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Improbability of wormholes connecting to habitable planets

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Re: Improbability of wormholes connecting to habitable plane
Post by Galactic Sapper   » Sun Aug 25, 2019 4:43 pm

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Keith_w wrote:Most of the wormholes mentioned, Basilic, Beowulf, Talbot etc., are at least several hours at FTL speeds away from an inhabitable system. Our solar system has a radius of 50AU or approximately 400 light minutes to the Kuiper cliff or 120 AU to the Heliopause or 1000 light minutes (1 AU=93 million miles, or the 8 minutes, 19 seconds that light takes to travel from the Sun to Earth) so this would tend to indicate to me that wormholes do not tend to form in solar systems, habitable or otherwise.

On the other hand, I always wondered why Grendalbane's location was known far and wide making it vulnerable to attack. It seems to me that if you are going to build a strategic resource out in the middle of nowhere you should a) keep the location a deep dark secret and b) protect it with defenses equivalent to those you would use on your home system. Instead, what we got was oooooh the big bad Havenites are here, lets run away and blow up our own stuff.

All of the wormholes we've seen are located in the distant reaches of solar systems, inhabited or not. The Manticore junction is one of the more distant wormholes at something like 12 light hours from the primary - a distance greater than the distance between the primary and secondary stars in the system. Most are only a few light-hours away from the star, and IIRC the Torch wormhole is abnormally close to the star at under a light-hour. For reference, Pluto is about 5.5 light hours out.

Regardless, every known junction is linked to a star and moves with the star relative to the galactic orbit the star is in rather than staying stationary while the system moves away from it at ~500,000 miles an hour. There are no starless junctions like the Starfire universe has.
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Re: Improbability of wormholes connecting to habitable plane
Post by tlb   » Sun Aug 25, 2019 4:51 pm

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Galactic Sapper wrote:Regardless, every known junction is linked to a star and moves with the star relative to the galactic orbit the star is in rather than staying stationary while the system moves away from it at ~500,000 miles an hour. There are no starless junctions like the Starfire universe has.

Saying that it is linked to a star is a stronger statement then saying that it has a galactic orbit that is similar to other things in its vicinity. I am not certain that we have any evidence for your stronger statement, which could be disproved if we find a wormhole junction that is not linked to a star.
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Re: Improbability of wormholes connecting to habitable plane
Post by ThinksMarkedly   » Mon Aug 26, 2019 12:03 am

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tlb wrote:
Galactic Sapper wrote:Regardless, every known junction is linked to a star and moves with the star relative to the galactic orbit the star is in rather than staying stationary while the system moves away from it at ~500,000 miles an hour. There are no starless junctions like the Starfire universe has.

Saying that it is linked to a star is a stronger statement then saying that it has a galactic orbit that is similar to other things in its vicinity. I am not certain that we have any evidence for your stronger statement, which could be disproved if we find a wormhole junction that is not linked to a star.


I think we have two bits of evidence to support that they are linked to the star in question:

1) the MWHJ was described to shift its resonance zone around from one of the two stars of the system to the other every couple of centuries.

2) stars in the vicinity of each other don't have the same direction and speed of proper motion. They are near each other only because of coincidence. If WH endpoints were also coincidentally located, as opposed to gravitationally bound, they'd have drifted from the systems they opened up in and we'd have seen a lot more wormholes opening up much further than a light-day.

The last is, of course, assuming that the wormholes have ages in the same order as star systems themselves. If they are MUCH younger (artificial constructs), then they might not have had enough time to drift apart yet.
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Re: Improbability of wormholes connecting to habitable plane
Post by Galactic Sapper   » Mon Aug 26, 2019 12:19 pm

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tlb wrote:
Galactic Sapper wrote:Regardless, every known junction is linked to a star and moves with the star relative to the galactic orbit the star is in rather than staying stationary while the system moves away from it at ~500,000 miles an hour. There are no starless junctions like the Starfire universe has.

Saying that it is linked to a star is a stronger statement then saying that it has a galactic orbit that is similar to other things in its vicinity. I am not certain that we have any evidence for your stronger statement, which could be disproved if we find a wormhole junction that is not linked to a star.

Speeds of astronomical phenomena are, well, astronomical. Even the slightest deviation from being linked to the star would be noticeable on a human time scale. In the roughly 300 years the MWJ has been known, a deviation of 0.1% from the orbital speed of Manticore A would have moved the junction about 2 light hours from where it was found. That sort of drift should probably have been mentioned by now if it was intended to exist.

ThinksMarkedly wrote:I think we have two bits of evidence to support that they are linked to the star in question:

1) the MWHJ was described to shift its resonance zone around from one of the two stars of the system to the other every couple of centuries.

The MWJ is stated to be fixed to Manticore A, and Manticore B's orbit is distant enough to be beyond the location of the Junction (my memory of the system layout was a bit off). The Honorverse Companion lists the junction 412 light minutes (just under 7 light hours) from Manticore A and Manticore B's orbit being between 650 and 827 light minutes from A.

The distance and orbital period (6525 years, if I mathed correctly) means that the junction could possibly be linked to the barycenter of the system rather than Manticore A (which might make sense given that it's a gravity phenomenon) and the junction could have moved 8 light minutes relative to Manticore A in the time since it was discovered. It's possible the next Manticore Ascendant book could shed some light on the astrophysics of the system (and it can't come soon enough for me!)
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Re: Improbability of wormholes connecting to habitable plane
Post by tlb   » Mon Aug 26, 2019 1:14 pm

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Even accepting that all known wormholes are tied to stars, there still could be wormholes that are not tied to a star. But perhaps the drift might mean that they will be captured as they approach a star.
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Re: Improbability of wormholes connecting to habitable plane
Post by kzt   » Mon Aug 26, 2019 1:24 pm

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I'm pretty sure that, in the honorverse, there is no well accepted theoretical understanding of wormholes that explains all the observed phenomena.
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Re: Improbability of wormholes connecting to habitable plane
Post by Jonathan_S   » Mon Aug 26, 2019 4:23 pm

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tlb wrote:One of those you mention, Torch, might have been occupied because of its proximity to a wormhole. One you did not mention, Matapan, most likely was settled because of the wormhole. Basilisk was inhabited by aliens, the humans are there because of the wormhole.

As you said, wormholes are going to be searched most intensely in the areas near inhabited planets. Suppose one is found, what will happen at any inhabitable planet at the other end? Most likely it will become inhabited. Do we really know the colonization history of every system within a day's travel of a wormhole?

Instead of a sizable percentage of wormholes being found next to inhabited planets, my conjecture is that any habitable planet near a wormhole is likely to become colonized. Yes, that would mean that the MWHJ is a huge outlier (but of course Manticore would not be the subject of the books, if the wormhole junction did not exist).

What we don't know is the the relative abundance of technically habitable planets in the Honorverse. It's clear that wormholes can be powerful incentives to colonization (just look at Yildun - admittedly only the 2nd wormhole found - where they built stations to colonize the system despite the lack of any habitable planet :shock: ).

So it's possible that the discovery of a wormhole is enough to incentivize the colonization of planets that are otherwise so marginal they'd normally be skipped over for more desirably habitats. That might be partly skewing the numbers.


But primarily I think it was driven by plot and storytelling imperatives. It's usually more interesting not to have the wormhole a few light-years away in any uninhabited system. It just adds boring delay to trip descriptions. Now sometimes, as is the case with Lynx, that separation of terminus from inhabited system is interesting because it drives conflict by splitting attention and spreading defensive requirements in a way that wouldn't happen if Lynx had been the actual terminus. But normally the proximity of the inhabited system and it's navy helps move the narrative along.
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Re: Improbability of wormholes connecting to habitable plane
Post by ThinksMarkedly   » Mon Aug 26, 2019 9:39 pm

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Galactic Sapper wrote:The MWJ is stated to be fixed to Manticore A, and Manticore B's orbit is distant enough to be beyond the location of the Junction (my memory of the system layout was a bit off). The Honorverse Companion lists the junction 412 light minutes (just under 7 light hours) from Manticore A and Manticore B's orbit being between 650 and 827 light minutes from A.

The distance and orbital period (6525 years, if I mathed correctly) means that the junction could possibly be linked to the barycenter of the system rather than Manticore A (which might make sense given that it's a gravity phenomenon) and the junction could have moved 8 light minutes relative to Manticore A in the time since it was discovered. It's possible the next Manticore Ascendant book could shed some light on the astrophysics of the system (and it can't come soon enough for me!)


Here's why I think it shifts from one star to the other. RFC gives us a lot of information when he first introduces the concept of Resonance Zones:
At All Costs, Chapter 62 wrote:But since the Manticore Binary System's secondary component lay outside the resonance zone (and would for the next few hundred years or so), Home Fleet had actually been closer to position covering the Junction—in terms of travel time—to Manticore-B than to Manticore-A

(emphasis mine)

What's the distance between the two stars? I think we were told in the books and I remember thinking it was way too small a distance, but I can't find it now. The Wiki lists the outermost planets of the two stars at 157 and 255 light-minutes. That means the distance has to be at least 412 light-minutes or just under 7 light-hours. It must be more than that, otherwise those two planets wouldn't have stable orbits.

But the same chapter above says "The Junction was almost seven light-hours from Manticore-A" and "The Junction's position also put it over eleven light hours from Manticore-B." For the RZ to remain connected to Manticore-A and for Manticore-B simply to go in-between, the distance between the two stars would have to be under 5 light-hours ("over 11" minus "under 7" = 5), which is impossible.

The Junction has to be on the plane of the ecliptic of the system, or at least that of Manticore-A. The next paragraph in that chapter says "Each planet spent half its year inside he zone." If the RZ axis were not on the ecliptic, planets would spend some time less than half the year in the RZ.

We don't know how WH orbits or fail to orbit anything. It could be orbiting Manticore-A or it could be orbiting the system barycentre (or be in a fixed position relative to either). It could even be orbiting Manticore-B at a constant "over 11 light hours", but just happen to be closer to Manticore-A for the next couple of centuries. If it orbits like a planet would at that distance, it completes one orbit in about 800 years, if I got my Third Kepler's Law calculation correct.
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Re: Improbability of wormholes connecting to habitable plane
Post by Theemile   » Tue Aug 27, 2019 7:52 am

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From Jayne's RMN

The Manticore System consists of a G0 star of 1.12 solar masses with a 0.92 solar masses G2 binary component. Both stars orbit a common center of gravity that’s 304 light minutes from the A component and 434 light minutes from the B component. The
apparent eccentricity of the pair approaches 12%, and results in
distances between the stars that range from 650 LM at periastron
to 827 LM at apastron.

...

The Manticore Wormhole Junction

The Manticore Wormhole Junction was discovered in 1585 PD (98
AL). The Manticore Junction lies 412 LM from Manticore A and has
the distinction of being the largest so far discovered, Connecting to no less than six other star systems: Sigma Draconis (Solarian League), Gregor B (Andermani Empire), Trevor’s Star (People’s Republic of Haven), Matipan (Matapan Cluster), Hennessy (Phoenix Cluster) and the most recently discovered Basilisk System, lying approximately 1/3 of the distance from the Republic of Haven to the Andermani Empire.
In addition, the Star Kingdom’s astrophysicists are working with
the latest survey data in the belief that the junction connects to at least one and possibly more additional termini which have yet to be isolated.
The wormhole junction has been a bonanza for the Manticoran economy, attracting a huge concentration of shipping (which helps explain how a star system with less than one fifth the population of the Sol System can have a Gross System Product 78% that of the Mother System). Unfortunately, it has also made the kingdom a player, will it or won’t it, on the galactic stage, as the imperialistic and military implications of the junction are quite clear to all concerned.

Manticore-A
Planet Orbit Size Gravity Moons
Salamander 1.75 LM 0.41 0.25 G 0
Phoenix 6.6 LM 0.75 0.35 G 0
Manticore 11.45 LM 1.22 1.01 G 1
Sphinx 21.25 LM 1.30 1.35 G 2
Draco 40.55 LM 293.66 n/a 7
Roc 79.35 LM 423.19 n/a 9
Wyvern 156.96 LM 38.72 n/a 0
Manticore-B
Planet Orbit Size Gravity Moons
Eriyne 1.05 LM 0.72 0.85 G 0
Gorgon 2.34 LM 0.81 0.76 G 1
Aphrodite 3.63 LM 0.96 1.01 G 2
Damocles 6.21 LM 0.97 1.19 G 0
Gryphon 11.37 LM 1.01 1.05 G 1
Unicorn Belt 21.69 LM n/a n/a n/a
Nibelung Belt 42.33 LM n/a n/a n/a
Titan 83.61 LM 695.26 n/a 11
Gorgan Belt 116.17 LM n/a n/a n/a
Fenris* 258.24 LM 125.62 n/a 7

*Fenris is a gas giant which was apparently captured by Manticore- B long enough ago to reduce the system’s original ninth planet to asteroids. It has an orbital eccentricity of 22% (approaching perigee = 201.51 LM; apogee = 327.38 LM)


Information about the Wormhole orbit is in Hous of Steel (The copy I have on me is corrupted). It orbits Manticore A then shifts to Manticore B every few hundred yeras.
******
RFC said "refitting a Beowulfan SD to Manticoran standards would be just as difficult as refitting a standard SLN SD to those standards. In other words, it would be cheaper and faster to build new ships."
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Re: Improbability of wormholes connecting to habitable plane
Post by ThinksMarkedly   » Tue Aug 27, 2019 10:07 pm

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Theemile wrote:From Jayne's RMN

The Manticore System consists of a G0 star of 1.12 solar masses with a 0.92 solar masses G2 binary component. Both stars orbit a common center of gravity that’s 304 light minutes from the A component and 434 light minutes from the B component. The
apparent eccentricity of the pair approaches 12%, and results in
distances between the stars that range from 650 LM at periastron
to 827 LM at apastron.


Thanks, I knew I had seen the numbers but could not remember where. Searching the entire corpus wasn't something I could do. Out of curiosity, how did you find it?

Anyway, my lower bound estimation for the distance was 424 light-minutes and the upper bound was 18 light-hours (960 light-minutes). Not that I was worried... RFC must have drawn the system and the distances in it a long time ago and unerringly referred to it, even before Jayne's was published.


The Manticore Wormhole Junction

The Manticore Wormhole Junction was discovered in 1585 PD (98
AL). The Manticore Junction lies 412 LM from Manticore A and has
the distinction of being the largest so far discovered, Connecting to no less than six other star systems: Sigma Draconis (Solarian League), Gregor B (Andermani Empire), Trevor’s Star (People’s Republic of Haven), Matipan (Matapan Cluster), Hennessy (Phoenix Cluster) and the most recently discovered Basilisk System, lying approximately 1/3 of the distance from the Republic of Haven to the Andermani Empire.
In addition, the Star Kingdom’s astrophysicists are working with
the latest survey data in the belief that the junction connects to at least one and possibly more additional termini which have yet to be isolated.
The wormhole junction has been a bonanza for the Manticoran economy, attracting a huge concentration of shipping (which helps explain how a star system with less than one fifth the population of the Sol System can have a Gross System Product 78% that of the Mother System). Unfortunately, it has also made the kingdom a player, will it or won’t it, on the galactic stage, as the imperialistic and military implications of the junction are quite clear to all concerned.


Well, we know there was at least one more terminus, discovered after the publication of this Jayne. It's slightly anachronistic, since the review of the ships talks about the Saganami-C and Rolands, which didn't see much ramp up until the war resumed, but is missing the Lynx terminus, which was the highest point of the High Ridge administration.

It was about 60 years between Basilisk and Lynx. I wonder if there'll be another, and where it'll lead.
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