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Old December 29th, 2004, 09:34 PM   #1
rjandron
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Question Canon Question--12 colonies

I hope this is in the right forum, but I'm wondering if anyone here knows the canonical answer to whether the 12 colonies in TOS were 12 worlds in a single star system, or 12 worlds gathered around a cluster of nearby stars.
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Old December 30th, 2004, 09:56 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rjandron
I hope this is in the right forum, but I'm wondering if anyone here knows the canonical answer to whether the 12 colonies in TOS were 12 worlds in a single star system, or 12 worlds gathered around a cluster of nearby stars.
Canon is an odd thing in the Galactica milieu, and unfortunately there isn't a definitive canonical source. That being said, it was never made clear in the series or the novelization of the pilot. Even the tactical 2-D display seen on the bridge and used to indicate three of the worlds in the pilot episode does not really make it clear. However, that "map" and the way some of the worlds are referenced ("outer planets"), suggest to me that the 12 Colonies were 12 separate "worlds" (I suspect some were actually moons around gas giants) that were all part of the same trinary solar system. Also note that the Colonials in the series are fairly consistent in their use of the term "solar system" for what we would call a star system, and the term "star system" is synonymous with galaxy.

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Old December 30th, 2004, 10:59 AM   #3
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I'd have to agree with JJR's take on it.

In the pilot some of the rag tag fleet ships are seen passing a ringed gas giant, presumably in the Colonials' home system (Cyrannus System ?), their point of origin must have been a habitable moon.

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Old December 30th, 2004, 11:00 AM   #4
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I am fairly certain that the answer is that they are 12 "worlds" that are in a single star system. Whether all of the "worlds" are planets or a combination of planets and moons I believe was never explained. In one of the shots of colonials fleeing we see a planet that appears by our standards not to be habitable. Whether that meant people were fleeing from an unseen moon or somehow colonial technology was able to overcome the environment, or whether it was simply a poor image to use on the part of special effects artist I do not know.

I understand that in the new series they were originally going to make the 12 colonies spread across multiple stars to make it more realistic but intentionally changed it to 12 worlds in one star system to reflect back to TOS.
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Old December 30th, 2004, 11:38 AM   #5
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Battlestar Galactica 1978

Quote:
Originally Posted by antelope526
I understand that in the new series they were originally going to make the 12 colonies spread across multiple stars to make it more realistic but intentionally changed it to 12 worlds in one star system to reflect back to TOS.

No. Originally in the mini they were going to make Kobol and that was it.

No twelve colonies at all.

Anyways, this forum is about osBG, so...

I believe each of the Colony planets are in a different solar system from each other, but relativly close to one another.
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Old December 30th, 2004, 03:24 PM   #6
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The way it seemed to me was that Caprica's primary, as we see when Baltar is gloating over Adama's ruined home, was a binary sun. Now, it would make sense if further out from the "inner planets' was a third star, making the Colonial system a trinary. It would be as if there were a second sun, orbiting a common gravitational center with our sun, beyond the orbit of Pluto. (Pluto is approximately 12 light-hours from the sun, so imagine a star about the same again. Easily reachable in a day or less with Colonial technology.) Lots of room for more planets, yet close enough to be part of the same solar system. This would work for the Colonies.
The reason I doubt some of the Colonial worlds orbit gas giants is that, at least in our experience, gas giants tend to have massive magnetic fields and enormous radiation belts. Life, at least Human life, on a planet orbiting such a world would be precarious at best.
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Old December 30th, 2004, 04:07 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Senmut
The reason I doubt some of the Colonial worlds orbit gas giants is that, at least in our experience, gas giants tend to have massive magnetic fields and enormous radiation belts. Life, at least Human life, on a planet orbiting such a world would be precarious at best.
Hmm, I always kind of liked the idea that Pisces was a colony entirely underwate in a 'Europan' ocean.

Re: binary and trinary systems, would life be unlikely due to the increased amount of solar radiation?

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Old December 30th, 2004, 04:39 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by peter noble
Hmm, I always kind of liked the idea that Pisces was a colony entirely underwate in a 'Europan' ocean.

Re: binary and trinary systems, would life be unlikely due to the increased amount of solar radiation?

Peter
Some theories on "Earth" type planets would lead you to believe that the vast majority of such planets would be entirely covered by water and that one with some land above water a rarity. The idea that Pisces was a water covered planet would fit well with me.

It is very conceiveable that a trinary system could have many planets with the potential for life and that radiation from non-primary suns on each planet would be a non-issue. If our own Jupiter was a bit bigger we might have one bright sun and one slight sun whose light varied depending on where our orbits were around the sun relative to each other at any given time.

In such a system you could see three separate solar systems revolving around a common center of gravity. After billions of years of interaction we would have stable planetary systems revolving around each of the three stars. If we had three Sol type systems revolving around such a center maybe we could have an Earth in each and a Terra formed Mars and Venus in each as well as "worlds" that were moons of the various planets. To get twelve worlds maybe all they really have around each sun is an Earth (World 1), Luna (World 2), terra formed Mars (World 3), and a colony on a Jovian Moon (World 4) times 3 stars = 12 colonies.
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Old December 30th, 2004, 05:15 PM   #9
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If 'canon' is defined as that which appeared on TV then, I would submit that ALL of the Colonies were in 1 single solar system.

Recall the scenes with Adama, Tigh, and Omega, on the bridge during the Cylon attack. Omega remarks indicated that the attacks started on the "inner planets" and then, were moving to the "outer planets".

I interpreted those remarks as indicating that the Colonies were of the same solar system. In addition, I don't find reference to any of the 'worlds' being moons. Once again, pointing to Omega's remarks, it would seem that they were all planets. Also, Colonial terminology distinguished between the words, "planet" and "moon". They didn't seem to be interchangeable.
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Old December 30th, 2004, 06:04 PM   #10
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Battlestar Galactica 1978

A star cluster would leave the planets in their own solar systems and yet still be close enough to each other.

In addition, the "inner" planets can be orbiting suns towards the middle of the cluster, as the "outer" planets can be on the outer edges of the cluster.

Re- Baltar gloating over the ruins of Adama's home: Where was it ever identified that he did that?
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Old December 30th, 2004, 06:19 PM   #11
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Warrior,

I think the reference is to the scene with Baltar and the 2 Centurions, on the surface of Caprica, when Baltar asked the question, "And what is the standing order regarding humans?", to which the Centurion replied, "Extermination."

The setting, though, may be what is confusing. It looks very similar, if not the same, as the scene with Apollo awaiting Adama's return from their family home, and before the mob descends the hill.

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Old December 30th, 2004, 06:24 PM   #12
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I figured that's what was being referred to. I suggest people go look at it again

Baltar is looking DOWN from the TOP of a hill, while Adama's house was at the BOTTOM of a hill, as the people had approached coming from the TOP of the hill.

At the top of the hill that the people approached from, there was NO ruins.

But Baltar is standing right next to some ruins.

Thus, different hill.
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Old December 30th, 2004, 08:29 PM   #13
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Default Note to Tom - regarding Colonial Star map

Tom -

I know that the Colonial Star map is being used for the wallpaper background for Fleets. Do you think that you could provide a copy so we could take a better look at it for this topic? It would be nice to take a good, close look at it, as it shows how many star systems make up the 12 Colonies.

It would be much appreciated....

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Old December 31st, 2004, 02:16 AM   #14
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I have to admit, when I asked this question, I favoured the multiple systems version. I think that the "inner planets" and "outer planets" referred to by Tigh could still be construed as referring to multiple systems in a stellar cluster.

As I recall (I think from Lost Planet of the Gods), the original colonists on their flight from Kobol had turned on their technology and reduced themselves to a primitive state of existence, where it took hundreds of yahren for them to regain even the basic level of technology. Terraforming worlds would not have been possible for them, so habitable planets would have been chosen at the outset. (Terraforming would not have been possible if the flight from Kobol was rapid, and there had been little to no time to prepare distant planets for taking colonists--given the state of Kobol at the time of the Exodus as alluded to in LPotG, I would think that there would not have been the necessary time for such terraforming).

As for how the planets were chosen, and which colony became Caprica and which became Piscera, I'd imagine that the strongest group of colonists would have taken the most preferable planet with weaker groups taking the next preferable planets out of the options available. Presumably, the Capricans would have wanted to keep the planet to themselves and would have fought off any other tribes who tried to settle on Caprica. Having a series of closeby stars would have prevented the tribes from warring with each other as they tried to rise back to a level of technology capable of interstellar travel.

Finding twelve habitable worlds in a single star system, particularly when there would be little to no opportunity for terraforming, would be a very extraordinary solar system. Almost scientifically impossible. Plus I'd hate to do the orbital mathematics to figure out how stable the orbits and planets themselves would be.

Far more plausible is finding systems that had one to three habitable planets each close by.
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Old December 31st, 2004, 03:08 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Warrior
I figured that's what was being referred to. I suggest people go look at it again

Baltar is looking DOWN from the TOP of a hill, while Adama's house was at the BOTTOM of a hill, as the people had approached coming from the TOP of the hill.

At the top of the hill that the people approached from, there was NO ruins.

But Baltar is standing right next to some ruins.

Thus, different hill.

I have watched it many times. Hence my comments. Adama's house was a cliff-side dwelling, overlooking a bay, by which is what's left of a city. Sadly, we're never told which one. Come dawn, and Baltar arrives, it is the same view, only the suns are coming up. You can still see some smoking pieces of wood behind the Centurions. Baltar gloats looking over things, and he is clearly standing in what was Adama's yard.
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Old December 31st, 2004, 09:37 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rjandron

Finding twelve habitable worlds in a single star system, particularly when there would be little to no opportunity for terraforming, would be a very extraordinary solar system. Almost scientifically impossible. Plus I'd hate to do the orbital mathematics to figure out how stable the orbits and planets themselves would be.
That, my friend is why the genre is called science fiction. No matter what the odds say, the writer can make it happen. I would never expect to find such a star system in reality, but since Glen Larson wrote it I take it as a given in the show.
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Old December 31st, 2004, 10:44 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rjandron
I hope this is in the right forum, but I'm wondering if anyone here knows the canonical answer to whether the 12 colonies in TOS were 12 worlds in a single star system, or 12 worlds gathered around a cluster of nearby stars.
If memory serves, and it may not, there is a point where Adama discusses how the ancients (not sure if he used that exact term) created the star system (again not sure if that's the exact term used) in which the colonies were placed. Or something roughly to that effect.

I'll have to re-watch the series to see if I can track that reference down when I have time. As with so much else in life I could just be mis-remembering at the moment.
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Old January 1st, 2005, 06:19 PM   #18
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incase anyone wanted here are my reproductions of the maps from the old show.







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Old January 1st, 2005, 06:27 PM   #19
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I saw a picture of the 12 Colonies in one of the old comics. It showed 12 planets in a perfect circle orbiting around one sun. I think it was in one of the old Marvel comics...

I found this to be unlikely as I would have thought that if just one of the twelve planets were to shift ever so slightly then they would each knock into each other ? Then again it was just a comic !
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Old January 2nd, 2005, 12:48 PM   #20
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I have been looking at the maps tom made, there are 5 star like icons in the map
1 on the left, 1 near the centre, 2 very close together (could be a binary) the last on on the right side of the map.

could these be the stars of a cluster, where the worlds of the colonies Existed
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Old January 2nd, 2005, 02:16 PM   #21
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Considering that humanity was a group of refugees upon having to leave Kobol, it is pretty incredible that they found a single solar system containing at the minimum, 12 habitable planets, all of which allowed for parallel physical development. And from that single solar system, with its limited resources they were able to build a space faring empire (at least capable of light speed travel) that lasted several thousand yahrens. And presumably, never in all that time did they ever find another single world that developed either a tactical or economic significance enough to carry the political weight of the 12 original colonies. That’s established by the fact that only the 12 colonies are represented in the quorum.

It seems to me that idea is pretty hard to swallow. Especially compared to the idea that each world is in its own solar system, each with its own natural resources to exploit and trade. That would also immediately establish a pretty sizable galactic territory (fictionally, not scientifically) and might help to explain how a group of basically refugees could rise to become the most powerful force in the known Galactica universe. There isn’t anything specifically saying that all 12 colonies were founded at the same time is there? Maybe Caprica came first, and from there as exploration spread out, the next colony came along and the next until in the end there were 12 powerful homeworlds and numerous smaller sub-colonies or outposts.

I just can’t believe in all that space that the Colonials traversed over millennia, none of the worlds ever grew strong enough to rate a new colonial power.

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Old January 2nd, 2005, 02:55 PM   #22
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I go along with Fragmentary in this, I think we should place the planets of the colonies in a cluster of closely placed stars.

I was also thinking the a solar system would be far easer to defend, rather than a cluster of star systems spread out over a distance, would be far more difficult, and could explain why the war went on as long as it did.
I.e. the colonies forces could only ever keep the fighting at a stalemate, have the colonial forces spread out
Over the vast distances of space these could be smaller ships and the battlestar would act as support as would an aircraft carrier would? As I pointed out, in my last post there seem to be 5 star/sun like icons in Tom map, what if the colonial fleet after losing some Battlestars, (and having only 5 left) could only have 1 battlestar per system?


And would a single solar system be able to sustain a growing population, with 12 planets, the need of expansion would become vital. Much easer in a multi system set up. And much better for stories.
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Old January 2nd, 2005, 05:59 PM   #23
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If memory serves, according to Adama's dialogue during both Saga and LPOG, the 13 Tribes all left Kobol at different times; the first twelve established the Colonies, then the 13th went for Earth.

I also believe that they'd scouted the planets they wound up colonizing, too; I don't think it was a blind emigration.

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Old January 2nd, 2005, 06:46 PM   #24
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Quote:
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incase anyone wanted here are my reproductions of the maps from the old show.







Wow Thomas!!! Those look just like my EEG printouts!!! How'd you get those???



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Old January 2nd, 2005, 07:07 PM   #25
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Tommy made them.

I frame capped the pilot and used it as reference.



btw...that bottom one in the bottom leftish has that huuuuge spiral. That is the path Apollo indicates that ships must traverse to get to Carrilon.

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Old January 2nd, 2005, 07:21 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thomas7g
Tommy made them.

I frame capped the pilot and used it as reference.



btw...that bottom one in the bottom leftish has that huuuuge spiral. That is the path Apollo indicates that ships must traverse to get to Carrilon.

Tom -

You did an excellent job! It's one of the best references that there are regarding the Colonial star system(s).

I like it!

Bryan
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Old January 3rd, 2005, 01:13 PM   #27
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Battlestar Galactica 1978

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fragmentary
Considering that humanity was a group of refugees upon having to leave Kobol, it is pretty incredible that they found a single solar system containing at the minimum, 12 habitable planets...
(let's try this again...if it shows up twice, sorry)

It would certainly be a rarity, but not mathematically impossible (maybe they had a line on the system before they left...maybe they were just looking for the perfect place, and spent their "40 years" before they found it, guided perhaps by some devine hand... or maybe they just got lucky...) First, multi-star systems are far from rare themselves, and probably outnumber single-star systems (those closest to Sol do). Second, we know (within reasonable probability) that these multi-star systems can have planets. Given what we think we know about conditions for life-bearing planets, a hypothetical model can be built that would support a 3-star system, where 12 bodies would be capable of supporting life, particularly if we assume technical help.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fragmentary
It seems to me that idea is pretty hard to swallow. Especially compared to the idea that each world is in its own solar system, each with its own natural resources to exploit and trade. That would also immediately establish a pretty sizable galactic territory (fictionally, not scientifically) and might help to explain how a group of basically refugees could rise to become the most powerful force in the known Galactica universe. There isn’t anything specifically saying that all 12 colonies were founded at the same time is there? Maybe Caprica came first, and from there as exploration spread out, the next colony came along and the next until in the end there were 12 powerful homeworlds and numerous smaller sub-colonies or outposts.
A single system with 12 habitable worlds, plus any other real estate that was not habitable but useable, would be a HUGE resource base, not to mention an incredible industrial base, much more so than a single-world system would be; just what you would want as a base for a star-spanning civilization. It is also unlikely that too many other systems would be able to compete, so it can be surmised that any ‘colony’ worlds would not carry the same weight as the original 12. Additionally, each colony may have colonized in its own name, so out-world systems might be represented to that colony in a planetary congress of some type.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fragmentary
I just can’t believe in all that space that the Colonials traversed over millennia, none of the worlds ever grew strong enough to rate a new colonial power.
It seems a bit silly to reference science fiction to justify science fiction, but I would recommend David Webber/Steve White series of books as a reference for industrial base/colonization practices. They are fairly well thought out, and are based on a war game that is also fairly well thought out (the four are Insurrection, Crusade, In Death Ground, and The Shiva Option).

just my tuppence… JJR
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Old January 3rd, 2005, 01:30 PM   #28
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The one thing about 12 inhabitable worlds all in one place would indeed be quite unlikely...

In the star system map that Tom provided, there are a total of 18 planetary bodies amongst what looks like 4 star systems. When you consider it that way, there are at least an average of some worlds that are inhabited and some that are not.

That map alone, shows us that there isn't just one star system, nor 12 habitable planets all in one place...

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Old January 3rd, 2005, 03:26 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by Gemini1999
The one thing about 12 inhabitable worlds all in one place would indeed be quite unlikely...

In the star system map that Tom provided, there are a total of 18 planetary bodies amongst what looks like 4 star systems. When you consider it that way, there are at least an average of some worlds that are inhabited and some that are not.

That map alone, shows us that there isn't just one star system, nor 12 habitable planets all in one place...

Best,
Bryan
True, but the three referenced planets in the series are all around the central cluster of three stars, one of which shows an orbit around two of the stars (I also count 21 planetary bodies... ) The one that intrigues me is the large body that seems to start in the middle of the trinary system and then get picked up by the system on the right.

I haven't done the math, but it seems to me that the possibility of three to five separate systems that contain planets that support life, and are in close-enough proximity to one another to make more primitive travel between them viable is no less remote than that of a single trinary system with 12 habitable worlds.



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Old January 3rd, 2005, 04:50 PM   #30
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Ok, how do you all see the 12 worlds fitting in to the cosmology you're working out, bearing in mind that those worlds are named after the 12 signs of the Zodiac and that they should share some or all of the attrbutes of those signs (fire, water, earth air)?

Peter

P.S. I hypothesize that Orion (mentioned more than once in the series) is not an actual planet but the name of the system's asteroid belt which is mined and also may have entertainment complexes, shipyards etc in it.
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