Constellations of the 'Verse

UPDATED: Friday, December 21, 2007 17:37
VIEWED: 3159
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Sunday, November 25, 2007 6:28 PM


So I was just wondering; what do our BDHs see when they look up at the sky? Sure, they have navsats and pulse beacons and know about astronavigation and shipping, but what stories do the stars tell them?

I'm of the opinion that people will always create patterns and images in the stars. Chunking is human nature. Ancient mariners placed gods and heroes in the sky. Later, when European explorers mapped the southern hemisphere, they saw their tools and their ships. In both cases, people placed the things they put their faith in, things they never wanted to be without, things that reminded them of where they came from.

I think the first people to map the stars as seen in the 'verse would place their memories of Earth-That-Was in the stars, so they wouldn't be forgotten. I'm imagining constellations based on places and legends that couldn't be taken with them, but couldn't be left behind either. Maybe things like:

The Great Wall
The Statue of Liberty
The Eiffel Tower
Big Ben
The Nile
The Pyramids
The Forbidden City / Eden (Containing that part of the sky where Earth-That-Was would be)
The Eight Immortals
The Beatles (Ringo is the dimmest star)
Martin Luther King
Sherlock Holmes
Marilyn Monroe
The Mushroom Cloud

or even common things like,
The Cell Phone
The Hot Rod
The Space Suit

What do you all think?
What would you put up there?


Monday, November 26, 2007 1:42 AM


i'm with you on Sherlock Holmes!:)

seriously though - perhaps tools and instruments? (work and leisure?)

again the Plough - but maybe the violin?

maybe the faces of the famous, (sigh)most likely generals and such. - ala mount rushmore???

the gun hand (more disturbingly)??

i think the indies would have localised names.

The guild may have a traditional budhist calender - or may have evolved... former famous High Preistess may have Bodhisatva status.

As for myself -
well, Dorothy Parker, Robert Benchley and The Speakeasy. I'm happy with them as my stars!!!.


Sunday, December 9, 2007 3:43 PM


I don't think there'd be official constellations, like the Big Dipper and such, simply because there are so many stars, and it would take a lot of time and resources, for a pointless objective. Stars probably have names, like RG-256 or sruff like that, but I believe that constellatons intfuture are just what people make up when they get really bored.


Gots to get away from the green, nasty dragon

I'm not worthy! I'm not worthy!
My favorite quotes:

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Monday, December 10, 2007 9:38 AM


Maybe this is fairly dull, but I think that the constellations of the firefly 'verse would be very similar to those of earth and many of them would probably still be known by their 'earth-that-was' name.

Of course, this gets into conjecture about how far people had to go to find a new solar system to settle in. I guessed that it would be within 30 light-years or so - far enough away that a few bright nearby landmarks like Sirius would be WAY off, but the majority of visible stars are much more distant than that and would shift only slightly. And I think that there are several good candidate 'Sun-like or slightly bigger' stars in that area that could host the 'Verse.

Without hyperdrive, that's still far enough away to put Earth-that-was out of reach, but in terms of the galaxy, it's really just a tiny step over.


Wednesday, December 12, 2007 6:16 AM


Hhmm, interesting thought!

The starts would be different on some planets, so I guess the outer rim world would find constellations to fit theire ideals but the core planets mybe more Religion orientated maybe. . .

How come things never go smooth
'My feet are warm, two pairs of socks warm.' Claire Bennet


Saturday, December 15, 2007 1:55 PM



Originally posted by JeanDask:
Hhmm, interesting thought!

The starts would be different on some planets, so I guess the outer rim world would find constellations to fit theire ideals but the core planets...

Come again? I don't think that there's any real difference in star positions between planets in the same solar system - the planets themselves will show up differently among the stars and make things different, and there could be cultural differences in the constellations and how the stars are named, but that's not a real difference in the stars.

(I fell like I'm being such a wet blanket in this thread )


Friday, December 21, 2007 5:37 PM


The ancient Greeks surmised that the cosmos is really big. They realized that over the course of a year closer stars should shift their apparent position relative to stars further away. By measuring this paralax, they thought they could calculate the distances to the nearby stars. No such luck. Paralax wasn't even detectable until the 19th century. That's how far apart the nearby visible stars are; many orders of magnitude more than interplanetary distances. That's why the ancients differentiated between the "fixed" stars and the "wanderers" or planets. The so-called fixed stars do move, just not much on a human timescale. So, given that the galaxy is roughly about the same star density within a few hundred lightyears, all of the Alliance planets would see the same constellations. Interplanetary navigation could safely assume that there are no observable differences that would affect trajectories between the planets. NASA makes the same assumptions. By the way, the closest star to us, Alpha Centari, is about 26 trillion miles away. Mars is only about 35 million miles farther from the Sun than the Earth. In rough numbers, Alpha Centari is about a million times farther. That's a VERY small angle to measure.

One real problem in the Firefly 'verse is the density of planets and moons in the habitable zone around their star. Way too many. If you tried to cram that many planets in the 40 million mile wide habitable zone around the Sun, they'd collide or be ejected from the solar system. Their Sun would have to be much more luminous and their habitable zone much farther away to be wider. Even so, it would likely be unstable. Worse still, if their star were too big, it would have gone nova in a few tens of millions of years after its formation. There are a lot of other problems with the move humanity to another star system scenario. Any one of them would be a show stopper. But, it's fun to imagine the possibility.

We're all in it together kid. -Harry Tuttle







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