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"Tube Map" Created For the Milky Way 142

Posted by samzenpus
from the non-stop-service-to-the-Perseus-Arm dept.
astroengine writes "Assuming you had an interstellar spaceship, how would you navigate around the galaxy? For starters, you'd probably need a map. But there's billions of stars out there — how complex would that map need to be? Actually, Samuel Arbesman, a research fellow from Harvard, has come up with a fun solution. He created the 'Milky Way Transit Authority (MWTA),' a simple transit system in the style of the iconic London Underground 'Tube Map.' (Travel Tip: Don't spend too much time loitering around the station at Carina, there's some demolition work underway.)"

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"Tube Map" Created For the Milky Way

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  • From Lave (Score:5, Informative)

    by pommiekiwifruit (570416) on Wednesday February 03, 2010 @04:42PM (#31014538)
    I just know that from Lave, you should try to get to Zaonce and Isinor to build up your credits...
    • For those not in the know: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elite_%28video_game%29
      • How do I get on from the Great Circle Line? Is the stop near Notting Hill?

        • How do I get on from the Great Circle Line?

          Sorry, the Great Circle line is closed all weekend for essential maintenance. There's a good service on all other lines though!

      • by Tim C (15259)

        For those not in the know, turn in your geek card on your way out.

        (Or maybe I'm just showing my age by knowing exactly what he was talking about...)

        • by iamhassi (659463)
          "Or maybe I'm just showing my age by knowing exactly what he was talking about"

          You're showing your age, because virtually no one under 30 (born 1980, making them 4 when the game came out [wikipedia.org]) would have any idea what he's talking about. There was a NES version [mobygames.com] for kids of the 80s but it wasn't released in the US [clara.net].
          • by bjorniac (836863)

            That's simply not true - more recent versions of Elite (Oolite, ArcElite) have Lave-Zaonce at the beginning.

            • I actually knew it from Oolite, but I figured the universe they share is obscure enough (although with search engines, nothing is obscure for the online reader).
          • by ckaminski (82854)
            My dad and I used to compete playing Elite on the C64 when I was a kid. For him, he thought it was a good math/money/trading game to educate me, with a bit of space combat thrown in. Me, I just like zooming around blowing shit up.
    • by gparent (1242548)
      Buying High Quality Goods from New York, selling them at Hokkaido and going back with Cardamine was pretty good too.
    • But the line will only take you as far as the round about at Barnard's star.
    • by MRe_nl (306212)

      OMFG, Lave, that brings back memories of a summer lost...
      Weeks of Amiga Elite and the Vectrex, weekends with Joey Beltram, Derrick May & Dimitri/Roxy.

      "In the Santaari system near Lave, where the game starts, there are a couple of decent routes - Isinor/Zaonce and Benaera/Tionisla. They aren't so close together that you can make a round trip several times without refuelling, but they do have the necessary tech levels for making a good quick profit".

      Never made "Elite" though, we did all the missions and w

      • I did make "Elite." It took about nine months of game-play. And then my 286 died--which sucked hard because the version I had behaved like a hummingbird on fast forward if I played on anything faster than 8 megahertz!

      • by RockDoctor (15477)

        Never made "Elite" though, we did all the missions and were still only "Very dangerous" IIRC.

        Getting to 'elite' level would take a couple of days game-play on the version I had (PC ; would run from a single floppy and I think was a single file of about 80kb (well one file for the solid-rendered version, one for the wireframe version) ; machines have been ridiculously too fast for over a decade). As I recall, you wouldn't make Elite until you'd fought and destroyed several bounty hunters in Fer-de-Lance ship

  • I'll take 10 tickets, please. With FTL transit, grav-shielding and a couple of window seats. Thank you.

  • by Some.Net(Guy) (1733146) on Wednesday February 03, 2010 @04:43PM (#31014556) Homepage
    Mind the gap!
  • by mattdm (1931) on Wednesday February 03, 2010 @04:44PM (#31014570) Homepage
    With PDF version! http://arbesman.net/milkyway/ [arbesman.net]
  • Which ones are the Mass Relays?

  • by gestalt_n_pepper (991155) on Wednesday February 03, 2010 @04:45PM (#31014578)

    First class gets extra inertial damping. It costs more but it's soooo worth it.

  • Well (Score:5, Funny)

    by CSHARP123 (904951) on Wednesday February 03, 2010 @04:45PM (#31014586)
    My job is located at Galaxy Center. But I live at The Hamptons. The problem is, I have to take Brown line and yellow line to reach the center, It takes for ever and in some locations the AT&T signals are not that good and I cannot do anything with my iPad. Well that's life...
    • by proslack (797189)
      High-speed rail will alleviate all your woes.
    • I cannot do anything with my iPad

      It's a feature, not a bug, and surely not AT&T's fault.

    • Re:Well (Score:4, Insightful)

      by TorKlingberg (599697) on Wednesday February 03, 2010 @09:03PM (#31017564)

      My job is located at Galaxy Center. But I live at The Hamptons. The problem is, I have to take Brown line and yellow line to reach the center,

      Dude, you can warpspeed over to Outer Junction, and take just about any line from there. It's not far at all. That's the problem with these schematic maps: people don't learn the real geography.

  • I like it, really, I do. But seriously. When measuring distance in light years, the shortest path will always between two points(1)

    (1) not including areas of space/time warping and dilation

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by kalirion (728907)

      When measuring distance in light years, the shortest path will always between two points(1)

      Isn't the shortest distance always "between two points", regardless of the units of measurement?

      • by SomeJoel (1061138)

        When measuring distance in light years, the shortest path will always between two points(1)

        Isn't the shortest distance always "between two points", regardless of the units of measurement?

        In actuality, all distances (shortest, longest, and everything else) are between two points. That's kind of the definition of distance.

    • by Kjella (173770)

      I like it, really, I do. But seriously. When measuring distance in light years, the shortest path will always between two points(1)

      Ignoring the curvature of the Earth the shortest path for the tube would be a straight line too, but most people won't have a direct route. For this tube map to make sense you have to assume a populated universe with economics of scale and space liners going where it's popular, so you'd still get hubs because it's more efficient than trying to build point-to-point connections between every star in the galaxy (some 10^22 routes needed).

      • by eleuthero (812560)

        so you'd still get hubs because it's more efficient than trying to build point-to-point connections between every star in the galaxy (some 10^22 routes needed).

        That is, unless you happen to live in one of the Hamilton universes that involves "paths" and spacegates (though the spacegates tended to have hubs, the paths apparently... at least as far as I've gotten, did not). You've also got the more amusing (albeit on a popular level) series by Ringo that involves "looking glass" gateways. If I had to pick one of them, I think I'd go with Hamilton's scenario but...

      •   It also depends on the speed of your transport. If you're moving at subluminal speeds over a large distance things might move a ways before you get there ;)

        SB

  • . . . to the Magellanic Clouds?

    Why the gray "Canis Major" box?

    • . . . to the Magellanic Clouds?

      Why the gray "Canis Major" box?

      Construction zone. Sort of like the Circle Line with Vogons.

    • by dhalgren (34798)

      "Superliminal"? Is that where your movie is interspersed with 5-minute segments of a guy shouting at you to TRUST THE POWER?

  • by Dr_Art (937436) on Wednesday February 03, 2010 @04:52PM (#31014668) Journal
    Don't forget your towel!
  • Where's Mornington Crescent?

  • Sorry, it had to be said.

    Actually, the interstellar transport system is like a box of chocolates ... you never know where you're going to end up. It was prototyped from an airport luggage handling system - more specifically, Denver.

    Nobody's ever complained. Then again, nobody's ever come back.

  • Oh great... (Score:4, Funny)

    by Overzeetop (214511) on Wednesday February 03, 2010 @04:54PM (#31014704) Journal

    ...we ended up on a fucking spur line. Why is it I always have to transfer every time I want to go somewhere cool!

    • by lewiscr (3314)

      I want to know which special interest group got that Sol station approved.

      Talk about useless to the rest of the galactic population...

  • Science? (Score:1, Offtopic)

    by clone53421 (1310749)

    This should be in idle.

  • that intergallactic travel will be just as confusing as the real tube.
  • However I wouln't use my PAYG Oyster card on that tube because the fares would be a little higher when I'd touch out...
  • by RichMan (8097) on Wednesday February 03, 2010 @05:08PM (#31014824)

    How did Sol rate even a minor station. A crummy little G2 minor league star.
    I suspect undue influence at the planning commission or city council for this station to even exist.

    • by Megane (129182) on Wednesday February 03, 2010 @05:19PM (#31014974) Homepage
      You haven't heard the news? They're planning to build an interstellar bypass through there. The plans have been on file at Alpha Centauri for years. It's not their fault if you haven't been around to check them.
      • by Jesus_666 (702802)
        That's the problem: Plural zone. Earth is not one crummy little G2 star, it's a whole lot of crummy little G2 stars. Given that nobody can prove that the total number of Earth's inhabitants isn't several times that of the rest of the known universe, the bureaucrats of the MWTA decided that they had to mention it.
        • by Throtex (708974) on Wednesday February 03, 2010 @10:29PM (#31018182)

          How does that even work, when the universe's population is zero?

          Universe
          --------
          Population:
          None. Although you might see people from time to time, they are most likely products of your imagination. Simple mathematics tells us that the population of the Universe must be zero. Why? Well given that the volume of the universe is infinite there must be an infinite number of worlds. But not all of them are populated; therefore only a finite number are. Any finite number divided by infinity is zero, therefore the average population of the Universe is zero, and so the total population must be zero.

          • by Jesus_666 (702802)
            However, since Earth isn't infinite it has a nonzero population. This holds true for most of the plural Earths and those other ones don't count. Therefore, the population of Earth (above zero) is bigger than that of the rest of the universe (zero), which makes Sol the single most important station. q.e.d.
      • You wouldn't believe how boring it can be in the ticket queue at Fenchurch Station.
    • Omega Centauri isn't even in the Milky Way galaxy. It was thought to be a globular cluster but there's now evidence it is actually the core of a dwarf galaxy long ago stripped of it's outer stars.

  • Earth really is "Far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the Western Spiral arm of the Galaxy..."

  • This will truly revolutionize the game of Mornington Crescent! [youtube.com]

  • Mind the gap, please!... or be SUCKED INTO OUTER SPACE!
  • If we swerve wildly around those, we might get some sort of gravity-boost or something
  • Don't use stupid Intergalactic Public Mass-Transit, Instead they drive their Space SUVs and Space Hummers all over the place spreading Nebula Gasses all over the galaxy leading to Galactic Warming....

    • by xaxa (988988)

      There's plans to introduce a galactic congestion charge, so make the most of it while you can.

      Last time I used my spaceship I spent ages waiting for a space to park, the orbits are so full nowadays.

  • Mornington Crescent.

    I win.

  • This is the first attempt at the Total Perspective Vortex! Now all they need is some fairy cake!

  • stargate system is faster and non stop point to point.

  • by Token_Internet_Girl (1131287) on Wednesday February 03, 2010 @06:45PM (#31016162)
    I don't see the systems for Terminus, Vulcan, or Hoth anywhere on the map!
  • Look, the guy's at Harvard, so it's more likely that it's a play on the MBTA Subway Map [mbta.com] than a London Tube Map.

  • Tubes? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Monkey_Genius (669908)
    Please. No one needs tubes. All one needs is a little spice to fold space --and possibly some 'Juice of Saphoo' for the trip.
  • This map is not supposed to be posted on the internet. It is supposed to be taped to underside of bottom drawer of a filing cabinet in a disused toilet in the dark unlit basement without stairs guarded by a leopard in the municipal building in Alpha Centauri.
  • Last I heard, they needed to build a tunnel through here as well..

  • Where's the "You are Here" arrow? I 'm totally lost.
    Adeptus

  • The really interesting thing to me was how far away we can see stars in our galaxy. I'd always assumed that observable individual stars were relatively close while only uber-bright objects like galaxies and clusters were visible from further away.
  • ...isn't it going to be a *really* long walk between platforms at the interchange stations? Having a single station span the entire galactic centre doesn't really make any sense as it's generally too large to walk across (or so I've been told - I generally prefer to stay north of the galactic centre as it's much more civilised). Hopefully TfMW will install travelators at the stations to ease the morning commute.

  • Not sure how well it describes out galaxy, but then even with years of be 'into astronomy' I don't think I could find the suns spiral arm on a real map of our galaxy. Somethings don't seem to fit in the plan though, whats that arm doing going backwards on the 'new outer junction'? And Omicron Centuri is show as on the opposite side of the galaxy from us, but wikipedia lists it as a only 3200 light years aways, the other side of the galaxy is more like 20000 lights years away.

    ---

    Astronomy [feeddistiller.com] Feed @ Feed Dis [feeddistiller.com]

  • Have you seen how far I have to travel to get from here to Andromeda Customs? No fewer than four changes too. And it's a bloody long walk from one platform to the other at New Outer Junction, I can tell you.

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