In any spacefaring world it is important to have some comparison points for measurement, distance, speed of travel. Our knowledge as authors is based on our own solar system and the milky way, so we have used that as a point of comparison.
There are still a lot of unknowns even in our own galaxy. In recent years, millions of additional stars and possible habitable planets have been discovered. This leaves a very rich environment for our fictional world
The metric system is the primary measurement system in the Obsidian Rim. This seems natural as today the majority of people on earth use the metric system. It seems reasonable that five thousand years from now that would be the accepted system.
To define distances between planets, space stations, and other bodies we developed suggestions for averages or minimum distances and speed as detailed below.
Note: Any mathematicians who wish to check calculations please feel free to notify Maggie Lynch with corrections. She has been known to slip a decimal now and again.
|Minimum distance between planet and small|
|500 km||Current earth and space station|
distance is 400 km
|Min. distance between large space station|
(e.g., handles hundreds of ships regularly) and
any habitable planet, planetoid, other space station
|Range of distance between planets based on sol system||225 million km|
3.2 billion km
|earth to mars|
earth to uranus
|Distances between solar systems is much farther, expressed|
in light years (ly) These are in relationship to earth. In the rim,
things may be closer as their are star clusters.
|Distance between Alpha Centauri A and B as an example of|
two star systems close together is significantly less than a
light year and could be reached at sub1 (see below) speeds in
approximately 1-1/2 hours.
|35 AU||= 0.00055 ly|
= 4.9 light hours
= 5,235,925,473 km
|Speed of light||~299,792,458 meters / second|
|As measured via earth observations. Would change depending|
on observation point. But it is a good starting point. To make the math
easy, for speed approximations the sub light speed numbers below are based on 300,000,000 meters / second or 300 megameters (mm) per second.
|Sub1||30 mm/s||10% of light speed|
|Sub2||60 mm/s||20% of light speed|
|Sub3||90 mm/s||30% of light speed|
|Sub4||120 mm/s||40% of light speed|
|Sub5||150 mm/s||50% of light speed|
|Sub6||180 mm/s||60% of light speed|
|Sub 7||210 mm/s||70% of light speed|
|Sub8||240 mm/s||80% of light speed|
|sub9||270 mm/s||90% of light speed|
Impulse speed = sub2
Cruising speed for small spaceships = sub1 or less
Regular interplanetary travel within a sector = sub2 to sub5
Note that traveling at any sub light speed may result in time dilation. Specifically at sub5 and beyond time dilation effects become significant -- e.g. time passes faster for those at home than on ship, which is relative. For example, if we could travel at sub5 speeds from earth to Mars, it would take just under 4 seconds. However, for those at home it would be approximately seven weeks. Roundtrip is 8 seconds, if nonstop and not accounting for time to go from a space station to earth in a shuttle of some kind. But for family or others planet based (as in on earth) it has been 14 weeks (just over 3 months).
Repeated travel at these speeds makes the time dilation add up until, relatively soon, family is significantly older than the space traveler. For some characters, this means they either choose to travel with family or don't have significant relationships for long periods of time.
In theory opening a wormhole and traveling to another destination would have no time dilation in itself. It is moving a few kilometers within a short period of time. However, time dilation may occur depending on the process for entering the wormhole.
For example, if the ship has to reach a certain velocity or energy level to punch through the wormhole (e.g., sub5) that would create a time dilation for the time spent in that speed.
To make things easier and more consistent, in the Obsidian Rim world, we've posited that wormhole travel has no time dilation in and of itself. There are no rules for how fast the ship must be going to create a wormhole, because the place to create them is dependent on other factors (e.g., posited spacetime irregularities that make wormhole creation easier.) Once created and stabilized with qubition, the travel through the wormhole happens quickly--probably less than a minute, though it may feel longer.