2nd in a series of posts inspired by Elite Dangerous, a space video-game that I’ve been playing; full of images, cool astronomy & science facts, and associated sci-fi & pop culture trivia.
Sol Region Sight-Seeing Tour – Stop #2:
Pollux / β Geminorum
Pollux is 34 lightyears from Sol, and the closest giant star to our sun. Pollux is 18 ly from Stop 1 on our tour, it’s “twin” Castor. Pollux is the 18th brightest star as seen from Earth (including the Sun) and the brightest star in constellation Gemini. Pollux is an orange-hued “evolved giant” star in a special spectral class, called Class KO-III. Earlier in its life it would have been a Class A (hot white or blue/white dwarf star), but Pollux has exhausted the hydrogen in its core, and expanded and cooled as a result. As such the star has moved off the line of main sequence or “adult” stars and entered it’s old age “giant” phase, and is estimated to be about 724 million years old. It is about two times the mass, and almost NINE times the radius of our Sun. Continue reading Sol Region Sight-Seeing Tour #2 – Pollux
The Tour? Why that’s a geeky idea I had to dig up all the fact and fiction about the stars around and including our Sun, known as Sol in science and science fiction. Ostensibly, as a bit of a learning experience while I go about the playing a video-game.
You see, I’ve been playing a “space flight simulator” video game I really love called Elite Dangerous that has excited my long interest in Astronomy. The game is set in the future where humanity has moved out to begin to settle and explore our galaxy. As such the game includes a 1 to 1 online mock-up of our Milky Way Galaxy with as much as we know to be true added to it, and fairly realistic algorithms for what we don’t know, and a lot of fictional future-history and lore added to give it all some drama, and all kinds of different ways to “play” depending on your interests. From exploration, pvp & pve combat, mining, commodity trading, power play politics, passenger liner business, bounty hunting, and much more.
I wanted to explore some of the famous stars we know in our real night skies.
I’ve seen these kind of surveys or discussions before, but never really looked into them much until today. I used this Alignment Survey once before to kind of pin down the alignment of a character I had envisioned, answering the wide range of questions as I thought the character might answer them. On a whim I recently answered the questions as I would answer them, and the result I thought pretty much “nailed” my world view in terms of a D&D Alignment spectrum. Suddenly curious, I decided to take their long survey which attempts to build a D&D character complete with statistics that match your answers.
According to the results, I would be a fairly average multi-class Halfling Druid/Ranger. I like the idea a lot. The Halfling (aka Hobbit) seems to fit me (mostly in just the mentality, but some in the physicality). The rare multi-class and average “jack of all trades, specialist in none” statistics, combined with an emphasis on preferring nature to the big cities, preferring solitude to large crowds, belief in an underlying caring yet impersonal divinity in nature and fascination with the science of how nature works more for the sake of knowing than using the knowledge towards some huge technological goal, though finding the pursuit of those tech goals fascinating as long as they don’t destroy the Nature I love. Continue reading What D&D Character Am I?
I had a fun evening & morning playing games with my sister & nieces a couple of days ago. I discovered an awesome game that was entirely new to me (Munchkin) while rediscovering an old childhood favorite (Pente) and finding an adult respect for its more advanced rules.
My sister Shannon and nieces Kathryn & Emma were in town last Wednesday & Thursday (which happened to be my Friday & Saturday) staying at my Mom’s house. I went over after dinner and hung out with them, and figured Shannon & I would play some cribbage or something. As I left the house, just in case, I grabbed my Munchkin Deluxe card game that I had gotten well over a year ago but could never get anyone to play. I’m glad I did.