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The Dawn Star and Chihiro

This fascinating series is a combination of historical seafaring, swashbuckling adventure, and high technological science-fiction. Join us in a discussion!
Re: The Dawn Star and Chihiro
Post by ryndieum   » Mon Aug 06, 2018 2:49 pm

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Kael Posavatz wrote:
jlrice54 wrote:Plus exactly what kind of sensors the Gbaba used was never stated specifically by RFC, just that their tech level had been stagnant for millenniums and that the Federation had almost caught up to them by the end. I'm not going to rule out the Gbaba possessing instrumentation that could discriminate between a nickle-iron asteroid and a unpowered starship composed of advanced alloys and composite materials from a considerable distance.


I don't recall it ever being stated how close the Federation was to tech-equivalency with the Gbaba. I don't have OAR in front of me, but as I recall the conversation it was to the effect of the Federation being only a few decades away from the point of being able to flatten the Gbaba's red-army-technique/quantity-is-quality navy.


You are correct. Which implies, but was never stated, that they had achieved some form of equivalency or even superiority. If they were within a few decades of potentially WINNING the war with a much larger opponent, the Federation would have needed a clear tech superiority to do it. That would imply that the tech level they had when Breakaway went off was at least damn close to the Gbaba, if not already ahead of it. Just not far enough ahead to allow Earth to survive.
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Re: The Dawn Star and Chihiro
Post by runsforcelery   » Mon Aug 06, 2018 3:37 pm

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ryndieum wrote:
jlrice54 wrote:Plus exactly what kind of sensors the Gbaba used was never stated specifically by RFC, just that their tech level had been stagnant for millenniums and that the Federation had almost caught up to them by the end. I'm not going to rule out the Gbaba possessing instrumentation that could discriminate between a nickle-iron asteroid and a unpowered starship composed of advanced alloys and composite materials from a considerable distance.


Kael Posavatz wrote:I don't recall it ever being stated how close the Federation was to tech-equivalency with the Gbaba. I don't have OAR in front of me, but as I recall the conversation it was to the effect of the Federation being only a few decades away from the point of being able to flatten the Gbaba's red-army-technique/quantity-is-quality navy.


You are correct. Which implies, but was never stated, that they had achieved some form of equivalency or even superiority. If they were within a few decades of potentially WINNING the war with a much larger opponent, the Federation would have needed a clear tech superiority to do it. That would imply that the tech level they had when Breakaway went off was at least damn close to the Gbaba, if not already ahead of it. Just not far enough ahead to allow Earth to survive.



That is essentially correct. Oh, the sheer scale by that time, with humanity driven back inside the orbit of Mars, might well have worked against them no matter hod good their tech was at that point. But if TFNS Swiftsure had been built with the tech available to the Federation by the time of Breakaway, Starfall would never have happened and an d surviving Gbaba would be speaking Terran Standard English.

It was literally that close . . . which, BTW, is one of the main reasons the Peis and their supporters absolutely refused to sign off on Langhorne's master plan. They had two basic arguments against him, either of which trumped everything he had to say.

(1) The Gbaba will still be there however long the inevitable collapse of your planned technological takes, and without foreknowledge of their existence, we will eventually walk right back into them just as ignorant as we were the first time and (possibly) with rebuilt tech that is inferior to what we had when we met them the first time.

(2) Our tech is better than theirs is right now; we know they are not innovators (for whatever reason); if our descendents know about their existence and know what their tech level was first time around, they just stay safely hidden until they've doubled or trebled our current advantage. And then we go clean their genocidal clock.


"Oh, bother!" said Pooh, as Piglet came back from the dead.
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Re: The Dawn Star and Chihiro
Post by Dilandu   » Mon Aug 06, 2018 3:52 pm

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runsforcelery wrote:That is essentially correct. Oh, the sheer scale by that time, with humanity driven back inside the orbit of Mars, might well have worked against them no matter hod good their tech was at that point.


Gbaba obviously weren't sure of that, since instead of just throwing everything they have against Final Redoubt, they continued with siege. This indicate that they may be worried about the possibility of all-out attack failure, and as a result - human regaining the initiative.
------------------------------

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- Scarecrow from Oz; he was strawman before it became political.

P.S. - And he have Russian twin, to watch his back)
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Re: The Dawn Star and Chihiro
Post by Donnachaidh   » Mon Aug 06, 2018 6:11 pm

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We don't really know anything about the Gbaba's tactics or strategies other than the destruction of all competing species. The little we do know seems to indicate that they don't care how long it takes. If you don't care how long it takes, maintaining a siege is less likely to result in the loss of ships which makes it the conservative approach to dealing with the problem. Everything we know about the Gbaba indicates that they always take the conservative approach (ship design, technology, etc...).

Dilandu wrote:
runsforcelery wrote:That is essentially correct. Oh, the sheer scale by that time, with humanity driven back inside the orbit of Mars, might well have worked against them no matter hod good their tech was at that point.


Gbaba obviously weren't sure of that, since instead of just throwing everything they have against Final Redoubt, they continued with siege. This indicate that they may be worried about the possibility of all-out attack failure, and as a result - human regaining the initiative.
_____________________________________________________
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Re: The Dawn Star and Chihiro
Post by phillies   » Tue Aug 07, 2018 12:26 am

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Found runsforcelery's post above, and deleted my post which turns out to be wrong.
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Re: The Dawn Star and Chihiro
Post by dobriennm   » Tue Aug 07, 2018 1:37 pm

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phillies wrote:Found runsforcelery's post above, and deleted my post which turns out to be wrong.


No, you should have kept it so all the rest of us who have gotten smacked down by the Author could say "Join the (not very exclusive) Club"
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Re: The Dawn Star and Chihiro
Post by Undercover Fat Kid   » Tue Aug 07, 2018 10:30 pm

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Wait....you can delete posts? Next you’ll tell me they csn be edited. :lol:

phillies wrote:Found runsforcelery's post above, and deleted my post which turns out to be wrong.
.
.
Death is as a feather,
Duty is as a mountain
This life is a dream
From which we all
Must wake
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Re: The Dawn Star and Chihiro
Post by Louis R   » Wed Aug 08, 2018 12:51 am

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You know, every so often, I get sufficiently irritated with one of these sweeping declarations that I run some numbers.

In this case, I decided to look at moving Iapetus from Saturn orbit to Earth orbit. More or less - I ignored the change in angular momentum needed to get it into a satisfactory orbit at destination since it gets lost in the rounding off.

Since we know nothing about the technology being used I had to make an arbitrary assumption: the change in kinetic energy represents ~10% of the total energy budget for the operation. My own feeling is that this is pessimistic, but even if I'm off by 2 orders of magnitude the difference to the final result is barely noticeable. [that's in the direction of .1% - _improving_ efficiency makes no practical difference at all].

The other assumptions are that the operation takes 8 years, that energy expenditure is constant over that time, and that waste energy is radiated isotropically. Like improving efficiency, making the move faster changes little, but I figure we should take our time so as to minimise the chances of breaking the thing [celestial bodies are really rather flimsy]. Constant luminosity is a simplification, but reasonable given what we know of the tech - we aren't messing around with impulse drives here. Isotropic radiation is necessary, as if it _isn't_ you simply ensure that the radiation is directed someplace the Gbaba aren't and this whole exercise is a waste of time.

Given those assumptions, delta-V is 20km/s, total expenditure is 3.65810^37 ergs [why ergs? that's the way astronomers do things] and bolometric luminosity is 1.44* 10^29 ergs/s. Truly enormous, right?

Well, actually, on an astronomical scale it's pretty meaningless. It's 3.77*10^-5 times the luminosity of the sun, which with early XXI-century tech is detectable to a distance of perhaps 30ly. At the distance the Gbaba would be seeing it from it won't be resolvable so it has to be seen against the glare of the primary. Which _might_ be possible, depending on the actual SED of the radiator [remember, I said the number above is bolometric luminosity] but will be extremely difficult to distinguish from natural variation even if Kau-Yung happens to be in a completely empty background field for them. For a star in the thin disk, the odds of that are slender. They're somewhat better for the thick disk, but the likelihood of a thick disk star having human-habitable planets aren't good, and few if any of them are going to be G6V anyway. There's a much better chance, assuming you're maintaining an all-sky survey, of noticing that a star up in the halo is behaving oddly - but nobody in his right mind is going to be looking out there for a place to settle.

Dilandu wrote:
Isilith wrote:

And how would they notice it from 100's of LY away?


Sigh. With early XXI-century equipment.

Guys, you really need to refresh your astronomy. Space is basically the very contrast "cold" background. Any heat source could be easily detected on enormous distances with relatively cheap equipment. We could directly observe exoplanets literally THOUSAND of lightyears away (like CVSO 30 system, 1200 ly from Sun) - and no exoplanet emit as much energy as those supposed planetary-moving engine.

If Gbaba have at least our tech level (and there are "some indications" in books that they, indeed, have :) ) they could arrange for periodical scans from automated stations around their sphere of influence with literally miniscule resource requirements. So no, you could NOT hide planetary-moving engines even in space.
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Re: The Dawn Star and Chihiro
Post by isaac_newton   » Wed Aug 08, 2018 5:21 am

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Louis R wrote:You know, every so often, I get sufficiently irritated with one of these sweeping declarations that I run some numbers.

SNIP

Given those assumptions, delta-V is 20km/s, total expenditure is 3.65810^37 ergs [why ergs? that's the way astronomers do things] and bolometric luminosity is 1.44* 10^29 ergs/s. Truly enormous, right?

SNIP

They're somewhat better for the thick disk, but the likelihood of a thick disk star having human-habitable planets aren't good, and few if any of them are going to be G6V anyway. There's a much better chance, assuming you're maintaining an all-sky survey, of noticing that a star up in the halo is behaving oddly - but nobody in his right mind is going to be looking out there for a place to settle.


Thanks for that - v interesting!

two things:
1) it seems to me that if the TF had the ability to handle/generate those energy levels [1/100000 of an entire star IIUC] then handling a few [thousands] Gbaba ships would have been easy peezy

2) can you expand a bit more on that last sentance on not looking in the Halo stars for a new home - I presume that there is some plantary formation theory involved?
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Re: The Dawn Star and Chihiro
Post by Louis R   » Wed Aug 08, 2018 5:57 pm

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1. Those sorts of numbers are actually typical of Himself's style of space opera [I may have had some influence on the public discussion of the 'siphon effect' of Honorverse impeller drives when I and others posted calculations showing that each of 8th Fleet's ships would have had to fuse its entire mass in hydrogen to make the approach to Barnett on internal power. Probably not, of course, since he knows what we're like and would have realised the ammunition he was handing us with that description], which is one reason authors bury them in the bushes: avoids the accusations of implausibility from people who figure that if we can do it, it can't be done. You have to remember that _both_ sides have those power levels to play with, though, so it comes out pretty even in the end.

2. Not planetary-formation theory per se: while the very first stars to form in a galaxy would not have had any planets, because there wasn't yet anything to make them from - and do indeed seem to have formed by slightly different mechanisms for the same reason, it's thought that later generations formed in essentially the same way that we see in operation today. And planets appear to fall out the bottom of the blender almost automatically. However, the oldest of them have very low metallicities as a rule, which means that there wouldn't have been very _much_ material to make planets from and the planets that did form would be [this is my speculation, BTW] tiny and/or ice balls, rather like very large comets. The stars of the galactic halo are precisely those old, low-Z stars, meaning that the ones still shining are small very-late K or M dwarves with planets that are either warm and _very_ dry or dimly-lit and cold. Neither condition is as exclusive of life as some have assumed, but any life is going to be built around biochemistries that aren't as dependent on atoms heavier than iron - or between neon and iron, for that matter - as ours is. We won't be looking to settle, or even hide, out there because from our point of view there are _no_ resources to exploit. A methane-breather, of course, would probably think we're insanely picky ;)


isaac_newton wrote:
Louis R wrote:You know, every so often, I get sufficiently irritated with one of these sweeping declarations that I run some numbers.

SNIP

Given those assumptions, delta-V is 20km/s, total expenditure is 3.65810^37 ergs [why ergs? that's the way astronomers do things] and bolometric luminosity is 1.44* 10^29 ergs/s. Truly enormous, right?

SNIP

They're somewhat better for the thick disk, but the likelihood of a thick disk star having human-habitable planets aren't good, and few if any of them are going to be G6V anyway. There's a much better chance, assuming you're maintaining an all-sky survey, of noticing that a star up in the halo is behaving oddly - but nobody in his right mind is going to be looking out there for a place to settle.


Thanks for that - v interesting!

two things:
1) it seems to me that if the TF had the ability to handle/generate those energy levels [1/100000 of an entire star IIUC] then handling a few [thousands] Gbaba ships would have been easy peezy

2) can you expand a bit more on that last sentance on not looking in the Halo stars for a new home - I presume that there is some plantary formation theory involved?
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