PDA

View Full Version : Looking up at the Stars



Weaver
22-08-2010, 16:22
So, I was thinking the other day, and I'm not sure if this is a subject that has been broached before, so forgive me.

Warhammer 40k can be said, at the very least, to take place in a doppelganger of our galaxy, if not the very same galaxy thrown 40,000 years into the future.

Our Galaxy is roughly 100,000 lightyears in diameter.

the Star Sol, around which Terra orbits in the Local Spur, is roughly 26,000 lightyears from the galactic core. This means that it's about half-way between the core and the rim. This also means there could (and, according to the Warhammer 40k Star Map, do) exist planets that are more than 10,000 lightyears away from Holy Terra.

So, bearing all that in mind, it has also been established that Warp Travel has the potential to be faster-than-light. In some cases, much faster than light.




Does this mean then, that on planet with sufficiently powerful observation technology, that orbits around 10,000 lightyears away from Sol and Terra, one could look up into the night sky and watch the Horus Heresy Unfold? See the fuzzy resolution images of ships clashing over the Seat of the Imperium? Hear the desperate transmissions of the fleets, the panic of dying shipmasters, the triumphant howls of Chaos warlords?

Extrapolating this, one could travel further away from Sol, and witness the Age of Apostasy, the fall of the Eldar (Heck, in some parts of the Galaxy, the Eye of Terror wouldn't even be visible yet, even though the Psykers living there would still feel it), the Dark Age of Technology, on and on, even down to the birth of Mankind itself.

I'm not trying to violate any 40k canon or soft-sci-fi creed here. I just thought it rather cool :)

Kage2020
22-08-2010, 16:33
Yes, it is possible. It has frequently been observed, for example, that the light of the Eye of Terror may not yet have reached Terra (depends on which map you believe). The joys of realising the scale of the universe! :D

Kage

geeksquared
22-08-2010, 18:05
I think I remember some background material I read about a cult who tried to do just that. They were tryingt ot find a planet or asteroid exactly 10,000 lightyears away from earth so they could set up a massive telescope, look back at earth and see what the emperor actually looked like. The local cardinal declared them all heretics and had them burned at the stake.

FabricatorGeneralMike
22-08-2010, 18:34
I think I remember some background material I read about a cult who tried to do just that. They were tryingt ot find a planet or asteroid exactly 10,000 lightyears away from earth so they could set up a massive telescope, look back at earth and see what the emperor actually looked like. The local cardinal declared them all heretics and had them burned at the stake.


Why not just build a space telescope ? Gets rid of the problem of atmospheric contaminents, light polution, etc etc. Crazy Cultists, Altho that would make a good hook for a Inquisitor who leads a band of Sisters of Battle. They are Crusading around the area 10,000 LY away from Terra so they can do just that. The Order of the Divine Emperors Light. Thanks for the army suggestion.

spetswalshe
22-08-2010, 19:31
The local cardinal declared them all heretics and had them burned at the stake.

Spoilsports. They just don't want people knowing he was actually a Tau chick.

Orkbert
22-08-2010, 19:52
Theoretically possible, but with those vast distances it will be near impossible to see anything meaningful. Given that currently all known extrasolar planets were only found via indirect methods (there is one that might be actually visible on images Hubble made, but that is probably a brown dwarf) then the chance of seeing details smaller than planet-size are quite unlikely.
Although they might see the flashiest explosions (if those manage to be breighter than than the next sun)

Kage2020
22-08-2010, 20:04
One has to wonder at the nature of retrocognition. It is, after all, the 40k universe. :D

Kage

AndrewGPaul
22-08-2010, 21:31
Theoretically possible, but with those vast distances it will be near impossible to see anything meaningful.

IIRC, angular resolution (in arcseconds) of a telescope lens is 138/D, where D is the telescope aperture diameter (in millimetres). In this instance, you're trying to identify features that are about 10^-2m across at a distance of 10^20 metres.

That gives you an angular resolution of 10^-22 radians, and thus means you need a telescope with an aperture 2/3 of a light year across. That seems infeasible, to say the least.

Askil the Undecided
22-08-2010, 22:51
IIRC, angular resolution (in arcseconds) of a telescope lens is 138/D, where D is the telescope aperture diameter (in millimetres). In this instance, you're trying to identify features that are about 10^-2m across at a distance of 10^20 metres.

That gives you an angular resolution of 10^-22 radians, and thus means you need a telescope with an aperture 2/3 of a light year across. That seems infeasible, to say the least.

In short if anyone claimed to have managed it then either Chaos of wizards did it.

Post
23-08-2010, 11:24
I doubt Audio trasmissions would retain any coherency after traveling 10,000 light years.

Hunger
23-08-2010, 14:27
Spot on with your calculation Andrew, and while I agree that an optical telescope 2/3 of a light year across might be difficult to imagine, it would certainly be possible to build a radio telescope array of those proportions.

FlashGordon
24-08-2010, 09:12
In short if anyone claimed to have managed it then either Chaos of wizards did it.

Now we know what the dyson sphere is for.

madd0ct0r
24-08-2010, 09:53
build a radio telescope array of those proportions.

At last bretheren!

The planets are aligning, the array moves into place.
Behold as the screen flickers!

Soon we shall gaze upon Terra, wracked in the heart of the heresy.
Soon we shall see whether The Emperor or that traitor Horus was the one impounded within the golden throne!

Throw the switch Igor, let us gave into the black heart of the Imperium!


ah. It appears are calcualtions are out by a matter of some 6 hours. And what is that marine doing to that civilian?

jdunn
24-08-2010, 21:36
The solution here is that GW is a heartless money grabbing machine and they refuse to acknowledge anything that could cause a disruption in their hastily thrown together fluff of warp space and how it makes no sense.

In short, Its the warp. It does what it wants.

Lothlanathorian
25-08-2010, 02:13
I remember reading somewhere that, once it coalesced into existence, the Eye of Terror was visible all over the galaxy courtesy of 'it's the Warp, deal with it.'

khirsath
25-08-2010, 08:31
There's always an optical interferometer to build bigger visible spectrum scopes. The real problem is all the gas and dust between Terra and where ever the super-tech scope is located. All the photons would be absorbed or scattered. The resulting image would just be noise. Long exposures times with the scope aren't going to help much as the events you want to image are moving to fast.

I like the idea that the photons from the Eye of Terror aren't seen throughout the galaxy. It allows physics similar to what we understand to exist while still allotting space for the warp. Just as Newtonian physics is only a small specific portion of physics in regards to what we know today, the same can be said about all of 3rd millennium physics in regards to a more encompassing physics that allows for the warp. In other words we still have a lot to learn...

Polaria
25-08-2010, 10:15
I doubt Audio trasmissions would retain any coherency after traveling 10,000 light years.

If they are digitally coded radio transmissions and you know how to decode them you should have no problem. Unlike in atmospheric radio traffic there is very little in the vast emptiness of space that will distort radio transmissions.

Considering the fact that Imperium is working on ancient technology no-one really understands anymore and that most Imperial archives have been displaced, mixed up, destroyed, edited and displaced again several times over actually getting the right information in order to decode a 10000 year old transmission might well turn out to be a truly herculean task.

Hunger
26-08-2010, 09:54
Considering the fact that Imperium is working on ancient technology no-one really understands anymore and that most Imperial archives have been displaced, mixed up, destroyed, edited and displaced again several times over actually getting the right information in order to decode a 10000 year old transmission might well turn out to be a truly herculean task.

...or that same 10,000 year old technology may still be widely in use all over the Imperium.



Comms Station Adjutant: Operator, any word from the relay station?

Wireless Operator: Nothing yet sir, but I did pick up something odd five minutes ago.

Comms Station Adjutant: Oh?

Wireless Operator: A short burst of electromagnetic signal. The needles went wild for a second. Looked like a burst of incoherent static at first, but I ran it through the audio cleanup function on Windows Media Player.

Comms Station Adjutant: And?

Wireless Operator: It was an encrypted message, sir. Apparently there's a war happening on Terra.

Comms Station Adjutant: *looks concerned* Terra, you say? How far away is that?

Wireless Operator: About 10,000 light years, sir.

Comms Station Adjutant: This is serious indeed - I need to inform the Lord Commander at once!

Wireless Operator: But sir, that signal is ten thousand...

Comms Station Adjutant: Silence! There's no time! We must mobilise the fleet at once! Get me a copy of that message! I must send word to the Lord Commander!

Wireless Operator: But sir...

Comms Station Adjutant: Just do it, operator!

Wireless Operator: Whatever you say, sir. *salutes* I'll fire up the vinyl press...