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Offline Spike

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Re: A toy for people interested in space games and astronomy
« Reply #35 on: November 19, 2009, 09:39:10 AM »
Are there people here who have a background in geology and maybe astronomy as well? I'm working on planet details, and have problems with the soil and surface details.

Particularly, I want to develop this project a bit into the direction of a "space miner" game, and I need information what kind of minerals are interesting to miners, what kind of minerals are usually found in planets soils, or at least general information how to classify the compounds of planet soil.
 
Edit:

A preview of the planet detail screen.

[link lost]
Edit 2:

A new version is out!

I've added a whole new screen to explore planetary resources. At the moment there are only atmosphere compounds calculated, but more are planned. Besides that, there have been minor improvements in star naming, a change in body temperature calculations, and the improved "rocky planet with atmosphere" image was included.

To open the new planet explorer screen, just click a planet in the tabular system view.

Since I feel uncertain if this works well, I've uploaded it as a release candidate for the time being:
=> [link lost]

Feedback of all kind is welcome as usual :)

Edit 3: I forgot to say, the box in the lower are will show the available probing and gathering drones, once I have more of the space ship idea implemented. Probing drones will be needed to find the right places for mining, and collection of surface fluids, gathering drones will use this information to do the actual job. So far, a placeholder.
« Last Edit: December 24, 2011, 10:59:28 PM by Hajo »

Offline Spike

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Re: A toy for people interested in space games and astronomy
« Reply #36 on: November 20, 2009, 09:05:48 AM »
Since there were no problem reports, I have moved the 0.17 release candidate to the official place:

=> [link lost]

I've made some progress with calculating metal resources on planet surfaces, but that is too little of a change to release a new version already again. I think I should work on the space station UI next, also try to sketch a few probing and gathering drone designs.
« Last Edit: December 24, 2011, 10:59:44 PM by Hajo »

Offline The Hood

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Re: A toy for people interested in space games and astronomy
« Reply #37 on: November 20, 2009, 10:19:51 AM »
I have a background in geology, but was never really interested in soils or mining.  Much too small and far too close to the surface to be of interest to me!

I think the most interesting ones for mining though are iron ore (haematite), aluminium ore (bauxite), precious metals (gold, silver platinum etc), and of course diamonds.  Diamonds are a high pressure crustal mineral so should only be found in areas where the planet's crust is thick AND where they've had chance to get back to the surface, e.g. volcano (hence why you don't get them everywhere on earth...)

But I don't really know too much.  You could always make exotic fictitious minerals with your own relationships (in the style of Tiberium from Command & Conquer...)

Offline Spike

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Re: A toy for people interested in space games and astronomy
« Reply #38 on: November 20, 2009, 10:35:09 AM »
Just by chance, do you know which metals can be found as metals, and not as ores?   So far I have lead, tin, copper, silver, gold, platinum on my list. I decided that on atmosphere less planets also chromium can be found as metal, and manganese occasionally on both, planets with or without atmosphere. Are there other interesting metals?

Iron ore I have on my list. Is bauxite worth something for a space miner? I think it is plentiful on most planets, and few planets will need to import bauxite? But I can add it anyways. Would there be planet types where bauxite is more frequent than on others (talking about rocky planets now, just differing in temperatures and atmosphere).

Diamonds I'll keep in mind. Are there other interesting crystals and gems?

Also, some planets might bear alien artifacts, which might be interesting to collect and sell to scientists.

Thanks for the suggestions so far :)

Offline VS

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Re: A toy for people interested in space games and astronomy
« Reply #39 on: November 20, 2009, 12:46:54 PM »
Regarding applet size, just optipng -o7 *.png (and deleting metadata) removed around 100 kB  (~25%).
http://files.simutrans.us/files/get/eEtxSWGlko/solarex-resources-small.zip

As to ores, minerals and metals, wouldn't it make more sense to mine these from smaller bodies with lower gravity? By smaller I mean smaller than currently simulated, like asteroids...

« Last Edit: November 20, 2009, 02:12:08 PM by VS »

Offline Spike

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Re: A toy for people interested in space games and astronomy
« Reply #40 on: November 20, 2009, 01:06:18 PM »
Thank you, these better compressed images will be very useful :) I'll need to add more images at some point, and was already worried about the download size.

I'll compile the next release with these images.

Mining smaller space bodies will most likely be more sensible. But I don't have such yet in the simulation, that's why I focused on the planets first. I think the facts that I can learn about metals and minerals in regard to planets will later also help to model different space bodies. Quite some of the planets should have low gravity, though, and therefore be easy to access.

On the other hand, gravity will help to support drilling actions, also some sorts of digging.

Asteroids can be almost pure metal, though, so just catching them should do the job already.

Edit: Also fetched me this optipng tool ;D

Offline prissi

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Re: A toy for people interested in space games and astronomy
« Reply #41 on: November 20, 2009, 07:06:37 PM »
Almost all but the Platinum, Gold, Silver are oxides and will oxidize on air. Zink ist found as an oxide, but a relatively unstable one, as far as I know. The stuff you would mine in pace as the rare stuff, like Iridium, Indium, Osmium, Hafnium, Luthecium, and so on. Of course on of the starnge superheavy elements might be important too for the energy cells. Those should be only around in young systems (with blue giants).

Offline Spike

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Re: A toy for people interested in space games and astronomy
« Reply #42 on: November 21, 2009, 08:17:28 PM »
I'll be back with more questions about the metals.

But for today, I'm proud to present the Fanfostar Chorus-12 gas filtration drone, manufactured by Deep Breath 2001!


It's also known as the "Thirteen Horns of Jericho", due to the enervating sound that it produces while evacuating the pressure chambers. In dark space station bars there are rumors told, that more than one space ship was shattered to pieces just from the sound waves, when readying this drone for launch. And even veteran space prospectors are said to pray once, or maybe better twice, if they consider making use of this fine piece of modern gathering technology.

Yet, it is definitely unsurpassed in efficiency by any other gathering drone, and will endure even the most hostile atmospheric conditions - says the bundled operation manual. And it comes with a 3 day warranty.



Offline Spike

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Re: A toy for people interested in space games and astronomy
« Reply #43 on: November 22, 2009, 09:57:49 PM »
Another fine piece of gas filtration technology is the Trompetechos Dual, manufactured by Zhoofump & Smithbone:


Much more silent than the Fanfostar Chorus-12, the Trompetechos Dual is the preferred gas gathering drone of many aspiring prospectors. It works reliably in most atmospheres, but is allergic to dust particles and ice crystals, particularly in atmospheres with some amount of fluid hydrocarbons. Several sets of brushes and scoops are bundled with the Trompetechos Dual, and the curses of the staff are legendary when they are ordered to clean the intake horns after mission.

Offline Spike

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Re: A toy for people interested in space games and astronomy
« Reply #44 on: November 23, 2009, 09:20:25 AM »
I've completed my list of metal candidates - those are mostly metals that can be found natively on earth, and therefore I assume can be found natively on other planets, too. Particularly on those planets with a less oxidative atmosphere.

        Chromium, Lead, Manganese, Tin, Copper, Silver, Gold, Platinum,
        Titanium, Zinc, Mercury, Iron, Nickel,
        Iridium, Osmium, Palladium, Rhodium, Ruthenium,
        Bismuth, Cadmium, Indium, Tellurium

Some of these are quite rare. Should I remove some from the list? Should I add other metals? Should I group the metals? Feedback is welcome as usual :)

Offline prissi

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Re: A toy for people interested in space games and astronomy
« Reply #45 on: November 23, 2009, 12:26:34 PM »
As I said, all low temperature metals (Lead, Tin, Cupper, Zinc, Iron, Cadmium, Bismuth, Idium and Tellurium) are usually Oxides as elements. But by heating up the oxides are cracked and the metal can be obtained. But in raw ore they are oxides. Espeically Iron, apart from trace inside meteorites it is always Iron ore (FexOy). And titanium is one of the toughest oxides, it needs to be reduced by CHlorine and Magnesium to break it. THis is part of the reason, why titanium is so expensive and not its content of 0.41% on earth (one thenth of Iron, so not a rare element, it is even more common than hydrogen!).

Offline Spike

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Re: A toy for people interested in space games and astronomy
« Reply #46 on: November 23, 2009, 12:51:59 PM »
As I said, all low temperature metals (Lead, Tin, Cupper, Zinc, Iron, Cadmium, Bismuth, Idium and Tellurium) are usually Oxides as elements. But by heating up the oxides are cracked and the metal can be obtained.

I've been using this source mainly:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Native_Metals

I think I heard of lakes or pools of liquid lead on Venus, so I'm still feeling uncertain if lead is always bound with other elements, or can be found natively (also, in which extents).

Tin I'm fairly sure is found native in Chile.

Copper can be found natively, I'm pretty sure about that, but most likely not in large quantities.

Zinc I was surprised to see on the Wikipedia list, since Zinc (unlike Lead and Tin) is not very resistant to acids ... but it can withstand oxydation? Titanium was new to me too, to be found natively. Maybe the Wikipedia list contains all metals that are found natively, even if only in very small quantities? Then it would be good to know which are more commonly found native, and which are seldom - iron for example was given, too, but besides meteoric Iron I'd doubt native iron sources on earth.

Cadmium and Bismuth I know almost nothing about, just they they are similar to lead in some aspects, and have a low melting point.

I hope this doesn't come over as critics or so. I'm just confused about the different facts that read from different sources, and trying to combine those into a usable list for my project.

Edit: Oxygen is rich in earths atmosphere because plants produce it. Lifeless planets should have an almost oxygen free atmosphere. So there could be more metals found natively? And what about planets with an atmosphere rich of hydrogen? This should be even better for metals? Panets with corrosive atmospheres definitely should have less native metals, except the most noble metals I assume.
« Last Edit: November 23, 2009, 01:13:29 PM by Hajo »

Offline prissi

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Re: A toy for people interested in space games and astronomy
« Reply #47 on: November 23, 2009, 02:13:51 PM »
Cadmium burns in air. The only reference in the world about it is cited as questionable.
Copper does exists native, but most of currents copper is again from copper ose (CuS2).
Zinc, Tin, Copper and Lead are usually exist as Sulfits (ZnS), and byproducts of their separation are Cadmium and Bismuth. Lead can be found rare in traces, though but this is more of curiosity value.
Even silver is for a good part found as sulfide ... So only very rare elements survive.

Offline Spike

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Re: A toy for people interested in space games and astronomy
« Reply #48 on: November 23, 2009, 02:29:10 PM »
Cadmium burns in air. The only reference in the world about it is cited as questionable.
Copper does exists native, but most of currents copper is again from copper ose (CuS2).
Zinc, Tin, Copper and Lead are usually exist as Sulfits (ZnS), and byproducts of their separation are Cadmium and Bismuth. Lead can be found rare in traces, though but this is more of curiosity value.
Even silver is for a good part found as sulfide ... So only very rare elements survive.

Cadmium must be removed then. That is too volatile. It seems the "native metals" page from Wikipedia is a bad source then :/

From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bismuth:

Quote
Bismuth is a brittle metal with a white, silver-pink hue, often occurring in its native form with an iridescent oxide tarnish

Can I read this as a confirmation that Bismuth exist in native form?

While I agree with your findings that most of those metals are found as mineral compounds, I'd like to have a list of metals that occasionally are found in native form, and I think some of the space bodies may be more friendly to metals than earth is. For example there are meteorites of native iron, which is rare or nonexistant on earth.

Cadmium definitely looks too volatile, though, and maybe I have to remove Titanium as well? Which metals may stay, and which have to go from the list? Mercury I also only know as mineral compound in nature.

Edit:

From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Titanium:
Quote
The most noted chemical property of titanium is its excellent resist
ance to corrosion; it is almost as resistant as platinum, capable of withstanding attack by acids, moist chlorine in water but is soluble in concentrated acids.

If it's so resistant to corrosion and melting, I'd assume there are places in space with native titanium found? I guess I really need to find a forum about astro-chemistry and astro-geology.

Edit 2:

Quote
Titanium is always bonded to other elements in nature.

So, that is most likely the killer argument for native titanium. It really looks like that I must read up on all individual metals and make up my mind ...

« Last Edit: November 23, 2009, 02:41:40 PM by Hajo »

Offline VS

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Re: A toy for people interested in space games and astronomy
« Reply #49 on: November 23, 2009, 02:48:55 PM »
Just an idea - while you are writing down mostly what is statistically important by % of mass, you might also want to consider what real industry craves. Look up hybrid cars, rare earth metals and China, for one such case. Or how about uranium... Perhaps I am too much influenced by the idea that space = expensive, but mining eg. iron somewhere else in space sounds to me like a good way to go broke (unless it's in microgravity so you can process it all "up there" and don't have to lift it from planetary gravitation well).

Offline Spike

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Re: A toy for people interested in space games and astronomy
« Reply #50 on: November 23, 2009, 03:04:57 PM »
I think I confused myself.

Upon reconsideration, I think I originally wanted to model reality. While knowing that I neither understand astrophysics nor astrochemistry well enough, I tried to be close to reality with the solar system generator, the star types, planet types, planet sizes, temperatures and such. Close enough to make the values believable.

Finally I reached the step to think about planet details.

For the atmosphere I just did the same again. Tried to find real life data for planet atmospheres, and extrapolate potential planet atmospheres from this data. This also worked well, at least if I kept my goal in "believable" atmospheres.

After the atmospheres, I went to the planet crusts. These are made of minerals, metals, and some other yet-to-be-defined compounds.

I know very little about minerals, so I thought metals might be the easier start.

From there I tried to gather a list of metals that _might_ exists on planet surfaces. This was the list that I posted earlier today. Now I'm in the process of sorting out the metals that violate the "believable" goal. if Cadmium burns in oxygene containing atmospheres, it cannot exist there. if Titanium reacts with a lot of gases on higher temperatures, it cannot exist natively on most planets. I hope after some filtering to have a list of metals which do not break the "believable" rule.

If some of those are worth mining, the player must decide. Iron may be looked for in some systems which have no inborn industry. But I assume that iron will not be be a top interest of space miners.

I think the more interesting things will come once I get to the minerals list, but at the moment that looks so huge, that I don't really know where to start with. The Hood pointed me to a few minerals, Prissi also pointed out some, and now I got some more ideas from you, VS. It's growing, but still in the collection phase.

The space mining game I want to set atop of the solar system and planet generation systems - more as an application of those underlying systems.

Offline prissi

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Re: A toy for people interested in space games and astronomy
« Reply #51 on: November 23, 2009, 03:32:21 PM »
I think also that those rare earth would be rather the goal of mining. Pure titanium asteriods might be also worth mining. And for a game, Nedynium, Lanthatnium and so one sound anyway much nicer than iron ...

Offline Spike

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Re: A toy for people interested in space games and astronomy
« Reply #52 on: November 23, 2009, 03:35:03 PM »
Yes, the rare earths have great names :)

Offline Spike

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Re: A toy for people interested in space games and astronomy
« Reply #53 on: November 24, 2009, 09:49:38 AM »
Would a list like this be correct English?

Marginal zinc deposits detected.
Minor gold deposits detected.
Small copper deposits detected.
Rich iron ore deposits detected.
Abundant bauxite depots detected.


Besides grammar, would those levels of size/richness be alright? Should I add more, should I use different words? Help is welcome :)

Offline The Hood

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Re: A toy for people interested in space games and astronomy
« Reply #54 on: November 24, 2009, 10:02:40 AM »
Sounds good, but I'd replace marginal with trace.

Offline Spike

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Re: A toy for people interested in space games and astronomy
« Reply #55 on: November 24, 2009, 10:16:23 AM »
Thanks :)

What would be best of those?

"Traces of zinc detected"
"Trace zinc deposits detected"
"Trace deposits of zinc detected"

Offline The Hood

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Re: A toy for people interested in space games and astronomy
« Reply #56 on: November 24, 2009, 10:24:41 AM »
Either 2 or 3, I'd say.  They all make sense :)

Offline Spike

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Re: A toy for people interested in space games and astronomy
« Reply #57 on: November 24, 2009, 10:34:13 AM »
Good :) I think I'll chose 2 then, because it is a bit shorter.
Thanks a lot!


Offline Spike

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Re: A toy for people interested in space games and astronomy
« Reply #58 on: November 24, 2009, 01:57:14 PM »
I've used #3 now, to have a bit variation in the list. Also it semed to be a nice idea to highlite the metal names with their respective metallic colors. That makes the list easier to read, if the player is only interested in "what is there".

A preview:


Feedback and ideas are welcome as always :)

Edit: Iron is a bit rusty in the list ... there are just too many gray metals.
« Last Edit: November 24, 2009, 02:02:39 PM by Hajo »

Offline VS

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Re: A toy for people interested in space games and astronomy
« Reply #59 on: November 24, 2009, 05:08:35 PM »
Nice... maybe the metals could use bold font? The only nitpicking would be that I can't read what tab is selected.

Offline Spike

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Re: A toy for people interested in space games and astronomy
« Reply #60 on: November 25, 2009, 09:16:56 AM »
The only nitpicking would be that I can't read what tab is selected.

I've not yet found out how to set the colors for selected tabs. The label color stays green, and it's hard to read indeed. I'll look into that again.

News! I've uploaded a new release candidate, v0.18.

The biggest change in this version is the calculation of metal resources for all solid planet types. Cold planets now have less water vapor in their atmospheres.

Also, this version got colored highliting for the gas and metal resource lists, which should improve their readability. The lists are sorted now, with the most common elements first.

I have made slight corrections to the star name generator so that names like "Aa" or "Yyy" are not possible anymore. Also, the "bare rocky planet" type got a better image now.  All planet images are now better compressed, saving about 60kb download size compared to the former version. Thanks VS, for the hint!

=> http://www.funkelwerk.de/applets/solarex-0_18rc/

Feedback is welcome  :)

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Re: A toy for people interested in space games and astronomy
« Reply #61 on: November 25, 2009, 01:38:31 PM »
Oops, now I see you have separate metals and minerals - I thought these were one category.

Metals on ice bodies? Maybe I am confused what you mean by ice body?

One very small quirk is that large stars have their info-box down below them; maybe they could use the slot of first planet, so that it is conveniently on screen right from start?

Random note: 1259152454890 generates a system from every sci-fi fan's dreams!

Offline Spike

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Re: A toy for people interested in space games and astronomy
« Reply #62 on: November 25, 2009, 02:13:11 PM »
Random note: 1259152454890 generates a system from every sci-fi fan's dreams!

Very interesting with the many inhabitable planets :) Now I'd like to know the surface gravity of the bigger ones, I still didn't add that calculation.

"Ice bodies" means planets with surfaces that are completely covered by ice, frozen water, or maybe other frozen substances that normally would be gas or fluids. Those can have solid cores, but don't have to.

I gave them a small chance to bear metals. Shouldn't be more than traces, except if it is a very big planet. The metals could be from crashed asteroids, or be part of the initial planet mix. Maybe I need to lower the chance of metals, since metals should not be frequent there.

The categories are not final yet. But minerals might become a big category again, even bigger than metals, so I think that will stay. I still need to get in touch with geologists to discuss the mineral problems ...

Thanks for testing and thank you for the feedback :) It's good to see where there are problems in the generators. Creating "realistic" systems would be too much, but "believable" systems is a goal of mine. So if metals on ice bodies are too odd, they must become more rare or vanish at all.

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Re: A toy for people interested in space games and astronomy
« Reply #63 on: November 25, 2009, 08:05:55 PM »
Surface gravity is really simple... g = H*M/R² where M is mass, R radius and H Gravitational constant. Don't forget to put them all in base units (kg, m and so on).

If you want to compare just with Earth, you can simply stuff numbers from applet directly into this:
grel = (6378 / R)² * Mrel

A few years ago I obsessed a lot over similar problem - somebody suggested that he will create a game setting on a planet with five times the surface of Earth. There is a catch, and a rather nasty one; for constant planet density you get g ~ r, which means that for "bigger earths" you'll have trouble being human ;) Of course you can break out of this by suggesting different (lower) density, but I did look and it seems you get different density in only a few varieties, either rock or gas or some frozen puddle. So... :(

I don't know at all what implications can higher gravity have for life, though, so if goal of the game is mining then no problem, you don't have to visit the places yourself...



I did some statistics and two things stand out:

Your rng is a bit broken; if you look at the list (text file), you will notice something common. That is not a feature of habitable seeds, but all generated with button (= not entered manually). And it always moves there no matter what was previous seed.

Second, earth-like moons are as abundant as standalone earth-like planets, but very often come in bundles of two or three (blue bars are breakdown of the next red one). Interesting...
« Last Edit: November 25, 2009, 08:16:06 PM by VS »

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Re: A toy for people interested in space games and astronomy
« Reply #64 on: November 25, 2009, 09:18:17 PM »
Smaller life form have less problems with gravity. Insects should be well, and most likely other animals up to rat size, too. Beings like fishes should be even better off.

Plants can't grow very tall most likely. And the higher gravity might also come with a more dense atmosphere, and with that more fierce winds and storms ... but I don't really know either, just would assume that higher gravity requires a lot of adaptions from life, but that some lifeforms might exists.

Your rng is a bit broken; if you look at the list (text file), you will notice something common. That is not a feature of habitable seeds, but all generated with button (= not entered manually). And it always moves there no matter what was previous seed.

The rng is the standard java one (java.util.Random). I would expect that one to be fairly alright, but I know that languages not always bundle good random number generators. (*)

Rather, I'd assume that I use the RNG in a bad manner.

I'm not quite sure what you want to tell with the lists, so I just try to explain what my program does, and maybe you can explain the problem that your lists indicate :)

The "random" button just takes the current system time, and seeds the rng with that. This number is then shown in the seed field. I think it is the system time in milliseconds since 01.01.1970. From this single seed the whole system is built, by to calling the rng for all the variable values. I don't know how independent the number sequences are for seeds that do not vary much like the slowly rising system time. I'd assume that they are not well distributed.

Maybe you can tell me what's the problem that you noticed? I might find ways to work around the problem, or find a real fix.

Second, earth-like moons are as abundant as standalone earth-like planets, but very often come in bundles of two or three (blue bars are breakdown of the next red one). Interesting...

This is explainable :) Since all moons have about the same distance to the star, they are most likely all inside the habitable corridor for planets around this star, if their parent planet is inside this corridor. So, if they are big enough, and have the right atmosphere, they have a good chance to be all habitable.

Only seldom two independent planets will be inside this corridor, though, and match the other criteria.

Edit:

(*) I found a number of reviews of java.util.Random and there seem to be better alternatives, even from within the java runtime libraries. I'll check that.
« Last Edit: November 25, 2009, 09:32:54 PM by Hajo »

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Re: A toy for people interested in space games and astronomy
« Reply #65 on: November 25, 2009, 09:28:54 PM »
Every number starts with 125917...

Offline Spike

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Re: A toy for people interested in space games and astronomy
« Reply #66 on: November 25, 2009, 09:48:47 PM »
Every number starts with 125917...

That is the year, month and week part of the time most likely. Let's check that again next year ;)

Newer java version seem to come with a second rng, called "SecureRandom", which is supposed to be good enough for cryptographic applications. I'll try that in the next versions. It is said to be 30 times slower, but better, and it seems to be way fast enough for the Solarex project.

Offline isidoro

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Re: A toy for people interested in space games and astronomy
« Reply #67 on: November 26, 2009, 12:41:37 AM »
What about multiple star systems.  They seem to be the most common:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Star_system

Our Solar system with a single "Sun" is really an exception...

Offline Spike

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Re: A toy for people interested in space games and astronomy
« Reply #68 on: November 26, 2009, 08:52:04 AM »
I'm undecided how to implement them. But they are not forgotten.

Edit: Did a few tests. Basically it works, but the graphical display isn't very nice with the existing code. Suns are very big, and having two or more in the tabular system view really disrupts the display.

Edit 2: A question about proper English again - "Solar system" seems to be our system, other are then "Star System" or "Stellar System"? And of the latter two, which one would be preferred?
« Last Edit: November 26, 2009, 02:15:49 PM by Hajo »

Offline Spike

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Re: A toy for people interested in space games and astronomy
« Reply #69 on: November 26, 2009, 10:36:25 PM »
I felt compelled to finally work on asteroids - well graphics only so far, but still :)


Imagine it circle slowly around the longer axis, and a quiet swooooosshhhhhhhh sound when it passes by ...


Must also work on some space ship designs ...  ;D