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DyerWolf
2007-Feb-20, 09:30 PM
I was thinking about Niven and Pournelle's "Mote in God's Eye" recently. If I recall the novel correctly, I think its space travellers used Warp holes near (and sometimes in) stars that enabled a space traveller to hop from star to star.

That got me to thinking. If I Siriusly wanted to travel from here to the Dog Star (or someplace else), how could I figure out which stars I needed to use as stepping stones along the way? (Presuming that you had to "hop" from star to star like stepping stones across a creek)

Can someone point me to a list of stars from which I could determine the proximity of the star to our solar system and its direction?

01101001
2007-Feb-20, 10:18 PM
Can someone point me to a list of stars from which I could determine the proximity of the star to our solar system and its direction?

Can't. Don't know. Looked. How about Wikipedia: List of nearest stars (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_nearest_stars)? It's about 50 stars, out to a radius of about 16 lightyears. The links there point to larger databases.

But for the purpose of visualization, nothing would succeed like a 3D star map. I saw one once at the NASA Ames museum and it was fascinating. It was a physical scale model of our neighborhood. I don't recall if they used actual grain-of-wheat lightbulbs for the stars, or if it was fiber optics; the lights were different sizes somewhat representing different stars. It was so cool moving your head around that scaled space and seeing the views change. Stars between here and there were obvious.

I suppose nowadays, you'd just implement it as a 2D projection of the 3D space on a computer display, with movement coming from mouse input. I'm not sure it would be as meaningful that way. Maybe you'd want a more real virtual space, in stereo, with input from your head postition.

(Sirius is so close, you're not likely to find a stepping-stone star on the way.)

trinitree88
2007-Feb-20, 10:21 PM
I was thinking about Niven and Pournelle's "Mote in God's Eye" recently. If I recall the novel correctly, I think its space travellers used Warp holes near (and sometimes in) stars that enabled a space traveller to hop from star to star.

That got me to thinking. If I Siriusly wanted to travel from here to the Dog Star (or someplace else), how could I figure out which stars I needed to use as stepping stones along the way? (Presuming that you had to "hop" from star to star like stepping stones across a creek)

Can someone point me to a list of stars from which I could determine the proximity of the star to our solar system and its direction?


Dyerwolf: try www.solstation.com

or Google; Local Bubble..Pete

RussT
2007-Feb-20, 10:37 PM
Try this also.

http://www.atlasoftheuniverse.com/

Nereid
2007-Feb-20, 10:38 PM
Try RECONS (google it)

Blob
2007-Feb-20, 11:21 PM
Hum,
Frontier: Elite (http://www.frontier.co.uk/games/frontier/) was more fun though.

DyerWolf
2007-Feb-20, 11:29 PM
Hum,
Frontier: Elite (http://www.frontier.co.uk/games/frontier/) was more fun though.

Jeez - just had a flashback to the original MS Flight Simulator.

Great links folks! (and thanks for the search terms as well!)

Any others?

grant hutchison
2007-Feb-20, 11:42 PM
The Gliese catalogue, 3rd Edition, is a little elderly now, but it goes all the way out to 25pc.
You can download it (along with some other interesting bits and bobs) here (http://www.projectrho.com/smap06.html).

Grant Hutchison

formulaterp
2007-Feb-20, 11:46 PM
Any others?

Celestia?

http://www.shatters.net/celestia/

neilzero
2007-Feb-20, 11:46 PM
If two or more stars are only a few degrees apart as viewed from Earth, using the closer stars as a stepping stone will only be about one percent farther than the non stop route, however you will be accellerating and decelerating several times instead of one of each which will greatly increase the energy required and the travel time may be doubled.
All the naked eye stars are closer than 1000 light years, but the class m stars generaly are not naked eye visable even if they are closer than 7 light years away. Neil

eburacum45
2007-Feb-21, 11:19 AM
Sirius would be the first stepping stone, not the last. Its the closest star you can see with the naked eye in the northern hemisphere, if I recall correctly. But as the first stepping stone, it can take you to some interesting places;first to Sirius, then five light years on to Procyon; a longer jump of 23 ly out to Pollux, then a shorter one of 16 to Castor. Across country to Aldebaran 47 light years away, but now you are in the right direction for the Hyades 70 odd light years beyond. A jump to the Pleiades, of a couple of hundred light years takes you in the general direction of Orion; first let's go a couple more hundred light years to Betelgeuse, then Rigel perhaps four hundred ly further on. From Rigel we can reach the really distant and bright stars of the Belt; four hundred to Alnitak, and another five hundred to Alnilam. This zig-zag course has taken you more than two thousand light years, but the star Alnilam is only 1300 ly from Earth (at least if Celestia is right).
Celestia can be used for working out jump-routes in this way; so can the on-line Stellar Database
http://www.stellar-database.com/
(but you can get lost using this as you can't see where you are going)

kzb
2007-Feb-21, 06:26 PM
I was reading recently not all the nearest stars may be known about. Apparently there is a blind spot around the south pole area that has not been adequately mapped.

Also I believe it's likely there's a similar number of brown dwarves and free-floating planets as there are stars, so it's not impossible there are a lot more stopping off places on the way than we think.

I can only reiterate what RussT recommended, http://www.atlasoftheuniverse.com has some good 3D diagrams of the stellar locality, and beyond. How up-to-date the information there is, I'm not so sure.

DyerWolf
2007-Feb-21, 06:34 PM
If two or more stars are only a few degrees apart as viewed from Earth, using the closer stars as a stepping stone will only be about one percent farther than the non stop route, however you will be accellerating and decelerating several times instead of one of each which will greatly increase the energy required and the travel time may be doubled.
Neil

Hm.:think: What if instead of accelerating / decelerating you only had to match velocity and direction with your target before (or perhaps after )translating?* How much actual difference is there between the relative velocities of stars?**


class m stars generaly are not naked eye visable even if they are closer than 7 light years away
That's kind of my theory;*** I think that were FTL possible, it would be dangerous to point yourself at a star and hit "go" without first looking to see if you were likely to smack into something along the way. Thus, it could be smarter to puddle hop.


This zig-zag course has taken you more than two thousand light years, but the star Alnilam is only 1300 ly from Earth (at least if Celestia is right).
Celestia can be used for working out jump-routes in this way; so can the on-line Stellar Database
Your description is exactly what I was thinking about. I tried it, but did get lost in Celestia several months ago. (I later discovered my version was infected and deleted it before I had much experience with the program. GH recently gave me a link to a clean copy, but I have yet to download/install - more incentive, I guess).

*Since I started this off with a sci-fi reference, I claim the freedom to make up the meanings of some words. Appologies in advance to Gillian.

**I've often thought that the fatal irony for the first time traveller wanting to view ancient Rome would be to find herself back in 80 B.C.E., but deep in space because the earth hadn't gotten there yet...

***Appologies in advance to Nereid - I have no math to back it up, but claim the right to call it a theory, anyway.