol is to Mercury, I would assume it would still be a fair bit larger than this:



I would assume, anyway.

But here, at this distance from the star, we have the planet Riviera Station orbited.  At first I thought I could write it off as a gas giant, but the more I look at it, the more I realize I can't.



Those are clear terrain marks; coasts and mountains.  This is a planet that, as far as I can tell, is a garden world with liquid oceans.  The bluish-white of the atmosphere makes it seem very Earth-like, so I would guess that the oceans are made of water.  Except that this far away from the star, liquid water shouldn't be possible.  A garden world shouldn't be possible.

And yeah, there are other issues of course--Ross isn't as red as one would expect (golden-orange though, so I guess I can fudge it), and the moons are a little close to the roche limit for comfort.  But the big problem I'm focused on right now is planet location.

Does anyone have any ideas for how I could justify this or fudge it somehow?  Because at the moment, I'm just kinda stuck.

 
Re: So about that planet Riviera Station orbited
About the star: the "camera" could have a filter that made it yellow and look much smaller (I see a blob of light and not a clear circle).

About the planet: the picture is too pixelated to truly see what's down there (is that a true screenshot or is the original video better quality?). It could be earth-like. It also could be some weird mixture of Titan (Saturn's moon where liquid methane rains and pools) and Neptune (blue).

BTW, you are going to have fun when you get to the systems that you play in the main campaigns. Many in real-life have multiple stars per system but (AFAIK) only the "Binary System" is labeled/pictured as having multiple stars. Alpha Centari doesn't seem to be the closest star to Sol. Vasuda isn't a real-life system name. I hope you do it and I'll love to see the results, though.

 

Offline y3k

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Re: So about that planet Riviera Station orbited
About the star: the "camera" could have a filter that made it yellow and look much smaller (I see a blob of light and not a clear circle).

I'm...not sure about that; I don't think it's a blob so much as it is simply the sun's rays, more or less highlighting just how small the actual sphere is.

Quote
About the planet: the picture is too pixelated to truly see what's down there (is that a true screenshot or is the original video better quality?). It could be earth-like. It also could be some weird mixture of Titan (Saturn's moon where liquid methane rains and pools) and Neptune (blue).

I took it from a youtube video and downsized it slightly so it didn't stretch the screen; I didn't feel like loading up Freespace and youtube lets me pause.  But I clearly see an ocean coast on the left.

And, MAYBE?  Is that remotely possible?  The blue Titan, I mean.  Or anything like that.  Is there any sort of chemical reaction that would allow me to fake my way through this?  Because that would be fantastic.

Quote
BTW, you are going to have fun when you get to the systems that you play in the main campaigns. Many in real-life have multiple stars per system but (AFAIK) only the "Binary System" is labeled/pictured as having multiple stars. Alpha Centari doesn't seem to be the closest star to Sol. Vasuda isn't a real-life system name. I hope you do it and I'll love to see the results, though.

Haha.  I've actually outlined stars already (it's annoying how little information there is on certain companion stars out there.  I sort of had to fudge my way through a few of them).  Thankfully, the majority of Freespace's campaign binaries are close binaries, have distant companions, or have small red dwarf companions so I can fudge through that too.

Alpha Centauri's a non-issue thankfully, regular distance has no meaning with jump nodes; hence why Procyon's sitting at the far end of space while Sol used to link to Delta Serpentis.

Vasuda's not really a big issue either; I'm going under the assumption it's Beta Hydri.  The other un-real systems (Ikeya, Ribos, Laramis) can easily be handwaved as stars either too dim to be seen from Earth, or too far away.  Like, for reference, a star like Sol can only be seen by the naked human eye for a few dozen light-years, and we've got stars like Polaris on the map which are hundreds away.  I can easily believe there's a few undiscovered G, K, or M class stars somewhere in the neighborhood--or maybe we just renamed some of the ones that have really long number designations.

And thanks!  I'm tryin'.  They didn't make it easy, that's for sure.

 

Offline Luis Dias

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Re: So about that planet Riviera Station orbited
Well, take Capella as an example and just weep. I think it's pretty obvious that Volition didn't care one bit about "realism" regarding these stars and just went ahead with cool designs and graphics. Ross 128 is a cool name, let's have a cool station orbiting a cool planet with cool oceans and clouds, at a distance we deem plausible from the star.

As it should happen, the star should be orange, and thus that picture is totally wrong: both the starbase and the planet should be heavily tinted orange / red.

 

Offline y3k

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Re: So about that planet Riviera Station orbited
Yeah, I get that.  Like, almost NONE of these stars are conductive to terrestrial life; they're all a mixture of red dwarfs, post-main sequence giants, high-end A and B class stars, or are in odd configurations that aren't good news for planetary orbits.  It sort of makes it more interesting though; an entire verse without easy access to garden worlds--it makes the lament of the lost generation all the more potent.

I knew this would be a challenge going into it, that I'd have to find ways to handwave or excuse stuff, but that's part of the fun of it.  Like Capella, like you mentioned.  Thankfully, Capella's two primary stars are in a fairly tight orbit iirc, circling each other every hundred plus days or so.  That means I can handwave the single star if the last few missions of FS2 take place with Capella A between the player and Capella B (or perhaps we're far enough out on the system fringe that they've sort of melded together to the human eye), and any reference to 'The Capella Star' as a cultural colloquialism.  Meanwhile the other two stars in the system are dim red dwarfs almost a lightyear away, so they'd barely be visible as stars, if at all.

The bigger problem with Capella for me actually is planetary orbits--the map we see a handful of times has an...interesting concept of planets' distances from each other.  I think I'm just going to handwave it with some sort of orbital resonance, so that they simply happen to never meet.  Barring that, maybe I'll explain it as the system having suffered from some sort of massive cataclysm within the past few hundred thousand years--one planet DID meet another, and now a few of them have reshaped their orbit into a more dangerous configuration, and one may even be on its way to leaving the system.
« Last Edit: July 31, 2016, 10:32:07 am by y3k »

 

Offline NGTM-1R

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Re: So about that planet Riviera Station orbited
There's no particular reason to assume the stars named are the same ones we think, just as there's no particular reason to assume that subspace nodes between them means stars are actually close.
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Offline Luis Dias

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Re: So about that planet Riviera Station orbited
There's no particular reason to assume the stars named are the same ones we think

What?

 

Offline y3k

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Re: So about that planet Riviera Station orbited
Except there's no real reason to assume they AREN'T supposed to be the stars we know.  It'd be really weird if Terran explorers decided to name these new stars after old ones on Earth, especially with no indication that they *aren't* the originals (ie no 'New' prefix, etc).  Especially when you consider that over half of them aren't even famous names--Ross 128 and Wolf 359 are list monikers for obscure stars.  At the very least you'd expect more classic names like 'Algol' or 'Spica'.  Or realistically, just flat-out new names like Ribos.

(And really, if I'm just assuming they're all-new star systems, then a lot of the fun of this has just gone out the window for me).

Meanwhile I'd say there's really good reason to assume the map isn't portraying distances correctly.  It's a map projection, based on nodes which matters *far* more to the FS verse than real spacetime distances.  It's a little fancy, criss-crossing where it doesn't need to for no particular reason, but all in all it's NOT about spacial locations.  It's sort of like any map of the Sol system; it's all about the planets' general relation to each other, without regard to true distance or size.  If the node map WAS built on true spacial locations, it'd be a lot more haphazard; stars Barnard's Star, Alpha Centauri, Wolf 359 and a bunch of others would be squashed on top of Sol in a confusing mess, while Polaris would be out in the boonies and Deneb would stretch the map to ludicrous degrees, being thousands of light years away.

 
Re: So about that planet Riviera Station orbited
As someone that also really likes to do a lot of worldbuilding, it's good to see a topic on this.

I never actually thought about the presentation of Ross 128 - Until now it looked just fine to me, presentation wise and all (More ominous due to the impending threat).  Personally I like having compromises between realism and style/ease-of-use.

Space and the node map seems to leave a lot up to the imagination so far. Maybe it helps sell the idea of humanity being far outside of normal barriers by using subspace and the sheer isolation due to the incredible distances between systems. Likewise, the content of these systems are also generally open - you could imagine all systems containing Terran friendly (civilian) colonization-ready planets, or practically none at all. Some mods even suggest nodes can connect to basically the other side of the galaxy, where one would look at our own Milky Way from a distance. (Quickest example is ASW2's first missions)

I guess it can also depend on what theme(s) you're going for, as well, so your story could adjust for that where necessary. If you'd make a mod where the realism of space, subspace and nodes are a key plot or world element it's definitely worth it (Space exploration and settlement come to mind), in most other cases it might just confuse or at least direct a lot of the player's attention to 'background details' rather than the story and gameplay at hand.

I also slightly lean to the possibility of first explorers having rough estimates or the names being chosen upon from either an automatic naming database, much like the Shivan ships and ship classes appear to have had. One could even explain it away as a faulty or incomplete model of the galaxy/universe, as for now we seem limited by our perspective on Earth/in Sol.

I'm curious what you'll cook up, though. Maybe I can lend some of your ideas later when you feel you've comfortably world-builded (for lack of better wording) since I haven't really spent that much time on the real-life implications or realism of the node map itself but been more interested in what's within the systems themselves in terms of GTA/GTVA infrastructure and resources for story and gameplay purposes.

EDIT: Also a quick edit, I think it'd be nice to have a more clear understanding for how long it takes to subspace travel between systems, including if there's any significant difference in time to travel depending on (real life) distances. FS2's beginning command briefing suggests to me that it took the Aquitane less than 48 hours to travel from one system to another.

Good luck at any rate y3k!
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Offline AdmiralRalwood

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Re: So about that planet Riviera Station orbited
Wolf 359[...]obscure stars
I'm pretty sure Wolf 359 doesn't qualify as obscure to anyone who watched Star Trek: The Next Generation.
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Offline mjn.mixael

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Re: So about that planet Riviera Station orbited
Well, take Capella as an example and just weep. I think it's pretty obvious that Volition didn't care one bit about "realism" regarding these stars and just went ahead with cool designs and graphics. Ross 128 is a cool name, let's have a cool station orbiting a cool planet with cool oceans and clouds, at a distance we deem plausible from the star.

As it should happen, the star should be orange, and thus that picture is totally wrong: both the starbase and the planet should be heavily tinted orange / red.

Very much this.

If you watch that cutscene closely, you'll find that planets and moons jump all over the place depending on what they needed for any particular shot. I detailed out my findings in the cutscene upgrade thread at one point.
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Offline DefCynodont119

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Re: So about that planet Riviera Station orbited
sorry if this is just restating what you/everyone has already said, but:

@Y3k: Looking up the FS Stars in Space Engine, and/or in Wikipedia; is quite interesting/Inspiring, and from your first post, you already seem to have a good idea of what your doing. You could say that the planet is warmed by tidal-heating by the gas giant + the greenhouse Co2 from the resulting volcanoes if all else fails.  :arrr:  The camera FOV could be way zoomed in as well.


In response the other posts:


(Wolf 359 was also one of the first red dwarf stars to be observed and one of the closest, so obscure does not do It justice)  :p

+ I think It's worth mentioning that at no point does the Node map say that It displays real distances, only node connections. *

++ I have found that the cutscenes themselves have some inconsistencies within FS canon: http://www.hard-light.net/wiki/index.php/FreeSpace_Trivia#Cutscene_quirks So if you want to ignore a detail, don't feel to bad, do view them as an Inspiration, but don't take them as being exact if you don't want to.  EDIT: Ninja'ed
If you watch that cutscene closely, you'll find that planets and moons jump all over the place depending on what they needed for any particular shot. I detailed out my findings in the cutscene upgrade thread at one point.


However; you don't have to follow Perfect realism, take real life as Inspiration! Your Worldbuilding! you get to fill the plot holes within the canon and give It connections with reality, Anything unspecific is left to you! [insert uncle sam pic]

Look up stars, do research, there are lots of cool facts about these stars that we could use. Some real places could even make interesting environments for missions, Wolf 359 is a young, Red dwarf, Flare star. Capable of having episodes wherein it goes from one of the dimmest stars in the sky, to; not as dim: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flare_star and with lots of system-wide of EMPs no doubt.  Ross 128 is an old red dwarf with an Unconfirmed brown dwarf companion, (I have made a brown dwarf skybox with SE so this is convenient) Sirius has a white dwarf (Sirius b) going around It, while theses things do work against colonization in general; we could work with them. (The GTVA can build shields, why not put small shield units on all the satellites? I bet radiation proofing in the 24th century is better then It is now.



Yeah, I get that.  Like, almost NONE of these stars are conductive to terrestrial life; they're all a mixture of red dwarfs, post-main sequence giants, high-end A and B class stars, or are in odd configurations that aren't good news for planetary orbits.  It sort of makes it more interesting though; an entire verse without easy access to garden worlds--it makes the lament of the lost generation all the more potent.

I knew this would be a challenge going into it, that I'd have to find ways to handwave or excuse stuff, but that's part of the fun of it.  Like Capella, like you mentioned.  Thankfully, Capella's two primary stars are in a fairly tight orbit iirc, circling each other every hundred plus days or so.  That means I can handwave the single star if the last few missions of FS2 take place with Capella A between the player and Capella B (or perhaps we're far enough out on the system fringe that they've sort of melded together to the human eye), and any reference to 'The Capella Star' as a cultural colloquialism.  Meanwhile the other two stars in the system are dim red dwarfs almost a lightyear away, so they'd barely be visible as stars, if at all.

The bigger problem with Capella for me actually is planetary orbits--the map we see a handful of times has an...interesting concept of planets' distances from each other.  I think I'm just going to handwave it with some sort of orbital resonance, so that they simply happen to never meet.  Barring that, maybe I'll explain it as the system having suffered from some sort of massive cataclysm within the past few hundred thousand years--one planet DID meet another, and now a few of them have reshaped their orbit into a more dangerous configuration, and one may even be on its way to leaving the system.


Good thinking here, keep going.




* IRL Alpha centauri is the closest star system (Ignoring Proxima centauri) to Sol, (4-ish Light Years) but It's five jumps away, and 4 LY is a sort of a plothole, it's close enough to send radio transmissions, and slowboat to/from. Sure It could take 20-70 years, but they had 32. so Earth/the GTVA could have at lest tried to sent a probe, or message, or spam Email, or; something by FS2. Wolf 359 and Ross 128 are very close as well, (3.79 light years) but the Laramis node is in the way. And colonizing Rigel Is not the best Idea the GTVA has ever had: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rigel#Properties
« Last Edit: August 01, 2016, 12:11:14 am by DefCynodont119 »
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Offline NGTM-1R

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Re: So about that planet Riviera Station orbited
What?

There's no particular reason to assume the proper names assigned to FS star systems are because those stars are the stars we assign those names to now. They might be the closest named stars to them. They might have been assigned names based on some proper names movement (as Mongoose once posited) once everyone got tired of their NGC numbers. If they even had NGC numbers. Or several other reasons.
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Offline Mongoose

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Re: So about that planet Riviera Station orbited
...did I now?  I mean I don't doubt you or anything, I just have absolutely no memory of saying that. :p
« Last Edit: August 01, 2016, 02:32:34 am by Mongoose »

 

Offline DefCynodont119

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Re: So about that planet Riviera Station orbited
Could be, but I doubt it.  The cherry-picking of known systems is weird, but completely forgivable in the context of the game. In fact, if you say that nodes tend to cluster around bigger (and therefor brighter and more historically well known) stars, It makes a little bit of sense. . sort of

Large masses could be conducive to more nodes. Sol, Ross128, and Wolf359. have 2 nodes or less.* and most-ish of the other systems have 3 or more.

Quote from: Techroom database
Bosch imagined a new home world for the Terran race, a utopia that would restore the grandeur of the lost world. As the people of Earth once relied on Polaris to help them navigate the seas, the North Star would become the spiritual and political compass for Terrans of the new era.

So at least Polaris is the real Polaris according to the techroom.
An aside, stars can also have more then one name, Alpha Centuri, Toliman, Rigel Kentaurus, and the Index name Gliese-559 are all the same star system.  :wtf: and Rigel is already a different star's name. minis the Kentaurus part that is.






(not including Phasing nodes but I don't want to derail this topic :shaking: We are helping Y3K out with worldbuilding stuff.)
« Last Edit: August 01, 2016, 04:37:50 am by DefCynodont119 »
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Offline y3k

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Re: So about that planet Riviera Station orbited
Maybe obscure is the wrong word, but Wolf 359 is still not a well-known name, Star Trek notwithstanding (and we're talking about a society that would be almost three and a half centuries removed by the time the star would be added to the node map).  My point is simply that if it's NOT our Wolf 359, it's a weird name to go with.

Anyway.

sorry if this is just restating what you/everyone has already said, but:

@Y3k: Looking up the FS Stars in Space Engine, and/or in Wikipedia; is quite interesting/Inspiring, and from your first post, you already seem to have a good idea of what your doing. You could say that the planet is warmed by tidal-heating by the gas giant + the greenhouse Co2 from the resulting volcanoes if all else fails.  :arrr:  The camera FOV could be way zoomed in as well.

Well, there's no gas giant as far as I can tell, but you might be on to something so simple I'm kind of amazed I didn't get it before.

Duh; those two moons are dangerously close to their parent--that should take care of the tidal heating like you said.  And while I'm at it, I'll make it a Super Earth-sized world, I need a few more of those anyway.

I think this is perfect.  Thanks!

 

Offline NGTM-1R

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Re: So about that planet Riviera Station orbited
...did I now?  I mean I don't doubt you or anything, I just have absolutely no memory of saying that. :p

I may be confusing you with someone from Sectorgame, but I'm not convinced.
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Offline Mongoose

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Re: So about that planet Riviera Station orbited
I did a quick vanity search and didn't turn anything up, but given how our search function normally operates that doesn't mean much.