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Author Topic: Pre-Neocom Space Navigation  (Read 954 times)

Elmund Egivand

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Pre-Neocom Space Navigation
« on: 19 Aug 2015, 19:58 »

After reading 'Longitude', a certain thought cross my mind: How exactly did the people of New Eden navigate space before there was Neocom?

And I meant after they start establishing off-world colonies and are beginning to travel to and fro regularly using warp drives and such, not when they simply launch themselves into space. I believe that during the eve of every civilisation's space age, when there isn't an overview, a synchronised star map or Aura telling where they are, they will have to figure out exactly where they are and where they are headed and gauge how far they are from their destination manually.

I suspect that the star navigators of antiquity might pick the brightest stars in the sky as reference for calculations, and use their gyroscopes to tell them which way is up and which way is down to ease up the calculations. However, I am lacking in details. Any clues?
« Last Edit: 19 Aug 2015, 20:00 by Elmund Egivand »
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Aria Jenneth

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Re: Pre-Neocom Space Navigation
« Reply #1 on: 19 Aug 2015, 20:57 »

Well ... if they have warp drives, they probably have good computers and well-established star charts. If they have good computers, they probably have good telescopes. If they have good telescopes....

So long as you don't get badly lost, this doesn't seem like very much of a problem. Staying in touch seems like more of an issue.
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Alain Colcer

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Re: Pre-Neocom Space Navigation
« Reply #2 on: 19 Aug 2015, 20:58 »

the same way current sattelittes align themselves in space?

pick a star far away, that you preoviosuly measured and that behaves as a beacon or lighthouse
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Elmund Egivand

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Re: Pre-Neocom Space Navigation
« Reply #3 on: 19 Aug 2015, 21:07 »

Well ... if they have warp drives, they probably have good computers and well-established star charts. If they have good computers, they probably have good telescopes. If they have good telescopes....

So long as you don't get badly lost, this doesn't seem like very much of a problem. Staying in touch seems like more of an issue.

Here's a scenario to illustrate. After who knows how many centuries or whatever since a ship bringing tools and materials to build a stargate was launched to a previously uncharted star system, the stargate meant to link to said star system was activated (refer to the Old Man Star chronicle). Early explorers go through this stargate. Since this is virgin territory, nobody really have the details of all the celestials in this system. At most they only have maybe an inkling or two about what planets might be orbiting this star, and these are just the largest planets detectable from distant observation. Nobody has yet known about whether this star has asteroid belts or no, and what other smaller planets are available for colonisation or exploitation, or hell, how far is everything from everything at any point of time.

Now, how do they know which way they are heading and where they are when they drop out of warp unexpectedly?
« Last Edit: 19 Aug 2015, 21:50 by Elmund Egivand »
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Lyn Farel

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Re: Pre-Neocom Space Navigation
« Reply #4 on: 20 Aug 2015, 01:48 »

Probably like today or through even more advanced tools : measure the spectrometry of neighboring stars and compare it to the ones you know on home to see if they match. You can pick up the most luminous ones for example and rechart the new system according to your home data...?
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Elmund Egivand

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Re: Pre-Neocom Space Navigation
« Reply #5 on: 20 Aug 2015, 02:38 »

Probably like today or through even more advanced tools : measure the spectrometry of neighboring stars and compare it to the ones you know on home to see if they match. You can pick up the most luminous ones for example and rechart the new system according to your home data...?

Any ideas on the specific methods they might be using? Something like how we used to rely on the Tropics for latitude and the chronometer/moon-phase plus calculations for longitude back in the day?
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Lyn Farel

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Re: Pre-Neocom Space Navigation
« Reply #6 on: 20 Aug 2015, 05:00 »

I'm not an expert in astrophysics, sadly...That would involve a lot of triangulation between two sky maps... Maybe made up easier since through spectrography you can know star compositions, types, and distance to observer... Which means you can represent it in a 3D virtual environment.

If the guys start doing a new spectrography (or whatever observation method they have) on a few key stars in the new location, they will be able to put in overlay the new 3D model with the one they know and that way they will know what is what and what is where...

I think ?
« Last Edit: 20 Aug 2015, 12:13 by Lyn Farel »
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Calania

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Re: Pre-Neocom Space Navigation
« Reply #7 on: 20 Aug 2015, 05:32 »

Like above, not an expert in astrophysics, but it seems like that they'd have navigated with reference to easily identifiable stellar objects. The cluster probably has a few pulsars. With them, I'd imagine you could calculate your position with relative ease.

Googling pulsar navigation actually brought up an experiment NASA is apparently working on: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/X-ray_pulsar-based_navigation
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Arnulf Ogunkoya

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Re: Pre-Neocom Space Navigation
« Reply #8 on: 20 Aug 2015, 17:04 »

I suspect if you really fancy a crack at more realistic astro navigation then Orbiter or Kerbal Space Program would be the way to go.

Lots of stuff blowing up along the way as a bonus.  :D
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