MISSION 220703 : The Casimir-Boras Effect

Starfleet re-established its first Colony in the Gamma Quadrant on Astraios Prime on stardate 110111. SS Astraios is a space-station in high orbit above the planet Astraios Prime, to help with its protection and provide a base for the local fleet. UFS Astraios Colony and SS Astraios are tasked with the mission of ‘broadening horizons’ within the Gamma Quadrant, by exploring strange new worlds and seeking out new civilisations.

The opportunity for roleplay Missions is enhanced by the ready availability of a wide variety of locations. As well as the space station SS Astraios and on board NPC ships, including our flagship the Galaxy-class USS Neil Armstrong, there are locations on Astraios Prime (both within the Colony’s many Starfleet regions and on the rest of the planet) and more, both on 3rd Rock Grid and other Grids via the Hypergrid.

In addition to role-play, UFS Astraios hosts a weekly Starfleet Boogie each Tuesday and various events throughout the year.

Roleplay Times: Friday Noon SL
Commanding Officer: Alia Soulstar
Executive Officer: Ellemir Maven

Moderators: Alia Soulstar, Ellemir Maven

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Alia Soulstar
Command - Commander
Command - Commander
Posts: 23
Joined: 210127.0932
Duty Post: (Acting) Commanding Officer
Ship/Station Posted: SS Astraios
Grid: 3rd Rock Grid
Has thanked: 60 times
Been thanked: 62 times
Contact:

220704.1723

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Crew Manifest
Command - Kem Vala
XO - Alia Soulstar
Security Chief - Dolfke Barbosa
Operations - Ellemir Maven
Chief Medical - Rondo Catteneo
Science Officer - Quertie Que
Engineering - Naomi Wildman


Extras
Alien - Heptopod

Background:
STAR  V 206389 :  SSYS V206389/7  
Also listed: “Xantippe” of the “Xantippe Stellar System” (Sector Survey MACLA D7745).
Class: Mira Variable red giant.
This stellar system is of scientific interest to the Federation. Xantippe IV is the first planet with a living ecosystem to be found orbiting a Variable Star.

• Mira Pulsation period = 3 months 
• Mass: 3.980 × 10^30 kg
• Age: 7.603 billion years
• 28 light years coreward from Astraios

Cold Phase:
• Surface temperature: 4,223°K
• Radius: 6,266,340 km
• CHZ (Circumstellar Habitable Zone) range 0.714 AU – 1.02 AU

Hot phase
• Surface temperature: 5,787°K
• Radius: 8,266,340 km
• CHZ range 1.19 AU – 1.48 AU

(NB. “hot”, the star bloats to 1.37 times its “cold” radius, ramps up in temperature by 1500°K and emits yellow/white light in its hot phase. The CHZ shifts by 0.5 AU outwards during this phase.)


First Officer’s Log | Stardate 220703

We received notification from engineers on a Federation science base under construction on Xantippe IV that the system’s variable star has—instead of shrinking back to its periodic "cold" state—continued to swell and get hotter. As a result an equatorial band of open ocean on Xantippe IV has expanded beyond its normal coastline, and the base—anchored to crust ice—is now in danger. USS Armstrong was despatched to the Xantippe system to evacuate the engineers, salvage what we could of the base, and to analyse the star to work out what is happening. This is undocumented behaviour for a Mira Variable star. 

Readings of the surface temperature of Xantippe were 5977°K and rising on our arrival. Base construction engineers were evacuated to the Armstrong and a team comprising ship’s engineers plus a command and science team beamed down to the planet surface to evaluate the conditions and prepare the base for a salvage operation. While there we picked up a local transporter signal that did not originate from the Armstrong. We shortly thereafter encountered an alien heptopod, similar to a large terrestrial aquatic mollusc but with a vastly larger brain casing. The heptopod appeared to attempt to communicate in some form of click language that our universal translator could not decipher. Analysis by the ship’s computer determined it was a mathematical base-7 language, suggesting the alien is highly advanced. We left a marker at the encounter site and returned to the Armstrong to complete the base salvage. 

It is the first time this aquatic species has attempted to make contact with a federation mission that has now been on the planet for 2 months and it is reasonable to assume the recent changes to its global environment have precipitated this action.


SCIENCE LOG 1

Physical Report of STAR  V 206389

The star’s inner helium core has ignited its outer hydrogen shell starting a chain reaction. Ignition of the hydrogen shell is not unexpected in a variable star: nuclear fusion in the hydrogen shell builds helium atoms that migrate towards the star’s core. In this instance however, for reason’s as yet not determined, spontaneous burning of the newly created helium is also occurring in the hydrogen shell. This highly unusual reaction is only predicted as an outlier possibility in the hypothetical Casimir-Boras model of variable star evolution. It is the first time such a sequence has been observed. According to the C-B model, which calculates duration based on the star’s mass, Xantippe will expand for around 5 years, to almost double its present size, at which point helium in the outer shell will be spent and the star will return to a regular 3 month pulsation at cooler temperatures.

The planet Xantippe IV will be in a superheated state for this duration. Modelling predicts all but polar ice will melt. 10-15% of the ocean will evaporate to join the planet’s atmosphere. This will create additional hothouse warming of the planet’s surface. It will drastically affect temperatures and weather patterns on the planet surface and warm the ocean by as much as 20°C in the equatorial zone, up to 9°C in the polar regions. Eventually (in around 60-70 years) cloud cover albedo will reflect the bulk of the star’s thermal energy and the planet will begin to cool. It may take 900 years to return to original temperature ranges and for atmospheric water to re-enter the oceanic system.


SCIENCE LOG 2

Analysis of Heptopod Language

This is the most sophisticated alien language the Federation has encountered. Further analysis of this 7-base system has determined it is 7x7 base, a “three dimensional” language. The best analogy to understand its syntactic structure is to visualise a chess board with 49 instead of the usual 64 squares (arranged 7x7). In chess the white player has 10 pieces that can make the first move and there are 20 possible first moves (a single or double step for each pawn and a left or right jump for the knights). After multiple moves the array of possible positions has become near infinite. There are between 10^111 and 10^123 possible positions in chess. On the heptopod “linguistic board” this number is closer to 10^66 positions. Positions relate directly to concepts/meanings, making this an incredibly detailed and nuanced language. The short, medium and long clicks the alien heptopod issues describe a sequence arriving at a “position” on the 7x7 board. A single sentence of clicks can contain as much information as a novel.

In synopsis it could take us centuries of computer analysis to decipher all the meanings and structural nuances of this language.

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