Author Topic: Commonwealth Space Background  (Read 2214 times)

Offline Stormwell

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Commonwealth Space Background
« on: October 14, 2011, 09:10:02 pm »
Bits and pieces of use.

~ ~ ~

The Epsilon Dust Disc (EDD)

The EDD is the equivalent of the Kuiper belt in the solar system, a ring of dust left over from planetary and system formation. It forms a dense ring of dust around the system outside the orbit of the outermost planet. The EDD is massive; Epsilon Eridani has over a thousand times more dust than the Kuiper belt. This means that compared to the Solar System there is a distinct ?fog? of dust debris out past the planets of this system that is much thicker than that in the system that provides a home for Earth. This is obvious to anyone approaching the system and is an important astronomic feature. It has also produced a very high density of comets (for every comet in the solar system, there are hundreds in Epsilon Eridani) and impacts have therefore been intense in this system over its lifespan. The EDD is also a significant hazard for incoming ships. It is dense enough that hitting the EDD at FTL is likely to be unpleasant; hitting a comet concealed within the EDD is unlikely but certainly terminal. Flying at high speed through a massive dust cloud just isn?t clever and to a certain extent the EDD will always make travel to Epsilon Eridani difficult.

Offline Stormwell

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Re: Commonwealth Space Background
« Reply #1 on: October 25, 2011, 12:16:26 pm »
Gilbert Colony

Gilbert is a large, well-established Commonwealth Colony planet. Some of the cities are fifty years old and the culture is like northern Britain or Canada. The average temperature is cold but agriculture is highly successful.

Typical Hazards

Fire:- High levels of oxygen mean that combustion is extremely easy and fires start quickly and burn very fiercely. The punishments for arson on Gilbert are notably severe for this reason. Arguably a visitor is much more likely to get into trouble for disobeying the fire regulations than to actually be endangered by a fire.

Cold:- Gilbert is generally colder than earth and suitable preparation must be made for the conditions. Freezing temperatures and snowfall are a fact of life. Gilbert has a long day (so winter nights are notably cold) but a short year (so winter does not last so long).

Planetary Information

Gilbert takes 214 terrestrial days to orbit Epsilon Eridani at a distance of 99.54 million km. The orbit is not near circular but shows a high degree of eccentricity (approx 0.24). This is very unusual but is a feature of most of the planets in this system. It is a large (5367Km radius) planet with a surface gravity of 1.09G. It rotates every 41 hours and has an average temperature of two degrees centigrade. However the size and orbital eccentricity means that surface temperature has a larger range over the  year than would be expected on Earth. The atmosphere is breathable, air pressure is only 0.8 Earth normal but composition is 65% Nitrogen, 30% Oxygen, 2% Neon and 2% Argon. That means Gilbert has an atmospheric availability of 24%, that makes it a Grade A breathable atmosphere, in some ways better than Earth and is normally described as ?bracing?, it feels fresh, highly oxygenated and cold. This compensates for the slightly higher gravity. There are extensive icecaps; this planet is significantly colder on average than Earth but there are also some extensive oceans albeit nothing as large as the Pacific Ocean of Earth.

Meterology:- First thing to understand about Gilbert is that it has strong seasonality that affects all activity on the planet. Summer may be hot but winter will be very cold and weather is driven by these seasonal changes. The expectation therefore is to have seasonal weather (?spring rains, summer sun, autumn fall and winter snow?). Winter can be severe and there is often heavy snowfall across large areas of the planet. It therefore matters what time of year a journey is to be planned for. However the year is shorter than a terrestrial year (just 214 days) so this is seldom much of a restriction.

Geology:- The geology of Gilbert is comparable to that of Earth, there are a wide range of minerals, deposits of coal and oil exist although nothing the size of the middle eastern oil fields has yet been discovered. Gilbert doesn?t seem to lack anything that Earth has although proportions may be slightly different. Tectonic activity on Gilbert seems to be lower than on Earth, so although there are thermal springs in New Scotland Province the only volcanoes are under-sea and appear to be products of the mid-ocean ridge. Mining has developed locally but productivity is not large enough for export as Gilbertian industry continues to develop. Refined metal is imported for specialist purposes and there are known deposits of uranium in several locations.

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Re: Commonwealth Space Background
« Reply #2 on: October 25, 2011, 12:50:07 pm »
The Cities of Gilbert Colony

The cities of Gilbert are what the future looked like in the fifties. The original colonists were originally from England which is why the flag of the colony uses the flag of St. George. The cities feature carefully planned city centres with mainly concrete modernist architecture. But more modern buildings (from the seventies onward) are more likely to be of local wood. A typical suburban house is therefore likely to be an all wood construction with a sharply canted roof with large eaves. Much of the population of Gilbert lives in the equatorial region, where the temperatures are fairly mild all year round. The Gilbertians are culturally inclined towards good insulation and energy efficiency but often use local materials, stoves are often wood burning. Houses are built to cope with cold weather and heavy rain or snow. These near-equatorial cities, Penzance, Cairns and Ashburnham have an average temperature that is much higher than is normal for the rest of the planet. Penzance never gets below the freezing point of water and summers there can hit thirty degrees centigrade, but that is perceived as ?tropical? by most Gilbertians. The northern-most city of the Colony is Christchurch which apart from being very much a Kiwi city is also prone to some harsh winters, residents can expect to spend quite a bit of time digging snow out of their roads. Generally the city layout is a grid-pattern and low-rise. That does mean that some areas have considerable urban sprawl. Although cars (Land Rovers) are quite common, so is horse ownership. Rural areas of Gilbert may use horse drawn transport and this is seen as a positive aspect of life in the colony. The administrative system on Gilbert uses the typical county and provincial system. The provinces (Western Isles, Transpolar, New Scotland and Ellesmere) have their own intermediate elected councils.

The Western Isles Province

This Province covers the western continent and the three cities on it (Cairns, Iolanthe and Botany Bay). The western continent is virtually ice free all year round apart from the southern tip which has mountain glaciations that expand somewhat during the winter.

Cairns

Cairns has a population of over one hundred thousand colonists and under forty thousand evacuees. This is a significant industrial city even by Earth standards and if Cairns were the only city on the planet this would still be a highly viable colony. It is surrounded by useful sources of iron ore and coal, which makes a variety of manufacturing industries easy to establish and maintain. Many of the original colonists were from the Midlands of the UK and they brought heavy industrial crafts with them. There is nothing particularly exotic about Cairns, it is a low-rise city with a grid-plan road network, locals go to the beach on the weekend. Residential housing is interspersed with all sorts of light industry with the heavy industry in a ring around the outside of Cairns. This keeps the city-centre as the focus and allows easy access for raw materials.

Iolanthe

Iolanthe is home to the University of Gilbert Colony (UGC). This is a good mid-sized university specialising in engineering and agriculture. UGC is the home of the Weymouth Project on Gilbert.

Botany Bay

Botany Bay is actually a conurbation that covers three connected towns, New Surrey, Uphampton and Second Deptford. The University of Gilbert Colony extension here also contains the medical school. Gilbert has its own medical training system which has helped it deal with the peculiarities of its environment (mainly the long term effects of high oxygen atmosphere).

The Transpolar Province

Transpolar is a land bridge between the north and south poles of Gilbert. Obviously each end of the continent has permanent icecap and the two cities (Christchurch and Pinafore) are towards the northern end.

Christchurch

Christchurch is full of New Zealand evacuees. This makes it a very pleasant and lively town. It is mainly agricultural with cattle and lamberkin. The local accent is notably influenced by the influx of Kiwis.

Pinafore

Pinafore is notable for being the site of the New Zealand memorial and the centre of the Kiwi Day celebrations. Sport is a major pre-occupation on Transpolar and virtually every settlement has its own Ice Cricket team and most also have a football team.

The Province of New Scotland

This province has snow covered mountains and heavy snowfall during the winter. It has one significant city, St Peter?s. It gets cold in winter but has indigenous whisky production. The local accent is very strong and can be hard to follow.

St Peter?s Port

St Peter?s Port has some coal mining and is home for much of the fishing industry on Gilbert. It is a small friendly city and looks more like one of the smaller cities on the East Coast of Canada did in the mid-twentieth century. New Scotland received many immigrants from Scotland and a fair number of refugees after the impact. It is known for its strong local politics and the influence of ?The Thistle? newspaper in local affairs.

Ellesmere Province

Ellesmere was the site of the first colonial settlements on Gilbert.

Penzance

Penzance is the Colonial Capitol and is the Commonwealth Colonial Authority administrative centre for Gilbert. The city itself is not densely populated, it is modernist with a well laid out central area and radiating streets. The farms and villages spread out for some considerable distance. Many people are government employees and the general feeling is more like the Home Counties of England than an alien world. Obviously there are visual cues (such as the redgrass) but the whole area gives a feeling of permanence and quiet which denies its recent construction.

Ashburnham

Ashburnham is a long established city and has developed a strong regional identity. The local accent is distinctive (similar to a Lancashire accent). Ashburnham is another near-equatorial city, so the winters are not that bad but there is a strong seasonality. Ashburnham has something of everything, a strong agricultural base (various cereals, cattle and lamberkin), some mining, some manufacturing and even some high tech services. It is proud of its mixed economy and people born in Ashburnham County tend to stay there. If they do go anywhere else, they have a bit of a reputation for being boring about how great Ashburnham is.

Mikado

Mikado has a regular ferry service to Penzance and is a mixed economy city that supports Penzance. Mikado is the site of the Gilbert Research Institute which contains labs used by the Weymouth Project.

Offline Stormwell

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Re: Commonwealth Space Background
« Reply #3 on: October 30, 2011, 12:28:13 pm »
This is the system that Gilbert resides in.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/2/29/Ssc2008-19a.jpg

Offline Magz

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Re: Commonwealth Space Background
« Reply #4 on: October 30, 2011, 01:50:25 pm »
Nice pic :)

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