Tag Archive for 'astrography'

[2300AD] Realistic Star Map Project Update #2 (corrected American Arm!)

Yes, it’s another update! After I did the last update to the French and Chinese Arms, I was pointed to some new data that changed the locations for some of the Brown Dwarfs used here. Most of the affected BDs shifted only slightly (not enough to change their positions in the subway map), but a few of them did change significantly, and one of the ones that moved significantly was WISE J1541-2250, whose location changed from being about 9 ly from Sol to being 44 ly away! Unfortunately, that was one of the systems at the start of the American Arm so an update was required for the American Arm – now the American Arm is back to sharing its first few systems with the Chinese Arm. All of the changes that resulted from the new data are described below:

– Since WISE J1541-2250 is no longer in the right place, the American Arm now starts at Sol and then follows the Chinese Arm through Alpha Centauri (Tirane), Barnard’s Star, Ross 154 and AX Microscopii. Serurier is now at Ross 154 (as it is in canon), and Broward is now at AX Microscopii. The American Arm now continues through the binary brown dwarf system SCR 1845-635(7), the very young red dwarf Gliese 674, and then rejoins the rest of the Arm at 36 Ophiuchi (DM -26 12026).

– As a result of these changes, Broward is no longer located at Wolf 1061, and Wolf 1061 is no longer considered part of the American Arm (though it is still accessible from it). Serurier is similarly no longer at WISE J1049-5319 (though that system is still on the French Arm and is now just a waystation on the way to Nyotekundu).

Ross 458 has been removed from one end of the Pentapod Arm, since it is now out of range because of the new data – the Pentapod Arm now ends at Gliese 516 A.

– The brown dwarf WISEPA J1828+2650 is no longer located between Mu Herculis (Hermes) and Gliese 745 (the BD is now out of range and further away from Sol). This means that a Stutterwarp Tug is necessary to access Gliese 745 from Mu Herculis, and then from Gliese 745 another Stutterwarp Tug is required to reach Gliese 748 in the Beta Aquilae Cluster. This makes it somewhat harder to reach the Cluster, since there are no longer any brown dwarfs to bridge even part of the distance to it.

– The subway maps for all three Arms have been updated with these changes, so be sure to check them again!

– There is also now a “secret route” between the Antares and Beta Canum branches of the French Arm. I haven’t shown this route on the French Arm subway map because it’s not actually terribly useful, but I mention it here for completeness. The route goes from Gliese 518 on the Antares branch to Gliese 486 to WISEP J1217+1626 (a new Brown Dwarf) to Gliese 436 to (61 Ursae Majoris, Gliese 450, and Xi Ursae Majoris). The star Denebola can also be reached directly from J1217+1626. I originally thought that the existence of this new route might allow the Kafers to reach to Beta Canum to attack it during their invasion of human space, but it’s very unlikely that they would be able to actually locate such a dim object with their technology. It could allow a human force to travel between the arms, however.

You can check out the updated American Arm here: http://evildrganymede.net/wp/2013/09/09/2300ad-realistic-star-map-project-part-iv-the-new-american-arm/.

Hopefully this will be the last update to this 2300AD Realistic Star Map Project – I don’t intend to make any further changes or additions unless there’s something really major to update (new brown dwarfs near Sol, radically updated distance etc)!

[2300AD] Realistic Star Map Project Update (corrected French and Chinese Arms!)

tl;dr version: I inadvertently placed a Brown Dwarf near Sol in the wrong position on the Realistic Star Maps, which messed up the start of the French and Chinese Arms. But I’ve now fixed that and made a few other changes too, so be sure to check the updated pages!

The long version: A commenter here (thanks, Schutze!) pointed out that I’d made an error in the location of the brown dwarf WISE J1049-5319, which I previously placed at the start of the French and Chinese Arms. It turned out that I had used the Co-ordinate Converter from my Stellar Mapping page to calculate the location of that one system, but I’d forgotten to convert from the Galactic XYZ co-ordinates that it outputs into the Astrosynthesis XYZ format – so it ended up in the wrong place since everything around it was (correctly) in Astrosynthesis XYZ co-ordinates. There shouldn’t be any more errors like that in the maps – I’m pretty sure that was the only system for which I could have used the Galactic co-ordinates since everything else was converted using the Bulk Converter spreadsheet (which explicitly has Astrosynthesis XYZ columns that I copy the values from).

As a result, J1049-5319 was placed on the map in the wrong position, and fixing that really changed the start of the French Arm and somewhat changed the start of the Chinese Arm too. On the plus side though, the correct position of the J1049-5319 bridged the gap between Sol and Wolf 359 so that actually fixed that issue with the French Arm, and the new position also meant that the start of the Chinese Arm was more like it was in 2300AD canon.

Aside from the changes to the start of the French and Chinese Arms (involving the addition, removal and/or re-ordering of some systems), I’ve also significantly revamped Kafer Space by moving the Kafer homeworld to Psi Serpentis and adding a fictional Brown Dwarf between Psi and Lambda Serpentis, for reasons explained on the updated New French Arm page (it makes more sense like this now, and actually allows the Kafers to access human space!).

I’ve now updated the maps and descriptions on the New French Arm and New Chinese Arm posts, and also updated the Overview and Introduction posts to make all the preamble consistent (the New American Arm is unaffected by this, so it remains as it was).

So please be sure to check out the updated pages for the corrected information, and I’m sorry for missing that!

[2300AD] Realistic Star Map Project: Part V – The New Chinese Arm (v2.0)

NOTE: This is version 2.0 of the New Chinese Arm – it has been updated from its original version. See here for the full explanation for the change, otherwise read on for the updated Arm!

Finally, here’s the final part of my Realistic Star Map Project: the New Chinese Arm, and its associated branches! There are a lot of systems in here – 115 in total – and as you can see from the 3D map, it sprawls across a large region of space!

New Chinese Arm top view

3D Map of the New Chinese Arm (view from “above”).

As usual, the “subway map” makes this a little easier to digest:

Chinese Arm Subway Map

Subway Map of the New Chinese Arm.

The “Chinese Arm” is actually divided up into six main regions, with two more ‘extensions’ beyond those. The Chinese Arm itself is shown in green on the maps above. The Latin finger now has its own significant extension to expand into, and the Canadian ‘finger’ also has more systems and should now more properly be called the Canadian Arm (or maybe the “Canadarm”, but that’s already taken I guess 😉 ). The Sung finger is longer, and the Kormoran finger has now been corrected. Finally, the Full Eber Arm and its extensions map out the route to the true Eber homeworld of Zeta 2 Reticuli, and can be consider to be extensions of the Chinese Arm.
Continue reading ‘[2300AD] Realistic Star Map Project: Part V – The New Chinese Arm (v2.0)’

[2300AD] Realistic Star Map Project: Part IV – The New American Arm (v2.0)

NOTE: This is version 2.0 of the New American Arm – it has been updated from its original version. See here for the full explanation for the change, otherwise read on for the updated Arm!

Next, here’s a look at the New American Arm in the realistic star map. Here’s what it looks like from “above” Sol:

3D Map of the New American Arm (view from "above")

3D Map of the New American Arm (view from “above”)

And here’s an easier to understand “subway map” of the Arm:

American Arm Subway Map

Subway Map of the New American Arm

The New American Arm is not too different from the original one. One of the biggest differences is that it now only shares the Chinese Arm up to Broward (which is now AX Microscopii). Also, Davout (Gliese 682) is now exclusively on the Chinese Arm.

Some stars have been replaced by different ones, because of errors or different astrography:
– Serurier is still Ross 154, but Broward is now AX Microscopii (both stars are shared with the New Chinese Arm).
– Gliese 661 (Red Speck’s original star) is also off-track, so Red Speck is now 2MASS J1835+325 – a young M8.5 Brown Dwarf, somewhat more appropriate for the name of the system!
– Ross 863 (Gliese 655) was also in the wrong spot on the original map – it’s actually located beyond Kingsland on the Extended Australian Arm, not before it. Its spot is now taken by WISE J1738+2732 (another dim Y0 Brown Dwarf).
– Ellis is now 61 Cygni, which is actually quite accessible (it was described as being beyond 7.7ly and ‘inaccessible’ from the network in 2320AD, but on the realistic map it’s very straightforward to get to).

Otherwise, the American Arm remains the same as before – the only other differences are the extensions, which add a lot more systems to it:

– There is a small ‘extension loop’ of systems that can be explored between Clarkestar (Wolf 630) and King (Gliese 673).

– The Australian Arm now extends out for many systems beyond Kingsland, so there’s plenty of room for them to expand into. It also loops around ‘behind’ Kafer Space, providing an opportunity to access a ‘backdoor’ into their systems. The closest system to Kafer Space on the Extended Australian Arm is SDSS J1628+1804, which is 8.56ly from 2MASS J1553+1532, a binary brown dwarf system that is about 7ly from both Gamma and Lambda Serpentis.

– The Beta Aquilae arm branches from Mu Herculis (Hermes). There is a gap of 9.35 ly between Gliese 745 and Mu Herculis (Hermes), which requires a Stutterwarp Tug (there are no brown dwarfs in this region) – another Tug is then required to traverse the 10.9 ly gap between Gliese 745 and Gliese 748 (both Tug routes are shown as dotted lines on the subway map). Gliese 748 is the first accessible system in the Beta Aquilae Cluster (Delta Aquilae is the Aquilan homeworld). Note that nobody is aware of the Aquilans yet in MGT 2300AD, but they are of significant interest in 2320AD.

– The Vega Extension doesn’t contain many particularly interesting stars (Gliese 706 is a K2 V, the rest are M dwarfs), but it’s extra space to expand into.

– Red Speck’s Extension leads to Altair, which would be of scientific interest.

– Gliese 1245’s extension leads to Sigma and Chi Draconis – both potentially habitable systems (G9 V and F7 V respectively). Gliese 1245 is not present on the original maps, and is an ‘extra system’ between Red Speck and Ellis.

– One significant change to canon that I would propose is that the Extension that branches off from 61 Cygni should now be the new Bayern Route (used with the permission of the Americans) – this would make far more sense than the original route, since it actually points directly towards the Pleiades (unlike the canonical route, which goes all the way ‘up’ towards and beyond Aurore on the French Arm before coming back down again). Littlendia would be one of the systems on this route – probably Gliese 75 (a G9 V star similar to their canonical home system).

Interestingly (and unlike the New French Arm), the New American Arm contains several systems that are currently known to have planets – Alpha Centauri has at least one earth-sized planet in a torch orbit around the dimmer B star, there are several superearths orbiting the C component of Gliese 667 (Avalon would be 667Cd or Ce), and Vega has a protoplanetary debris disk and possibly a distant jovian.

Previous article: Realistic Near Star Map Project: Part III – The New French Arm
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[2300AD] Realistic Star Map Project: Part III – The New French Arm (v2.0)

NOTE: This is version 2.0 of the New French Arm – it has been significantly updated from its original version. See here for the full explanation for the change, otherwise read on for the updated Arm!

Following on from my overview of what 2300AD’s Arms could look like on a realistic starmap, let’s take a closer look at my reinterpretation of the French Arm (as well as Pentapod and Kafer space) by starting off with a general overview (and some 3D maps!):

View of the French Arm from above.

3D Map of the New French Arm (view from “above”).

This new 3D map shows what the revised “New French Arm” looks like in the realistic starmap, as seen from “above”. The solid blue lines show the explored and colonised parts of the French Arm, the red/pink section is Kafer Space, and the light pink section is Pentapod Space. Dotted lines are “extensions” that haven’t been colonised yet but provide space for future expansion. Sol is located at the bottom left corner of the network, and Pentapod and Kafer space are “above” Sol, closer to the viewer.

While a 3D map is nice to look at to get an idea of the real layout of the stars, they are a little hard to interpret! Fortunately, the nature of the Arms is such that they can be represented using a much simpler “subway map” (shown below) that displays all of the connected systems in and around the French Arm much more clearly. This map was made using the very handy subway map generator at http://beno.org.uk/metromapcreator/ – it has a few quirks (such as not saving the maps properly – some screen capturing and assembly in Photoshop was required!) but it works pretty well once you get used to it.

Subway Map of the French Arm and Alien Space

Subway Map of the French Arm and Alien Space

The subway map shows the Arms and branches much more clearly. I’ve tried to arrange it so that the lines vaguely agree with reality, though in doing so it looks a little un-intuitive – I had to put Sol at the bottom right end of the dark blue line (with the French Arm extending to the left from it) in order to get the Beta Canum Branch on the same side of the map as the Arcturus Branch.

I’ve also had to move some of the named systems around to get the history working with the new map, and also had to incorporate the systems that were at fictional stars or stars that turned out too distant to be usable. I tried to fit the systems to similar stars, but there may be some differences (that probably matter less in the grand scheme of things than their placement on the arms).

So. What do we have now? We’ll actually start from the top of the arm and work down towards Sol.
Continue reading ‘[2300AD] Realistic Star Map Project: Part III – The New French Arm (v2.0)’

[2300AD] Realistic Star Map Project: Part II – Overview

So what could humanity’s expansion to the stars in 2300AD look like with a realistic star map? It could look like this…

The Realistic Arms of 2300AD

The Realistic Arms of 2300AD (click to expand)

The map above shows all of the stars within 60 lightyears of Sol, though only the stars on the French, Chinese, and American Arms are labelled (as well as those of all of the other space-faring nations and alien races). Obviously there’s a lot to digest in there – I’ll be discussing the arms individually in later posts, but in this post I’ll be providing an overview of what’s going on. As I pointed out in my previous post, this is merely my own personal (obviously non-canonical) interpretation of where the Arms would go – I’ve tried to keep as many systems in common with the original arms as I could given the more realistic stellar distribution, but this is by no means the only path the Arms could take.
Continue reading ‘[2300AD] Realistic Star Map Project: Part II – Overview’

[2300AD] Realistic Near Star Map Project: Part I – Introduction

Realistic Near Star Map with new Arms! Scroll down and play the video!

OK, 2300AD fans – you may recall that last year in my 2300AD Near Star Map post I examined how the Arms in 2300AD shaped up when compared to our current knowledge of stellar distribution and discovered that they were actually pretty wrong, with lots of missing stars and broken links.

Also over the past year I’ve been (slowly) tracking down and compiling Star Catalogues on my Stellar Mapping page so I can figure out where the stars around Sol actually are.
Continue reading ‘[2300AD] Realistic Near Star Map Project: Part I – Introduction’

[2300AD] Near Star Map Astrosynthesis DB file

This week I received an email request for the Astrosynthesis DB file that I used to make my realistic 2300AD near star/arms map, and after digging it up I figured I may as well post it for everyone to use. It uses a special version of the realistic stellar databases that I’ve presented elsewhere on this site – it has the 2300AD-specific names for the stars and systems, so it shouldn’t be used for scientific purposes (I think it just uses the RECONS + DENSE + Hipparcos databases). As usual, please don’t redistribute this yourself – just link back to this page if you want to spread the word!

Instructions: Click the image below to download the 2300AD_DB.zip file, unzip it into a local folder, open Astrosynthesis 3.0, and open the unzipped 2300AD.AstroDB file from there. Hopefully it’s some use! 🙂

2300AD Astrosynthesis 3.0 database file

Copyright stuff: The 2300 AD game in all forms is owned by Far Future Enterprises. Copyright 1986 – 2012 Far Future Enterprises. 2300 AD is a registered trademark of Far Future Enterprises. Far Future permits web sites and fanzines for this game, provided it contains this notice, that Far Future is notified, and subject to a withdrawal of permission on 90 days notice. The contents of this site are for personal, non-commercial use only. Any use of Far Future Enterprises’s copyrighted material or trademarks anywhere on this web site and its files should not be viewed as a challenge to those copyrights or trademarks. In addition, any program/articles/file on this site cannot be republished or distributed without the consent of the author who contributed it.

[Stellar Mapping] Brown Dwarf dataset added, plus some major updates!

I’ve added a new Brown Dwarf dataset to the Stellar Mapping page (thanks to LiNeNoiSe for pointing this out to me)! This should hopefully be the last major update to the stellar datasets for a while – the next project on the list is to figure out what the reworked Arms for 2300AD might look like based on the realistic data.

The new catalogue is the LDwarf dataset – this is a list of brown dwarfs taken from the IPAC Brown Dwarf Archives (this dataset was last updated on 14 Feb 2011). It is not a complete list of all known brown dwarfs – these are the only the ones for which parallax data is provided there.

L Dwarf dataset, looking Corewards

While some of the distances presented in this dataset are derived from trigonometric parallaxes, others are derived instead from (spectro)photometric parallaxes. Trigonometric parallaxes are derived by measuring the angular shift of a star relative to the background stars as the earth moves around the sun on its orbit (the stellar distances in the HIPX, RECONS and other datasets here are derived using this method) – these are generally more accurate than photometric parallaxes. “Photometric parallaxes” are techically not really “parallaxes” at all – instead the spectral type of the object is checked against luminosity models to get an estimate of its luminosity, which is used along with the observed visual/IR magnitude to calculate the distance to the object. Unfortunately this method is not very precise, and some of the photometric parallaxes for these objects in the LDwarf dataset have very large error bars – but this is the best data that is currently available.

One of these systems – SDSS J141-134 – is listed in the original data as having a (photometric) parallax of 127 +/- 27 mas. This places it almost in the right location to allow a 7.7 ly link between Xi Bootis and CE Bootis, which would be very useful in the 2300AD setting. I have changed its parallax to 122 mas on this list (which is comfortably within its error bars, and allows it to connect those two stars and link to the stars around Arcturus). The original (127 mas) data for this system is listed in the text file in the LDwarf.zip file if it’s needed.

It should also be noted that two Brown Dwarfs (UGPS J072227.51-054031.2 and DENIS J081730.0-615520) are located within the RECONS sphere. These are not listed in the RECONS data, but are retained here since their parallaxes indicate that they are within 22.8 lightyears of Sol (even given their large error bars). They do not make a significant difference to the 2300AD route distribution.

Some of the Brown Dwarfs in this list are members of multiple systems that are listed in other datasets presented on this site. These are listed as complete multiple star systems on this list (the other components are duplicated here using the original data) – the datasets should merge seamlessly when combined (the ID numbers are preserved in both lists) but some components may be duplicated – this should not create problems since they will have the same name and position.

Other Updates

I’ve also made several other updates to the datasets, so you’ll need to download them again to get the latest versions!

  • The Pleiades Corridor has been updated to use Extended Hipparcos data.
  • The Yale and Gliese 3 Historical Datasets have been moved into a blog article to separate them from the more accurate datasets on the Stellar Mapping page.
  • The Extended Hipparcos and CTIOPI datasets have been updated to include Multiple Systems. A and B components of some of the multiple stars in the original data were separated by several lightyears due to parallax inconsistencies – these were listed separately, but now they have been combined nto Multiple star systems that are located at the XYZ co-ordinates of the original A component.
  • The Further Stars list is still using New Reduction Hipparcos (and other) data. I will be updating it to HIPX at a later date, but it does contain duplicate stars in different positions and should be considered to be less accurate than the other datasets!
  • [Stellar Mapping] Historical Datasets (Yale & Gliese3)

    As part of this weekend’s update to my Stellar Mapping page (more details about that will be in the next post), I’ve decided to move the Historical datasets (Yale and Gliese3) onto a blog post since they’re no longer accurate and probably aren’t being used much anyway (there’s a link from the Stellar Mapping page to this blog post). So, here they are!

    Historical Datasets

    Historical databases should not be considered “accurate” by modern standards, and have been largely superseded by the ones listed in the “Accurate Datasets” section. The full Yale and Gliese catalogues have been clipped at 300 ly from Sol.

    Yale Trigonometric Parallaxes, Fourth Edition: The Yale catalogue (a.k.a the General Catalogue of Trigonometric Parallaxes, or GCTP) is a historical dataset that was one of the most accurate near star catalogues before Hipparcos, with parallax measurements taken from the ground-based observations. It includes many fainter stars that are not in the Hipparcos catalogue, but the distance accuracy is much lower. It also include many stars that are in the Hipparcos catalogue, but because of the lower accuracy they are somewhat shifted from their Hipparcos-derived positions – the difference increases with distance from Sol. However, the Yale catalogue does include Spectral data for most stars. As such, the Yale and Hipparcos catalogues should NOT be combined.

    Source: http://vizier.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/VizieR?-source=I/238A/picat.
    Number of star systems: 6,051
    Distance range: 22.8 – 300 lightyears from Sol.
    Accuracy: Positional data are less accurate than Hipparcos, but spectral data is included. Physical data are not accurate. All stars are listed as single stars.


    Gliese Nearby Stars, Preliminary 3rd Version: The Gliese catalogue is one of the “classic” historical star catalogues – it was updated in 1991, and includes all stars known at the time within 25 pc of Sol, and a few that are further out. It has low accuracy, but again includes some of the dimmer stars that Hipparcos does not include. The 2300AD star map is apparently based on the 2nd version of this catalogue.

    Source: http://vizier.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/VizieR?-source=V/70A.
    Number of star systems: 3,667
    Distance range: 22.8 – 300 lightyears from Sol.
    Accuracy: Positional data are less accurate than Hipparcos, but spectral data is included. Physical data are not accurate. All stars are listed as single stars.