Brad Wardell's views about technology, politics, religion, world affairs, and all sorts of politically incorrect topics.
Published on July 31, 2017 By Draginol In Star Control Journals

Video games normally take liberties with the size of the universe.  We know the universe is big but we frequently trivialize the immense size of the galaxy.

Even scientists seem to trivialize this with questions like "Why haven't we detected aliens?".  The answer might be because our radio signals haven't even reached a trivial distance of the milky way galaxy.

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Our solar system out to Jupiter.

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Zooming way way out to our local neighborhood.

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Now this is zooming out to about as far as we can go and still name stars without skipping over lots of them.

NOTE: Our radio signals haven't even come close to leaving this area yet.  Also, we only know the distances of these starts within +/- 8 light years.  A lot of people think we have nailed down where all these stars are.

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And all that fits in the dot within that box.

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and that last screenshot fits within the red box in this screenshot.

Now, in the new Star Control game, we are going to do our best to mix accuracy with gameplay.  But hopefully you get the idea of just how insane the scales really are.


Comments
on Jul 31, 2017

At 1000 times the speed of light it would take about 120 years to fly across the length of the galaxy, assuming you never stopped or slowed down for anything.  It is a lot bigger than people think it is.

Even at the speed of light, it would still take about 21 days just to get to Jupiter.

You can try to convey the true size of the galaxy within a game, but you can't make a game to scale.  It's just way too big.

 

on Aug 01, 2017

43+ minutes Sol to Jupiter at c. Safe to assume there'll be other game factors.

Kris

on Aug 02, 2017

You are right.  Wow, I had been way off on that for a long time.  I have no idea how I managed to arrive at 21 days, the calculator says around 45 minutes like you say.  Thanks, that helps me a lot;-)

on Aug 02, 2017

Kavik_Kang

Even at the speed of light, it would still take about 21 days just to get to Jupiter.

Nakor

43+ minutes Sol to Jupiter at c. Safe to assume there'll be other game factors.

Happy to see I wasn't the only one to jump on this, If Earth and Jupiter were in perfect alignment to Jupiter and there was no asteroids or other general space debris to avoid it would take around 34 1/2 minutes to travel from Earth to Jupiter at light speed.  

With this being said Jupiter was at it's closest point to us in a long time at around 416,000,000 miles (669,487,104 km) this past April ( https://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/sciencefair/2017/04/06/jupiter-closest-visit-earth-astronomy/100128644/ ).  This would mean it would have taken about 48 minutes, 33 seconds for one to travel to Jupiter from Earth traveling at light speed.  As a comparison in Science Fiction terms, in the Star Trek universe, travelling at Warp 9 (TNG rating) it would have taken one 3.06 seconds to travel to Jupiter from Earth ( http://www.st-minutiae.com/resources/warp/index.html ).

Enjoy

Kavik_Kang

At 1000 times the speed of light it would take about 120 years to fly across the length of the galaxy, assuming you never stopped or slowed down for anything.  It is a lot bigger than people think it is.

The size of the Milky Way Galaxy is about 1,000,000,000,000,000,000 km across ( https://imagine.gsfc.nasa.gov/features/cosmic/milkyway_info.html ) meaning traveling at the speed of light it would take 105,700 years, Traveling at Warp 9 (TNG rating) 145 years, or at Warp 10 (TNG rating or 1000 times the speed of light, Voyager rating is different) it would take one 105.7 years to travel from one end of our Galaxy assuming you started at one and travel to the other side with no effects of the center Black Hole.  

Sorry but, I find these types of discussions great

on Aug 02, 2017

Yes, I've been way off on the time to Jupiter for a long time.  45 minutes is perfect and makes everything make a lot more sense.  I'm really glad that this came up.

on Aug 02, 2017

This actually brings up something about Star Trek people don't usually think about.  All the bouncing around back and forth between borders they do... Klingon, Romulan, Tholian, Gorn, etc, is much too far for them to have done in their lifetimes.  Even just the trip to the center of the galaxy and back in ST:V would take longer than the crew would live.

Which leads to what Enterprise actually is.  What is seen in the story doesn't match the famous opening lines at all.  By the story that is actually told Enterprise is not a ship of galactic exploration, it is a border patrol warship that explores the borders areas of the Federation as a secondary mission as it patrols them.  There is never a time when it leaves Federation space on a mission of galactic exploration, it is always patrolling the border of an adversary.  It is always the most powerful warship the Federation has in the area, and always drops whatever it is doing to respond to any crises in its area.  The opening lines give the impression that it is a peaceful galactic exploration ship, but there is never a time when it actually performs that mission.  It's actually a military border patrol, that does science and exploration within its patrol area as a secondary mission.

 

on Aug 02, 2017

Kavik_Kang

Yes, I've been way off on the time to Jupiter for a long time.  45 minutes is perfect and makes everything make a lot more sense.  I'm really glad that this came up.

Just remember it's about 8 minutes to the sun....and everything's then relative....

on Aug 03, 2017

...and the stars look down.

 

on Aug 08, 2017

Thank goodness for hyperspace compression

on Aug 26, 2017

Not really new, but this video got me interested in space things during my school time: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0fKBhvDjuy0

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