The Ur-Quan Masters Discussion Forum

The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release => General UQM Discussion => Topic started by: SweetSassyMolassy on February 20, 2009, 12:28:01 am



Title: How much fuel would it take?
Post by: SweetSassyMolassy on February 20, 2009, 12:28:01 am
Earlier today I was thinking about traveling in hyperspace, and what sort of time it would take to travel across the universe.
I'm thinking that the quadrant of the galaxy used in SC2 represents maybe 1/20 of the total milky way (could be grossly wrong on that), but assuming that it is, then it takes ~100 units of fuel to travel 1/20 the way across the galaxy.

So, assuming there were enough Melnorme traders along the known universe, and that you could use hyperspace for travel,
-the amount of fuel used to traverse the galaxy would be about 2000 units
-the amount to get to Andromeda would be about 22,000 units
-to M81, ~90,000 units
-to get to the Perseus group of galaxies ~1,425,000 units
-the Bootes group ~8,550,000 units
-the remotest quasars ~119,700,000 units
-the cosmic microwave background ~128,250,000 units or about 1.2 million full upgraded tanks

So, even using hyperspace travel it would take hundreds of thousands of years to cross the universe


Title: Re: How much fuel would it take?
Post by: meep-eep on February 20, 2009, 04:59:17 am
Yay for QuasiSpace.


Title: Re: How much fuel would it take?
Post by: Draxas on February 20, 2009, 08:36:37 am
That does, of course, assume that Truespace distances to those destinations are applicable to Hyperspace, which is not likely. So really, there is no way to tell. After all, the stars that can be accessed from Hyperspace were named pretty much arbitrarily, so there's no way to know where you really are; perhaps some of the systems you visit during SC2 actually are in the Andromeda Galaxy or M81. Truespace distance means basically nothing in Hyperspace.


Title: Re: How much fuel would it take?
Post by: Resh Aleph on February 20, 2009, 10:39:04 am
SC seems to be similar to Star Trek (and Star Wars) in that intergalactic travel just takes forever, so no one actually does that.

I'm thinking that the quadrant of the galaxy used in SC2 represents maybe 1/20 of the total milky way

1/20 makes sense if you make optimistic assumptions for the Drake equation (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drake_equation). That means a single star in the game actually represents thousands of stars (for simplifying gameplay).

Then again, if it took this long for the Kzer-Za and Kohr-Ah to complete half a trip around the galaxy, it might be even less than that. Perhaps it is possible to extrapolate a better estimation from the Slylandro dialog or something?

perhaps some of the systems you visit during SC2 actually are in the Andromeda Galaxy or M81.

The starmap does indicate galactic spin and the location of the galactic core, so that seems unlikely.


Title: Re: How much fuel would it take?
Post by: SweetSassyMolassy on February 20, 2009, 04:49:12 pm
That does, of course, assume that Truespace distances to those destinations are applicable to Hyperspace, which is not likely. So really, there is no way to tell. After all, the stars that can be accessed from Hyperspace were named pretty much arbitrarily, so there's no way to know where you really are; perhaps some of the systems you visit during SC2 actually are in the Andromeda Galaxy or M81. Truespace distance means basically nothing in Hyperspace.

I think the way the game was written gave stars and constellations arbitrary locations, but I definitely don't think the names of the stars were arbitrary (Betelgeuse, Sirius, Vega, Rigel). I don't know whether all the stars mentioned in the game are in our local sector of the galaxy, but at first glance every star and constellation corresponds to a true Milky Way name.

Not telling where you are exactly may be true, but assuming that SC2 does take place in the Milky Way can give an order of magnitude guess.


Title: Re: How much fuel would it take?
Post by: AngusThermopyle on February 20, 2009, 08:31:05 pm
I think the way the game was written gave stars and constellations arbitrary locations, but I definitely don't think the names of the stars were arbitrary (Betelgeuse, Sirius, Vega, Rigel). I don't know whether all the stars mentioned in the game are in our local sector of the galaxy, but at first glance every star and constellation corresponds to a true Milky Way name.

The names might be the same, but according to the original paper hyperspace map, the constellations were first mapped by the Chenjesu. Due to the fact that the Chenjesu names were unpronounceable, traditional astrological names were randomly assigned by the UN.


Title: Re: How much fuel would it take?
Post by: Death 999 on February 20, 2009, 08:33:25 pm
The constellation names for stars do not correspond to the actual names. For example, in HS, each star is either in a constellation or given an individual name. But in the real sky, every named star (that I can think of) is in a constellation. Ergo, the designations do not match.

Now, there are dialog references to the galaxy, so I'd guess it all takes place in the milky way. However, we might not see very much of it. I would suspect that we in fact do not see very much of it at all. Otherwise, taking 10k years go go around it is just ridiculous. On the other hand, if the region we see is very small, it's pretty ridiculous that this region would have the Taalo (one of not very many milieu races) and the Slylandro (one of a kind, so far as we know).


Title: Re: How much fuel would it take?
Post by: SweetSassyMolassy on February 20, 2009, 11:13:36 pm
The constellation names for stars do not correspond to the actual names. For example, in HS, each star is either in a constellation or given an individual name. But in the real sky, every named star (that I can think of) is in a constellation. Ergo, the designations do not match.

Now, there are dialog references to the galaxy, so I'd guess it all takes place in the milky way. However, we might not see very much of it. I would suspect that we in fact do not see very much of it at all. Otherwise, taking 10k years go go around it is just ridiculous. On the other hand, if the region we see is very small, it's pretty ridiculous that this region would have the Taalo (one of not very many milieu races) and the Slylandro (one of a kind, so far as we know).

They don't match because of the random locations of each star or constellation. I think the generated locations either placed constellations or known star names to certain locations, so if they wanted to be accurate they would put Betelgeuse in the Orionis constellation, for example.

There are a few weird names for constellations which don't match up to known constellation names, but how much sense would it make if those constellations weren't in the Milky Way? There's too much reference to "traveling the galaxy", to make those constellations at other points in the universe, especially since we know that Sol is in the area.

Another point is that unless the constellation is near Andromeda, we wouldn't be able to distinguish most constellations in other galaxies with ground-based telescopes, therefore we wouldn't be able to name constellations on a star map unless they were local.


Title: Re: How much fuel would it take?
Post by: edmund on February 21, 2009, 06:05:44 am
I've always thought that hyperspace corresponded closely to truespace on the universe scale, but within the galaxy the mapping was far more varied, presumably some hyperdimensional effect of the high mass concentration in a galaxy.

I note that it seems to make sense to "point towards the galactic core" in hyperspace.  At the other end I've imagined that the galactic rim would also be apparent in hyperspace -- possibly with even closer correspondence to truespace since it's less dense there.  (I have thought about suggesting some gameplay along these lines for a certain mod project...)


Title: Re: How much fuel would it take?
Post by: Death 999 on February 21, 2009, 05:12:30 pm
Constellations take up angular bits of sky. They provide no information as to how far away their constituents are. Consider Orion, which has individual stars close enough to see, and also contains the pleiades, which contains multiple galaxies.

So, the whole idea that constellation = star cluster is entirely wrong. Once interstellar travel begins in earnest, our geocentric constellation names will become absurd.


Title: Re: How much fuel would it take?
Post by: SweetSassyMolassy on February 21, 2009, 07:52:08 pm
Constellations take up angular bits of sky. They provide no information as to how far away their constituents are. Consider Orion, which has individual stars close enough to see, and also contains the pleiades, which contains multiple galaxies.

So, the whole idea that constellation = star cluster is entirely wrong. Once interstellar travel begins in earnest, our geocentric constellation names will become absurd.
Yes, that's true. But the argument was still over whether hyperspace travel in SC2 takes place exclusively in our own galaxy.  So, you're right, the groupings of stars wouldn't be close to what they appear in the game, but to me all evidence points to the SC2 map being in our near  our local sector.

Another reason is that constellation names from other galaxies or far reaches of the galaxy wouldn't have much meaning anymore, since almost all were thought of before telescopes. The star groupings as far as distance to Earth are nothing near to each other, but nonetheless only the brightest magnitude stars are observed from us. That's true because the stars are either close or big, but even a star as big as Rigel couldn't be seen with the naked eye across the galaxy.


Title: Re: How much fuel would it take?
Post by: Death 999 on February 23, 2009, 09:28:31 pm
I would hope that the two dimensions of hyperspace correspond to the galactic disk. In that case, the apparent thinness of hyperspace (that is, that there is no relevant third dimension) could either be that

1) hyperspace compresses down out of plane distances to the point that they don't matter (in an anisotropic fashion - basically, out of plane movement is super duper fast and in-plane motion is sloow), and we're really seeing every star... So, the reason the map looks weird is because the full kiloparsec depth of the galaxy has been smushed together. Each system appears shrunk down in our view, which is good because otherwise they'd overlap.

2) 'you can't get there from here' for almost all the stars in the sky. A very few select stars are mutually accessible.

2a) there are multiple planes of hyperspace which are mutually inaccessible except the slow way? But then doing interstellar travel the slow way would be really useful, to get off the map completely.

2b) most stars aren't hyperspace-accessible at all. We see no binary stars, for example; and perhaps first- or second-generation stars are excluded as well. Eliminating both of these would eliminate relatively few places with life (though distant or very tight binaries could have life), which would help explain why there is so much life around.


Title: Re: How much fuel would it take?
Post by: SweetSassyMolassy on February 25, 2009, 01:27:17 am
That's interesting. I'm not sure I understand all of what you mean though. By "multiple planes of hyperspace", are you referring to multiple layers of the squashed bulge, or parts of the galaxy that are also squashed and can only be reached through the slow way?

Also, where does quasi-space come into play? maybe invisible tunnels that move from place to place in hyperspace through the "super fast" mode of travel?

Also, may I point out that warp bubble technology, if it is still an accepted form, does not use the same method as hyperspace travel.


Title: Re: How much fuel would it take?
Post by: Elvish Pillager on February 25, 2009, 09:45:09 pm
"How much fuel would it take?"

Zero. Just go via TrueSpace.


Title: Re: How much fuel would it take?
Post by: SweetSassyMolassy on February 25, 2009, 10:43:18 pm
"How much fuel would it take?"

Zero. Just go via TrueSpace.

I'm sure that would take a way larger amount of fuel...or time if you're drifting. Maybe not the same type of fuel though.


Title: Re: How much fuel would it take?
Post by: Death 999 on February 26, 2009, 04:09:38 pm
parts of the galaxy that are also squashed and can only be reached through the slow way?

Bingo. The galaxy would be made of baklava, and hyperspace would allow movement along the sheets. Presumbaly something would break down in the middle.

Also, where does quasi-space come into play?

Considering that there's no simple transformation between quasispace coordinates and hyperspace coordinates, that may be a clue that hyperspace is similarly chaotically related to truespace. That would argue against both of the options I put forward.


Title: Re: How much fuel would it take?
Post by: Lord 342 on April 01, 2009, 08:17:09 am
"How much fuel would it take?"

Zero. Just go via TrueSpace.

I'm sure that would take a way larger amount of fuel...or time if you're drifting. Maybe not the same type of fuel though.

Exactly.  In Truespace there is functionally nil friction.  You can reach relativistic velocities with an aerosol can.  Point at the place you want to go, burn thrusters, and wait.  A.  Long.  Bloody.  Time.


Title: Re: How much fuel would it take?
Post by: Death 999 on April 01, 2009, 05:32:42 pm
You'll run out of reaction mass long before you go relativistic, that way.


Title: Re: How much fuel would it take?
Post by: SweetSassyMolassy on April 01, 2009, 08:44:50 pm
You also couldn't escape the solar system, assuming you started in an Earth orbit