Fomalhaut: A Target Rich Environment

Faster Than Light? Don't forget your hat...
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kedamono
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Fomalhaut: A Target Rich Environment

Postby kedamono » Tue Oct 03, 2017 4:43 am

Latest news from the Astronomy Picture of the Day: Ice Ring around Nearby Star Fomalhaut.

Image

According to the article, the pink ring is an ice ring around Fomalhaut starts around 133 AU out from the star and may be a source of lots and lots of comets and other bodies. If there are any inner planets, they are undergoing a Late Heavy Bombardment. Not very hospitable for settlement. And the only known planet around Fomalhaut, was officially named Dagon. Cool. It's better than my suggestion of Gojira. Which is why I would move the colonies in the game, Alvarez Station, America, and Dorsey, to O'Neil style cylinders in fixed positions above the debris belts. I would use Statites for this, large light sails that counteract the gravitational pull of Fomalhaut. They only need to be around 400 square kilometers, which is very doable.
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ORTrail
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Re: Fomalhaut: A Target Rich Environment

Postby ORTrail » Wed Oct 11, 2017 5:37 am

Very cool picture, and the 'truth is stranger than fiction' saying comes through once again.

How much practical difference would a mountain of ice make impacting a planet versus a solid rock/iron meteorite? It would be more interesting to me if the colonists are living mostly on their colony ships in orbit around Dagon, but farming the wet and warm world below them and retreating to orbit when any pesky snowball of notable size comes along. At least it sounds like fun in theory.
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kedamono
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Re: Fomalhaut: A Target Rich Environment

Postby kedamono » Wed Oct 11, 2017 6:10 am

Sadly, at a 133 AU, not a whole lot of sunlight from Fomalhaut. Habitable zone is around 5 AU. Any planets at that distance are constantly being hit by asteroids and comets. One of the "features" of the Late Heavy Bombardment was surface temperatures hot enough to melt rock in many places. It's also when life formed, pond scum really. Also, Dagon has a really eccentric orbit and around 2448, it might be... let's do the math... 300 AU from Fomalhaut. Brrr, real cold out there, and it would take, at 1g acceleration, about 46 days to travel to it from the C or D zone of Fomalhaut. (If you're lucky and arrive on the same side of the star system as Dagon.)

The C zone starts at around 25 AU and the D zone at around 90 AU for Fomalhaut.
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ORTrail
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Re: Fomalhaut: A Target Rich Environment

Postby ORTrail » Thu Oct 12, 2017 5:33 am

All I've got then is that those terrible conditions are actually an illusion, maintained by a very shy and ancient alien race that just want to be left alone. Or things are as they appear at Fomalhaut, but that also includes some type of alien spacecraft graveyard/bermuda triangle? How about Dagon actually being a long forgotten prison planet? Held in stasis for eternity, in very nearly indestructible containers, the chaotic conditions discouraged rescue/escape attempts.
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