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Old 8th September 2011, 02:42 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Need Help With Star Locations In Relation To Sol

I'm probably spending way, way too much time on this particular detail of my story, but it's now become somewhat of a quest. Regardless of why, I need to locate 6 G-type (or close) real stars 50-60 light years from Sol. No problem, there are plenty of listings available...some even list where exoplanets have been detected. Great.

The problem I'm running in to is that I need these six stars in a particular configuration. I'm trying to put Sol in the center of a sphere roughly 100 light years in diameter. In other words, I need one directly "above", "below", "left", "right", "front", back" of Sol.

I've looked at some 3D star mapping software, but all of them have too much info and not enough filtering to be really useful.

Any ideas?
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Old 8th September 2011, 03:32 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Need Help With Star Locations In Relation To Sol

Have you had a look at the NASA website? It may not give you exactly what you need, but it could point you in the general direction of something helpful.
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Old 8th September 2011, 04:44 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Need Help With Star Locations In Relation To Sol

That's basically the problem. I've been "in the right direction" for a couple of days. If anything, it's an overload of info with no good way of sifting out exactly what I need. I've got placeholders in the text right now, because the exact stars aren't important to the story. However, their relative locations are.

Most of what's available is very inside-baseball, if you know what I mean.
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Old 8th September 2011, 04:47 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Need Help With Star Locations In Relation To Sol

I'm at work at the moment, but I think I may have just what you need in a mountain of junk somewhere. I'll take a look later and get back to you.
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Old 8th September 2011, 05:17 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Need Help With Star Locations In Relation To Sol

That would be most appreciated, Scott. I went ahead and purchased Universal Sandbox http://universesandbox.com/ and, frankly, even though it didn't solve my problem it's a very cool tool. Every sci-fi author should probably have it. I sent an email to the developer and told him he needs to market it to the sci-fi writing community.

It lacks some obvious tools (like filters...just what I need), but what it lacks, it makes up for in other things. For instance, do you want to watch what happens to the solar system if you increase Mercury's mass to that of the Sun? Or if you insert a spread of Ceres-sized asteroids into Earth-Lunar orbit? THOSE controls are easy and fun to manipulate. There's even a pre-made template "300 Nearest Stars" but no way to drill down into that info. Just a huge rough sphere of stars around the sun.
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Old 25th September 2011, 05:12 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Need Help With Star Locations In Relation To Sol

http://www.projectrho.com/smap07.html
http://www.projectrho.com/smap11.html

plus, of course, the wonderful http://www.recons.org/

50 LY is near-enough 15~~16 Parsecs, so you can use search parameters of main-sequence G-type (to exclude 'red giants') plus 14~~17 parsecs / 45~~55 LY, and sky position as orthogonals set by RA & Dec...

I suggest you look at nearby stars first to work out a search strategy. At least all the G-types will be included at 50 LY: A lot of red-dwarfs and most brown dwarfs are 'missing' by that distance...

You must allow some wriggle-room as stars move, Earth's pole precesses etc etc.
Google and Wikipaedia are your friends...
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Old 26th September 2011, 12:50 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Need Help With Star Locations In Relation To Sol

I can't help but think that these is really one of those things that it'd be easier to just make up. Who'll know? Even if they do, who'll care?
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Old 27th September 2011, 08:54 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Need Help With Star Locations In Relation To Sol

Sounds like you've solved your problem, but you should check out http://www.solstation.com/ Wiki actually has a decent nearby star map as well. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_nearest_stars
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Old 28th September 2011, 03:46 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Need Help With Star Locations In Relation To Sol

Try e-mailing NASA directly. They will respond but it could take as long as a month to get a reply.

I've e-mailed them before for information and it took around four weeks to get a response. If asked, they may even send any relevent imagery and data on said stars and their accomanying exo-planets.
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