FIREFLY UNIVERSE

Firefly Solar System

POSTED BY: MAHATATAIN
UPDATED: Thursday, July 1, 2010 04:28
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Thursday, July 31, 2008 5:06 AM

MAHATATAIN


My understanding is that all of the planets in the Firefly setting exist in the same solar system and that no travel between systems takes place. If this is correct does anyone know what the solar system is called?

Also does anyone know whether it is supposed to be a single sun in the system or multiple suns?

Lastly does anyone know if any explanation has ever been given as to why different planets have similar temperature ranges and gravity to Earth that was? Is this put down purely to the miracle of terraforming?

Thanks for any help people can give me.



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Thursday, July 31, 2008 5:34 AM

SISTER


moons and planets were terra-formed (process taking many decades) accounting for similarities in climate/vegetation but allowing for breathable atmosphere.
According to the Serenity visual companion - after it became clear the earth was about to be used up - Joss Whedon writes, "A nearby star was located, home to dozens of planets and hundreds of moons, allmost all of which had enough mass and solidity to be templates for new earths. Through giant atmosphere processing plants, terraforming technologies, gravity regulation and the introduction of every known form of Earthlife, each planet became its own little (or in some cases, huge) Earth. Every person willing and able to leave the Earth migrated to the new system. An entire generation never even saw the outside of a spaceship, the journey took so long. But the planets were ready for habitation..." The description goes on to say that the work of rebuilding civilization started on the two largest and most central planets, Londinium and Sihnon. Hope that helps answer some of your questions.

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Thursday, July 31, 2008 6:13 AM

MAHATATAIN


Thanks for your help.

That explains the gravity and climate questions – the terraforming included “gravity regulation”.

I still wonder what the solar system is called though! I don’t think that it is ever named but I suppose that matters to the people who live in it!

Thanks again,

Mahatatain.

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Thursday, July 31, 2008 6:19 AM

SISTER


really? What's the name of ours? Not to be snarky or anything but does the system on which we (currently) live have a name other THAN the "Solar System?" Do you mean the name of the galaxy? Are we in the Milky Way? AHHHHH where are we????!!!

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Thursday, July 31, 2008 6:26 AM

ZEEK


Somewhere in the back of my head I gather than we're in the "Sol System". Maybe I heard that sometime or something. I'm pretty sure Sol just means Sun. So, we're more or less in the "Sun System" which makes sense. I'd guess that whatever they name the Star or Stars at the center of the Firefly solar system that they name the system after that.

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Thursday, July 31, 2008 6:26 AM

SISTER


umm; above meant to be amusing.

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Thursday, July 31, 2008 6:41 AM

MAHATATAIN


You're both correct - our system is called Sol but who knows that and does it really matter!

What solar system you live in only matters if you can travel between them. As you can't in the Firefly universe then it's only a point of interest rather than something important.

Thanks again,

Mahatatain.

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Thursday, November 20, 2008 6:23 AM

WOLFHOUND


I have seen several discussions on the web about it... I tend to think that it is set in this solar system. Time is the most important factor in figuring it out. There would be no way that we could move a portion of people on earth to a new solar system and terraform them in the 500 years. in some ways an academic discussion but when you realize it is an important one. economies of scale and reality based, where the two key items of the Verse.

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Thursday, November 20, 2008 7:24 AM

GREENFAERIE


Well, if you want some kind of "official" word on that, there seems to be one now...

http://fireflyfans.net/mthread.asp?b=2&t=35693

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Saturday, December 13, 2008 11:16 AM

AURAPTOR

America loves a winner!


I was just listening to The Signal podcast, show dated Nov 21st, I believe, and they were talking one of the guys from QMX, maker of all sorts of wicked cool Firefly/Serenity stuff. Particular to this thread , they've made a map of the 'verse. A COMPLETE map, which has over 200 moons and planets, and, from the looks of it, 4 suns! ( I dunno about the suns part )




But here's my major question : How we'd go from over populating the Earth - that - was in, say 1 million yrs, to making the same mistakes in the new 'verse, and causing signs of wear and tear in just under 500 ? There's no way we could have transported very many from ETW, to the new 'verse, so just on sheer numbers alone, it seems unlikely we could over populate 1 small moon, let alone 200+ planet sized bodies, nor even BEGIN to tax their resources to the limit. And from what I've read, that's exactly what is going on, at the time of our BDH. Some planets are becoming over populated and stripped of their natural resources. I call hogwash ! There's now ay we'd have the #'s to cause so much damage, nor do I think we'd be dumb enough , having made the great journey to FIND a new home, to start screwing things up so badly , so quickly.

Anyone else find this a tad absurd ? I mean, just over the course of last summer, we cut back in our gas consumption so much as to help bring down the price almost 3 $'s a gallon! ! And that was from voluntary cut backs on OUR own part, w/ no Gov't mandates, orders, or rationing.

Somehow, it don't add up right.



It is not those who use the term "Islamo-Fascism" who are sullying the name of Islam; it is the Islamo-Fascists. - Dennis Prager


" They don't like it when you shoot at 'em. I worked that out myself. "

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Saturday, December 13, 2008 11:45 AM

NCBROWNCOAT


As Joss said in the Visual Companion...(to paraphrase)"we didn't stop making babies." Sheer population pressure can be devastating to the environment. Just look at LA, Beijing, Mumbai, Mexico City etc.

Also, if you look at the population numbers on the new "Map of the 'Verse", the population numbers are astounding. Many, many billions of people. I don't the math, but it looks like many billions left Earth that Was.

Locally, Ft Bragg and Camp Lejuene are in the middle of a baby boomlet that has its peaks about 9 months after a unit returns from Iraq or Afghanistan. The hospitals can barely cope with the number of births and I'm sure other towns near other military bases are having the same "problem".

http://fireflyfaninnc.livejournal.com/








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Saturday, December 13, 2008 12:41 PM

LEMMING


You may want to look over at The Map Of The Verse thread over in General Discussions where Andy Gore of QMX and myself offer a few responses.

Oh, and it's 5 stars (a temporarily, in cosmic terms, stable multiple star system...and that came down from Universal. We even had to substantially alter things to accomodate this :-)

One of the things that had to be dealt with was "this is how it is" i.e. how Joss had said things were, in both Firefly and Serenity. He didn't give many details (though we do now know from the BluRay commentary that animal life was mainly transported as embryos/cell banks) Filling in the details was basically where we came in and fanwanked it into something that *could* work. It didn't always necessarily follow logic (look, we'd already had to swallow grav control and terraforming in a matter of decades! :-) but it did fit the information that was canon and also was compatible with info from the Serenity Role Playing Game and even some selected fan fiction (mainly inclusion of certain planet/moon names)

The population thing is dealt with in some more detail in the forthcoming White Paper that Andy mentioned in the Signal interview. This will provide a lot of detail that went into the creation of The Map and hopefully fill in some (not all) of the blanks.

Joss can still turn round one day (we can hope!) and say, "no no no, it's actually like *this*", but until then, this is our (well, QMX's) best attempt at covering as many of the bases as possible.

Nick

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Saturday, December 13, 2008 1:13 PM

AURAPTOR

America loves a winner!


I suppose a big part of it has to do w/ how many left ETW. To me, it seems incomprehensible that very many would be on the ships that made 'The journey'. Even in suspended animation, the use of resources would be massive. And the more folks on board, the bigger the problem. The most plausible scenario would be ships of 100, or maybe 1000, and then hope to ' seed ' outter planets from those who set up shop on the better , inner core planets. But this process would take 1000's of yrs, not the hundreds, which 500 or so which is where the story in the 'verse picks up.

Sure, artificial grav, terraforming a moon or planet in decades, those things seem remarkable, but not overly daunting. My issue is that if took us millions of yrs to populate one planet, how is it that we're over populating 100's of planets in just 500 yrs ?






It is not those who use the term "Islamo-Fascism" who are sullying the name of Islam; it is the Islamo-Fascists. - Dennis Prager


" They don't like it when you shoot at 'em. I worked that out myself. "

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Saturday, December 13, 2008 6:31 PM

BYTEMITE


My understanding is that there were huge ships known as "arks," bigger even than alliance cruisers, and that many generations lived and died on the ships in transit to the new system.

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Sunday, December 14, 2008 4:46 AM

LEMMING


How do humans populate the Verse in around 300 years (approx expansion time following the voyage and terraforming)?

Easy. The maths works.

We didn't (over)populate this planet in a million years. It took much less time. For most of our evolutionary history human population was low because we were hunter gatherers. This changed once we figured out agriculture around 10,000 years ago. The pop went up, but not that significantly. You need to look at the last hundred years or so with the advent of modern medicine to start getting into real increases. In 1800 world pop was just under a billion. In 1900, around one and a half billion. By 1959 3 bilion. We *doubled* population to 6 billion in just 40 years to 1999. Exponential growth (which should have lead to a Malthusian catastrophe by now, but somehow hasn't)
( http://www.census.gov/ipc/www/idb/worldpopinfo.html)

A technological, long lived base population with decent child survival rates would have no problem in cutting that doubling time even further, especially as in the early days of the Verse, large families would be encouraged and be practical (thats how you tame new territory). Birth control would likely be discouaged on newly opened up planets.

It is true though that you have to assume evacuation of around 2 billion from Earth that Was for the 2518 verse pop levels to be remotely feasible in the time available. But those arks were VAST and most of ETW remaining resources would have been bent to the evacuation effort as a matter of species survival. The details unfortunately have been lost in the chaos of those final days... :-)

Nick

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Tuesday, December 23, 2008 9:52 AM

MOONDOG


Considering the primary in this system is named "sol" it being called the SOLer system is a big duh! The name seems to be genaric in it's use but it,s not correct.

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Monday, July 13, 2009 7:22 AM

ANDREWT1000


I can believe we would make all the same mistakes again.
Have a think about the 'verse Firefly is set in.
In particular -
1)Indentured slaves.
2)The war for Independence.
3)The captain who's pocket Mal lifts some cash from in "The Train Job" talking about enslaving people for terraforming crews, which have a "prodigious death rate", "thicker doors, so everyone stays where they're supposed to be, didn't even have lay in more rations."
4)Settlers dropped off on newly terraformed worlds with "hatchets and blankets", "some of them make it, some of them."
5)Magistrate Higgens talking glibly about "owning people"
6)"The Pax", Paxilon D Hydrochloride, to "make people better"
So, yeah, I can see a corrupt government more concerned about control and power than it's citizens welfare letting things get out of control.

As to the star system, from the map it could be a trinary star system that was settled.
It makes more sense if you think about it.
Around any star there would be an inner and outer limit to which planet you could colonise, even with teraforming.
Look at our system, even with a moon, Venus would be really hot, Mars if it was larger would be goram cold.
A couple of the worlds in Firefly are moons of a gas giant.
A trinary star system would also explain why the colour temperature of "sunlight" was so different on most of the worlds the crew went to.
The other thing that could have been done is to "touch off" a big gas giant like Jupiter, which is a star that didn't quite make it. If you can generate "artificial" gravity then it's not much of an imagination stretch to think about starting up the nuclear fires of a gas giant.

Just a few thoughts I had, but then again, I'm an aspiring science fiction writer trying to get published!
:-)


Shiny! Lets be bad guys!

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Saturday, July 25, 2009 7:41 PM

VILE


I don't try to over-think the physics of the 'Verse, that way lies madness. It's definitely a different star system (as people have rightly pointed out, there is only one Solar system and we're living in it). I've heard conflicting stories that it has either one, three or five stars. The rocky planets and moons were teraformed, by which Joss means "magic to make them like Earth".

As to how people, plants and animals took over, that's up to us to figure out. Population increase is the least of my worries, I find it a tad harder to believe that entire ecosystems can be recreated from scratch without going off the rails in completely unexpected ways (google "cane toad", "rainforest restoration", etc.). But that's all good from an RPG viewpoint, more plot hooks for the GM.

As for "gravity manipulation" on a planetary scale ... that kind of technology and people are using revolvers? Don't go there - just don't.

--
Too young to be an Urvile ...

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Sunday, July 26, 2009 5:20 AM

NCBROWNCOAT


Thinking of the physics makes my head spin too. I'm more into the stories of the people.

As to weapons, think massive gun control. It seem the Alliance military are the only ones with high tech weapons such as sonic blasters and laser pistols.

Laser weapons are strictly illegal for anyone. Rance Burges obtained one somehow, likely with money greasing the right palms. (per both script and the RPG book is it must be canon).

Conventional weapons are easy to manufacture and ammunition should be easy to come by. Ammunition can even be home made-my Dad went through a phase where he was shooting trap (shooting at clay targets flung by a mechanical arm) and he reloaded his own shells with little problem.

http://fireflyfaninnc.livejournal.com/








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Monday, July 27, 2009 4:09 AM

VILE


I guess gun control is an option, although I'm more inclined to go for weapons embargoes, given that gun tech seems to vary in direct proportion to the distance from the Core.

Anyway, that wasn't my main point, I'm just saying that there is no way the level of technology seen in Firefly or Serenity would allow the gravity of entire moons to be manipulated in that way. So, best not to delve too deeply behind the scenes ...

I do have a pet project for the day Mongoose comes out with their star system generation system for Traveller - building a reasonably realistic Firefly star system with as many stars as I can squeeze in there.

--
Too young to be an Urvile ...

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Monday, July 27, 2009 8:59 AM

GREENFAERIE


Why there is some confusion on this issue after seven months of there being an official map, I cannot understand.

http://store.quantummechanix.com/Complete-and-Official-Map-of-the-Vers
e_p_54.html


(a.k.a. wydraz)

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Saturday, August 1, 2009 6:06 AM

VILE


There's no confusion about the geography - that map has already been mentioned further up the thread. But there are a lot of inconsistencies and physical impossibilities in the geography and history of the the 'Verse.

As I said, best not to think about those. Trying to fix even only the blatantly wrong bits will leave you with an altogether different place.

--
Too young to be an Urvile ...

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Wednesday, June 30, 2010 12:49 PM

KRELLEK


Quote:

Originally posted by Sister:
really? What's the name of ours? Not to be snarky or anything but does the system on which we (currently) live have a name other THAN the "Solar System?" Do you mean the name of the galaxy? Are we in the Milky Way? AHHHHH where are we????!!!



I believe it has been mentioned in somewhere(possibly in space games, science fiction movies), that our Solar system is called the Sol system, but i am not sure

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Wednesday, June 30, 2010 1:46 PM

BYTEMITE


I heard some thoughts that are interesting elsewhere about this recently.

The rimworlds are the way they are, technology wise, because the coreworlds are reluctant to really help make them nice. This makes the rim mostly dependent on them. It's somewhat similar to the industrialized north and agricultural south in the Civil War.

Similarly, indentured servantry and other things that we've seemed to move past on earth, well, first we haven't actually moved past them all that much, there's still human trafficking in a lot of places for both labour and sex slavery. You might see that die out while people are on the arcs and things were closely monitored, and on the coreworlds, also closely monitored, but out on the rim, there's no oversight and there's also a need for this sort of stuff. So people get away with it.

The gunpowder guns aren't quite gunpowder, I've heard Mal's works by air compression or something, and the show suggests this by having not quite gunpowder sounds with rim weapons. As for why projectile weapons, and lasers and stun weapons are not prevalent in the future, someone else got it, that's been stated outright that it's because of gun control laws.

As for the fashion styles, and why people in 500 years would choose to emulate the dresses and clothing of the 19th century, apparently for a while, there's been a migration from the core that wants to pretend to be cowboys (kind of like Rance Burgess), so the clothing thing might be intentional. It's also possible that some of that might just be easier to make with limited resources and homegrown material.

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Wednesday, June 30, 2010 3:34 PM

VILE


I am actually trying to put together a physically viable 5-star system on another forum (see link below). It's not impossible, but the terraforming just isn't going to happen - at least not to the "magic" extent it does in the 'Verse. I think I'm going to end up with two shirt-sleeve planets at most, possibly one or two marginals, and the rest of humanity will be living in domes, underground or in space.

And it's BIG. The distances are huge, which is actually a good thing from a plot viewpoint.

http://www.sfrpg.org.uk/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=30&t=801&start=0

--
Too young to be an Urvile ...

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Thursday, July 1, 2010 1:39 AM

TWO

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly


Quote:

Originally posted by Vile:
It's not impossible, but the terraforming just isn't going to happen - at least not to the "magic" extent it does in the 'Verse.

You need super-advanced physics. The best place to learn it is from a science fiction writer. Never go to real physicists because they think reality is complicated and limiting. Kim Stanley Robinson created a perfectly simple reality. Here is a long quote from Robinson's novel The Memory of Whiteness.

“Arthur Holywelkin wrote his Ten Forms of Change, a grand unified theory that proved to be tremendously powerful. Physicists look his work and applied it to the unprecedented amounts of energy available just above the coronal flare zone of the sun. And they found that with their new understanding they could concentrate and transfer that energy from one point to another. And they could contract it to singularities that, within the confines of a spherical discontinuity, pulled inward with gravitational force beyond their apparent mass. Discontinuity physics was the key; the door to the solar system was unlocked. One gee colonies illuminated by projected flares of the sun were established on hundreds of moons and asteroids, and the organic world bloomed everywhere. Millions of people left Earth and Mars for the new worlds, and the age known as the Accelerando began.”

Holywelkin's grand unified theory made possible whitelines and whitesuns, which were essential for terraforming the entire Solar System. The same technology makes the habitable zones around the stars of the Firefly 'Verse as big as you dream.

The Joss Whedon script for "Serenity", where Wash lives, is
Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/two

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Thursday, July 1, 2010 3:46 AM

VILE


Okay, maybe I should have qualified that - it isn't going to happen in my fictional universe ...

Mainly because it's not going to have that level of super-science fiction, and because I actually like space suits and orbital stations.

Hmm, I lost sight of K S Robinson after Mars - I'll have to check out that book. Thanks for the tip.

--
Too young to be an Urvile ...

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Thursday, July 1, 2010 4:28 AM

TWO

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly


Quote:

Originally posted by Vile:
...it isn't going to happen in my fictional universe ... mainly because it's not going to have that level of super-science fiction, and because I actually like space suits and orbital stations.

The complete title is The Memory of Whiteness: A Scientific Romance. The romance tells me Robinson wrote it as a fantastical dream of the future, same as parts of Firefly, i.e. four stars orbiting around a fifth called "White Sun" or "Bai Hu". The orbital mechanics of 5 stars would drive a real astronomer slightly crazy but it is easy for TV.

The Joss Whedon script for "Serenity", where Wash lives, is
Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/two

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