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The Ultimate Solar System

This would be something good for HEEC2 to construct at Sagittarius A*.
I remember reading another of this blog's articles. Some really cool megaengineering Smile Something like this would fit in the MPA very well. Fancy writing an article along these lines tmazanec?
OA Wish list:
  1. DNI
  2. Internal medical system
  3. A dormbot, because domestic chores suck!
A bit of googling seems to indicate that Sag A* is a bit over 4 million solar masses. Which would likely make the Hill radius for the planets in this sort of construct too small for this to work as described. Since the biggest motivation for putting the planets at the described distance around the BH seems to be to keep them within a 'habitable zone' equivalent to that found in Sol System, and since (if you can build something like this in the first place) you have some pretty hefty engineering capacity to begin with - maybe take out that requirement and place all the planets farther away and use other methods to illuminate them. This could range from orbiting mirrors and/or fusion/conversion reactors (conversion in the OA universe certainly) to setting up a bunch of suns in stable orbits around the black hole and then building super solar systems around each of them as this author describes in earlier posts. Or you could hypothesize (or flat out construct) a million solar mass black hole that is orbiting Sag A* and then set this sort of system up around it. Although I will defer to our astronomy experts on whether or not that kind of thing wouldn't already be known about in RL. There is a recent news article about galactic center being home to lots and lots of massive (but not galactic mass) black holes, presumably all orbiting or being drawn into Sag A* - which might provide alternate options for building massive constructions of various sorts.

Certainly there would be a boatload of suns around to provide illumination. Although the high radiation effects might be tricky. Although if you can build something like this in the first place, providing rad shielding/hardening for the planets would likely be well within your capabilities.

Speaking in terms of the OA setting and HEEC2, given that this civ is the Meistersingers, the close environs of the central black hole might be taken up by the Prime Radiant (which might actually be well outside the outermost edge of this sort of construct). OTOH, from recent discussions, the local environment of the BH might be rather...unfriendly for relatively delicate things like...anything made of conventional matter.

A couple of thoughts on this, just brainstorming really rather than saying it should or must be this way:

a) Could you shift the whole thing into a non-equatorial/offset orbit that crosses the plane of the accretion disk only at two spots while also avoiding the polar regions, which seem likely to be hosting radiation jets or the like? Would orbital mechanics tend to want to drag the whole thing into the equatorial plane of the BH or not? If so, would it take so long that no one is likely to care or that the builders of such a construct could readily compensate for it with relatively little effort?

b) For transport around such a construct, or the even larger one that this author describes in a more recent post, you could use Paul Birch type mass beams/dynamic compression members. The energy requirements for getting between rings would still be very high, but DCM tech would let you mount maglev systems that would draw energy from the BH or stars or conversion or whatever and use it to accel/decel at high efficiency with no reaction mass expenditure and with energy recycling as transports slow down. Or, in OA, you could posit halo swarms ala the High Road doing the job. Or the use of Lightways and engenerator tech making the transport of physical mass largely irrelevant.

c) Building something this large (a miilion solar mass black hole) would probably be a bit beyond the abilities (or at least time scale) of current Terragen civ in sort of the same way that damming/building a bridge over the Strait of Gibraltar is a bit beyond us in RL (we could do it in principle, but there are various challenges and no one has seriously proposed it yet as an actual project). But just as we dream about/discuss that kind of engineering in RL, this sort of construct might be something the MPA talks about doing, or is planning to build in the future - whether as a long term project or something they are just looking at starting or something else.

This would avoid distorting the setting by having this as a fully constructed project in Y11k and point to Terragens having big 'in the future we will do X' projects instead of always having already 'been there, done that' as we usually describe them.

There could be smaller versions already constructed by the MPA of courseSmile

My 2c worth,


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