Where could they have gone?
Thursday, February 8, 2007

I'm sort of big into astronomy and I was wondering if for a moment, consider Firefly's star system was some star system relatively close to our solar system.

Since humabs left Earth and went into space, and they don't have faster-than-light capability, has anyone wondered what star system they could have traveled to?

Joss Whedon never said where they went, so I have two candidate star systems they could have gone to.

One is Sirius, a hot white star, and if it had planets, it could have a large biozone where several Earth-like planets could queeze inside. Maybe groups of planets - binary, trinary, or rosette orbits where several lareg terrestrial worlds orbit eachother around a common center of gravity like Pluto and Charon for instance.

Sirius at only 8.6 light years away could have been traveled to by humans of Earth within a hundred years or so. I don't know how fast their arc ships actually traveled but I think by the year 2517 they had plenty of time to get there and establish a society.

If the 'verse has multiple stars as some (like me) suggest, my next pick would be the multiple Xi Scorpii system, which has three F-type yellow-white stars, similar to Sol, albiet smaller, brighter and hotter, that are relatively close to each other - appx 42 to 320 AU's between them. The system has two other stars which two are F-type (orange) dwarfs, although 8000 AU's apart (only 0.13 ly), and at least a red dwarf as well.

These could possibly hold planets. Only problem is Xi Scorpii is about 90.2 light years away and would take Humans an eternity to reach unless their arc ships, although sub-light, achieved speeds close to that of light.

I think a ship could travel as much as 70% the speed of light before the effects of time-dilation and critical mass begin to affect the crew. At that speed it would take about 130 - 150 years or so to reach the system, and still give them about 250 - 300 years to terraform and establish a society there. That would also say they left Earth around the year 2093 - 2193 or so if they only had 200 years to set up society.


Friday, February 9, 2007 12:53 PM


Well...Epsilon Indi would work, if you didn't mind fighing off the bipedal lizard creatures who have an empire in that star system (in-joke for Harry Turtledove's "Worldwar" series);D

But my Astro prof has pointed out, stars like Proxima Centauri and Wolf 359 are mighty close, but not too spring chicken-y for colonization tastes:(


Friday, February 9, 2007 11:46 AM


Alpha Centuari was another candidate system with two stars that are like Sol. Alpha Centauri B orbits A at about 80 AU and Proxima I think is under half a light year away, but like you said, it's really small and probably couldn't support life. I don't think Proxima was ever a big star, and just a glorified brown dwarf. You can't even see it from Earth without Infrared telescopes. Same with Wolf 359, Barnard's Star and Lalande 21185.

There are plenty of yellow stars that could also work. 61 Cygni, Epsilon Indi, 36 Ophiuchi, just to name a few and are candidates for SETI and Earth-like planet searches.

Vega and Altair are also white hot stars like Sirius that could have large biozones to squeeze in planets. Vega itself has a lot of planetary material orbiting it. Both are within 100 lightyears of Earth.

Friday, February 9, 2007 4:58 AM


OK you know way more than I do

Thursday, February 8, 2007 11:48 PM


Well...they could have been cryogenically frozen for the majority of the trip, which would have allowed for greater speeds without having to worry about time dilation effects. Still the matter of figuring out how much dilation would occur so that autopilots could be programmed right...

And Sirius would be a good candidate, though Proxima Centauri would be the closest star system at just over 4 lightyears. Only issue would be that Proxima Centauri is a red dwarf star and therefore already on the way to the garbage heap, since it's burning less efficient fuels

Gotta say though...Sirius is the fifth closest start to Earth, coming after:

1) Alpha Centauri

2) Barnard's Star

3) Wolf 359

4) Lalande 21185



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2007 February