Author Topic: How big is the IS compared to the rest of the Galaxy?  (Read 5550 times)

Daemion

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How big is the IS compared to the rest of the Galaxy?
« on: 31 August 2023, 11:21:32 »
I've always been curious about how big the Inner Sphere happens to be compared to the galactic plane, let alone how big it looks compared to the rest of the Milky Way.  One reason is because of the 2D rendering of the space maps.  But, are there actually two more directions one can go? 

And, also, I'm curious how it would scale to, say, the UFP of Star Trek or the Imperium from 40k.

I could easily look up the numbers:
100,000 LY across and 1000 LY thick across the disk, except for the 12,000 LY thick bulge at the center.

So, with the IS being nominally 1000 LY across, it looks like it can potentially fill the galactic disk around the Earth (Terra).  But, how does that look on a galactic map?

Kinda wish we had some visual to be able to grasp the 1% space the IS takes up.  Was that ever done?

 

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Re: How big is the IS compared to the rest of the Galaxy?
« Reply #2 on: 31 August 2023, 12:05:42 »
https://www.sarna.net/wiki/File:MilkyWay.jpg

Oh, the added overlay really helps here with visualizing the distances involved.
« Last Edit: 31 August 2023, 12:07:20 by tassa_kay »
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Re: How big is the IS compared to the rest of the Galaxy?
« Reply #3 on: 31 August 2023, 12:15:49 »
And, also, I'm curious how it would scale to, say, the UFP of Star Trek or the Imperium from 40k.

Per the First Contact movie, the Federation spans 8,000 light-years, but is much less densely populated planet-wise than the Inner Sphere.
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I am Belch II

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Re: How big is the IS compared to the rest of the Galaxy?
« Reply #4 on: 31 August 2023, 12:21:51 »
This was a overlay with some of the real space objects out there.
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glitterboy2098

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Re: How big is the IS compared to the rest of the Galaxy?
« Reply #5 on: 31 August 2023, 18:32:17 »
i trust the official catalyst map more, since a lot of fan maps have issues with scaling and view angle. and iirc that fan map came out before this official one. which helps explain why it was made with the inner sphere upsidedown and backwards relative to the surrounding space. (or more specifically, they picked the wrong orientation for their real space map) they have Vela on the wrong side, and too far out, the california nebula is on the wrong sides of the IS, same for orion..


https://www.sarna.net/wiki/File:Deep_Periphery_-_lg.png

to give some context.. this is an older galaxy map made by Witchell Winchell Chung of Atomic Rockets. the inner sphere is entirely hidden by the dot indicating the sun, and the edge of explored deep periphery is where the map has the dot "orion nebula" and "california nebula"


yes they overlap on this map. humanity has explored less than 1% of 1% of the galaxy, and settled even less.

here is an up to date milky way map btw, using the most recent astronomical knowledge about its shape and layout.

the inner sphere and deep periphery lies within the tiny zone around the sun between the Gould belt and the orion nebula markings.


if we zoom in closer, we learn some interesting stuff. like how most of the inner sphere proper lies with in the "local bubble", a supernova remnant a thousand plus light years across where the density of material in interstellar space is 1/10th the average for the rest of the  galaxy.
« Last Edit: 31 August 2023, 20:24:02 by glitterboy2098 »

Daryk

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Re: How big is the IS compared to the rest of the Galaxy?
« Reply #6 on: 31 August 2023, 20:18:54 »
I believe that's "Winchell Chung", but otherwise an outstanding reference! :)

glitterboy2098

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Re: How big is the IS compared to the rest of the Galaxy?
« Reply #7 on: 31 August 2023, 20:23:24 »
I believe that's "Winchell Chung", but otherwise an outstanding reference! :)
thanks for the correction.. i was writing from memory and i'm bad with names. i should have double checked.

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Re: How big is the IS compared to the rest of the Galaxy?
« Reply #8 on: 31 August 2023, 20:36:13 »
No worries, and just happy to help! :)

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Re: How big is the IS compared to the rest of the Galaxy?
« Reply #9 on: 31 August 2023, 20:42:54 »
1% of the galaxy is not a lot compared to the whole thing. But it still takes 40+ weeks to go from one side to the other so its all relative.
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Re: How big is the IS compared to the rest of the Galaxy?
« Reply #10 on: 31 August 2023, 22:20:54 »
Well, it would actually only be .1% once you bring area into the equation.  1 percent of the width, combined with 1 percent of the breadth.

Thanks, guys!  This was really informative.

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Pat Payne

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Re: How big is the IS compared to the rest of the Galaxy?
« Reply #11 on: 01 September 2023, 14:45:53 »
.
 
And, also, I'm curious how it would scale to, say, the UFP of Star Trek or the Imperium from 40k.


The Federation is at least an order of magnitude larger than the Inner Sphere, going by official and semi-official maps. You could reasonably fit a number of Inner Spheres in the space the Federation takes up, going by some of the charts. Oddly, you could also fit all of Charted Space from Traveller a few times over in the space the Federation takes up as well.

But even the UFP is dinky compared to the Known Space of Warhammer 40K. Given their "bigger is better, so bigg-est must be better-est" mentality, charted space in the 40K-verse looks to take in most of the Milky Way at a minimum.


idea weenie

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Re: How big is the IS compared to the rest of the Galaxy?
« Reply #12 on: 02 September 2023, 09:05:17 »
Well, it would actually only be .1% once you bring area into the equation.  1 percent of the width, combined with 1 percent of the breadth.

Thanks, guys!  This was really informative.

 :wink:

1% * 1% = .01%

(1/100 * 1/100 = 1/10 000)

Gladius-XC

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Re: How big is the IS compared to the rest of the Galaxy?
« Reply #13 on: 02 September 2023, 09:18:52 »
In the online game Elite Dangerous, there is a procedurally generated galaxy with 400 billion systems. In the decade that it has existed, players have only discovered .059% of the galaxy, despite having travelled completely across the galaxy.  Suffice to say that the 1000 LY breadth of the Inner Sphere is a drop in the bucket.

Daemion

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Re: How big is the IS compared to the rest of the Galaxy?
« Reply #14 on: 02 September 2023, 19:42:13 »
:wink:

1% * 1% = .01%

(1/100 * 1/100 = 1/10 000)

Thanks.  I was wondering when someone would correct me on that.
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Re: How big is the IS compared to the rest of the Galaxy?
« Reply #15 on: 07 September 2023, 21:05:14 »
Me, in my humble opinion, that between each, "Habitable", world, there should be several scores of uninhabitable-systems to have to jump through.  But that's me and my modern-studies in astronomy talkin'. 

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Re: How big is the IS compared to the rest of the Galaxy?
« Reply #16 on: 07 September 2023, 23:32:04 »
i trust the official catalyst map more, since a lot of fan maps have issues with scaling and view angle. and iirc that fan map came out before this official one. which helps explain why it was made with the inner sphere upsidedown and backwards relative to the surrounding space. (or more specifically, they picked the wrong orientation for their real space map) they have Vela on the wrong side, and too far out, the california nebula is on the wrong sides of the IS, same for orion..

All told, it was a real-life star chart very similar to that which we used to create the "official" Deep Periphery Map. We noted several astronomical features (though, of course, hardly ALL of them) lined up well with the Inner Sphere, but only when the IS map was reversed and flipped over.

That was many a year ago, though.

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Re: How big is the IS compared to the rest of the Galaxy?
« Reply #17 on: 08 September 2023, 05:23:11 »
It's even less than 0.01%, since the values given above are area, not volume.

It is, admittedly, astoundingly difficult to represent a 3D map, especially one at a galactic scale in a comprehensible way.

(Which is why when I did what constitutes a map for my stuff, it was very, very crude, since it would be impossible for me do to anything like a 3D map because it would be phenominally complicated (bordergore like a bad game of Crusader Kings II only in 3D).

VhenRa

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Re: How big is the IS compared to the rest of the Galaxy?
« Reply #18 on: 09 September 2023, 21:27:18 »
100,000 LY across


If I recall they've since realized their numbers were off... its closer to 200kly across by current estimations.

Cdpkrtnvr23

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Re: How big is the IS compared to the rest of the Galaxy?
« Reply #19 on: 11 September 2023, 00:29:25 »

If I recall they've since realized their numbers were off... its closer to 200kly across by current estimations.

Google says the latest estimates are still about 100,000 light years.

Charistoph

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Re: How big is the IS compared to the rest of the Galaxy?
« Reply #20 on: 11 September 2023, 00:38:42 »
If I were to make an analogy.  Think of your average sidewalk section.  That's either the Inner Sphere or explored space, somewhere in there.

Now think of your average metropolis and that is the galaxy.

Which always reminds me of that quote at the beginning of Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.
“Space is big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the road to the chemist's, but that's just peanuts to space.”
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glitterboy2098

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Re: How big is the IS compared to the rest of the Galaxy?
« Reply #21 on: 11 September 2023, 00:41:28 »
Google says the latest estimates are still about 100,000 light years.
my understanding is that the larger estimates are currently stuck in a lot of academic debate, much of it revolving around the validity of the measuring methods, the processing of the data, and just exactly how one defines the "edge" of a galaxy.

so you know, the usual.

Charistoph

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Re: How big is the IS compared to the rest of the Galaxy?
« Reply #22 on: 11 September 2023, 00:55:43 »
Well, it's kind of hard to tell when we're in the middle of one side and we likely won't have anything that can see it all from above the galaxy's ecliptic any time soon.
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Re: How big is the IS compared to the rest of the Galaxy?
« Reply #23 on: 11 September 2023, 09:04:06 »
The funny thing is that in theory, the jump speed of the Inner Sphere, even with a week long cooldown is probably faster than Warp Speed from ST.

The standard jump distance is 30LY max, it can be pushed but with a rapidly escalating chance of failure so lets say you do a 30LY jump.
A Star Trek ship going along at Warp 6 (because they'd probably not charge around everywhere at full speed) does 2.4LY a day, meaning that its about 12.5 days to do 30LY. In that time the Jump Ships charged and jumped ahead another 30LY.

The delay may be long but because the distance covered is pretty darn fast, the KF drive is surprisingly 'fast' in an odd way :D

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Re: How big is the IS compared to the rest of the Galaxy?
« Reply #24 on: 11 September 2023, 10:36:59 »
It's even less than 0.01%, since the values given above are area, not volume.

It is, admittedly, astoundingly difficult to represent a 3D map, especially one at a galactic scale in a comprehensible way.

(Which is why when I did what constitutes a map for my stuff, it was very, very crude, since it would be impossible for me do to anything like a 3D map because it would be phenominally complicated (bordergore like a bad game of Crusader Kings II only in 3D).

Only if you want to treat the Inner Sphere as an honest sphere.  But, I pointed out that the Galaxy is a disk, and one that's nominally considered 1000 ly thick.  And, the breadth of the IS is 1000 ly.  I'm assuming that the depth of the IS is also 1000 ly.  So, it could be looked at as the Inner Disk instead of the Inner Sphere.  So, volume can be discarded in that light when comparing the IS to the rest of the Galaxy.

But, the volume aspect does bring up the interesting question of whether systems that look 30 ly away from one another actually are once you bring in the 3rd dimension. Everything is measured from Terra, so that would skew 3d measurements compressed into 2d.

It's kinda like how the 2d maps of the Earth are skewed the more you go toward the pole, making the north and south portions look bigger than they actually are. 

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glitterboy2098

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Re: How big is the IS compared to the rest of the Galaxy?
« Reply #25 on: 11 September 2023, 11:00:32 »
The funny thing is that in theory, the jump speed of the Inner Sphere, even with a week long cooldown is probably faster than Warp Speed from ST.

The standard jump distance is 30LY max, it can be pushed but with a rapidly escalating chance of failure so lets say you do a 30LY jump.
A Star Trek ship going along at Warp 6 (because they'd probably not charge around everywhere at full speed) does 2.4LY a day, meaning that its about 12.5 days to do 30LY. In that time the Jump Ships charged and jumped ahead another 30LY.

The delay may be long but because the distance covered is pretty darn fast, the KF drive is surprisingly 'fast' in an odd way :D
agreed. even using the faster TNG warp scale a jump drive could easily outpace a warp 5 ship, which is the "galactic speed limit" for most vessels in the alpha quadrant. (few civilian vessels can go faster, and most of the military vessels got limited to those speeds due to the damage their drives do to space..though that bit was being fixed post-DS9 with new drive designs. but even the ships with those new drives seem to stick to it.. Voyager's stated offscreen travel times for example averages out to about warp 5 cruising, and they did more than warp 6 on screen except in emergencies)
and using the ENT/TOS/TMP warp scale, which is even slower (albeit with more gradation involved) a jump drive could easily outpace even fast ships like the constitution class.

the big limitation of jump drives is that they are discontinuous drives, going point to point without crossing the intervening space. which limits your ability to detect things in between (especially if you only have STL sensors like in BT), and the need for the lengthy recharge period, which makes you more vulnerable to attack since you can't just warp out when an enemy approaches. not to mention the jump point limitation. in a war between a warp civilization and a KF drive civilization, the warp civilization would probably win most of the defensive battles, since they could easily station ships outside a jump point boundary and ambush the jumpship or any dropships it send in system.
but offensively unless it had TNG levels of warp drive speeds, it would have strategic mobility limitations.

Charistoph

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Re: How big is the IS compared to the rest of the Galaxy?
« Reply #26 on: 11 September 2023, 11:22:39 »
And yet, the Jump Drive of the Asimov's Empire of Man was far more efficient.  Energy storage wasn't the problem there.  Accuracy was.  Most pilots would take a week for calculations so they wouldn't end up in the wrong place.  But, that's with 50's calculation systems at play.

When Asimov readdressed the end point of that universe with the last 2 Foundation books, he had a ship doing multiple rapid jumps so the protag was half way across the galaxy in half an hour, and it could have gone farther if their destination had been further.

I only mention that because Battletech's Jump Drive is clearly patterned (though, not exactly, obviously) after the same concept as Asimov's Robots/Empire/Foundation Jump Drive.  BT's problem being the sensitivity of the energy storage used for the Jump Drive.  If it wasn't for that, travel across the Sphere would be much faster, and that doesn't even address how quickly one could go between the Pentagon Worlds and the Sphere if that recharge time didn't need to be so long for safety reasons.
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VhenRa

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Re: How big is the IS compared to the rest of the Galaxy?
« Reply #27 on: 11 September 2023, 23:51:56 »
As far as warp goes?

ENT/TOS scale a KF Drive [using max distance and fastest possible safe recharging, so somewhat unrealistically] comes out to about Warp 11.5. NCC-1701 Enterprise maxes out at Warp 8 for their max safe sprint speed. [For context: 8 is about 512c, 11.5 is about ~1500c]

Warp 11.5 TOS is about Warp 9 TNG scale.

[Given stated distances and times for Voyager, that 70 years from home... was assuming they'd be cruising at Warp 8 the whole time. Somewhat optimistic]

[Using what I'd consider somewhat more realistic assumptions for KF Drive... it's probably closer to 10.7/8.5]
« Last Edit: 11 September 2023, 23:57:42 by VhenRa »

Daemion

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Re: How big is the IS compared to the rest of the Galaxy?
« Reply #28 on: 12 September 2023, 11:23:33 »
Regarding Voyager: That show came post TNG speed limit.  But, remember that the reason the speed limit was implemented wasn't because of the damage from a single passing. It was repeat passings across limited lanes from frequent traffic.  And, to be pedantic, it was damage to subspace, not real space.

Basically, it's similar to how highways and roads work on Earth, now.  More traffic will see the rapid onset of wear and tear compared to roads that see even a small handful of cars daily, if that, lasting years. 

Voyager would be bee-lining to the Alpha quadrant, and arguably the only ship to take that path.  So they wouldn't have to be beholden to the 'speed limit' for subspace concerns.  They would only be limited to engine fatigue issues.

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Re: How big is the IS compared to the rest of the Galaxy?
« Reply #29 on: 12 September 2023, 12:02:46 »
Star Trek has just about the slowest FTL drives I think of, with possible exception of a) Red Dwarf and b) 40K (given how fundamentally unreliable it is...)



The speed limit was also definitely case of Writers Do Not Understand Scale; the idea that even if it was credible that ships flew repeated along the exact same bit of space[1], it could't have been addressed by just Moving A Bit To The Side and scattering the transit path (how big was that anomoly, really? In actual terms of the galaxy giving a frack?) was really kind of silly. They let the message and analogy really overwrite sense. TNG wasn't immune to Stupid Plots, even if in hindsight Voyager got the worst of those... (A cursory look at Memory Alpha also suggestes the production crew wasn't even very keen on that episode, either...)



[1]With an FTL system explictly NOT limited to jump-points or hyperlanes...