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Feasibility of hiding a colony within NGC 6543.

  1. Jun 3, 2015 #1
    Thousands of years ago mankind conquered the stars... and of course it brought all of its wars along with it. One small, though highly advanced, faction was losing ground fast. Then, suddenly, it disappeared. It turns out that they decided to hide in the planetary nebula of NGC 6543, better known as the Cat's Eye Nebula. Now they are forced to emerge, and strive to secure a place for themselves in the universe.

    For this to work, the colony must be:
    1. MASSIVE. It holds a population of at least 1,000,000 and growing. Probably more. Probably much more.
    2. Self-Sustaining. It will have been running for thousands of years.
    3. Hidden. It has not been noticed during this time.
    NGC 6543's CSPNe may actually be a binary star. In this book it is.
    I would like the colony to be as close to the CSPNe(s) as possible, if not actually within one.

    I would like the science to be fairly hard.
    Exceptions:
    • limited access to exotic (negative mass-energy) matter (they use Alcuiberre drives).
    • possible access to scrith-like materials if necessary.

    So... would this setting be at all feasible? What would be necessary to pull this off?

    Thank's in advance for your input.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 4, 2015 #2
    So you want to have a huge space station circulating in the middle of planetary nebula? 3300 ly away? the middle of hot ionized gas?

    Why haven't they instead found any closer and easier place to park their ships? Like a small unhabitable planet or even rogue planet?
     
  4. Jun 4, 2015 #3
    Humanity has spread much further than 3300 ly by the time they are forced to hide. And they do have ftl travel. So NGC 6543 is actually quite close.
    It is the last place any sane person would look, or think to build. They were desparate. They would consider anything. The plan was crazy, but it worked.

    Also, the population given in the OP is way too low. That's perhaps the number living on one ship. They have many (at least 10,000) ships. They were a galactic power. They held many stars. They will not fit on a single planet. Even if they did, they would have already been found.
     
  5. Jun 4, 2015 #4
    Wouldn't it be better to hide in the Oorth cloud of some random uninteresting star rather than in the center of one of the best sight-seeing spots in the galaxy?
     
  6. Jun 4, 2015 #5
    You might think that... but the idea started as a civ. based there and growing, and I would really like to keep that premise, so.... no, it's actually not.

    Many of the apparent disadvantages do also have advantageous points, such as:

    It's a popular sightseeing spot.

    • You can keep in touch with the outside world, thus staying abreast of the current political situation and technological advancements.
    • You can fairly easily send out spies. Which stands out more, a small, sightseeing vessel appearing among many others on the outskirts of a nebula with the passenger swiftly disappearing into the crowds, or a similarly sized vessel flying in from some uninhabited region of space?
    You are in the middle of a nebula.
    • The sightseers aren't actually going to get that close to you. You'd have to be crazy to fly into the middle of a nebula, after all.
    • You can hide your transmissions. Broadcast what you want (within limits), no-one will be able to notice over all the background radiation.
     
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