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Thread: Planning my next major expedition: the 7K Biostatistics survey

  1. #1

    Planning my next major expedition: the 7K Biostatistics survey

    I have an idea for my next big expedition.

    There's been considerable debate about exactly how probable life-bearing planets (ELWs, WWs and AWs) are: are AWs more common than ELWs, how common are ELWs around M-class stars, that sort of thing. We can use third-party data like EDSM to do some comparisons, but whatever data set we use, is potentially faulty because it is potentially biased by the players that contribute the data. EDSM, for example, needs people to actually scan both the star and the planet, so if a player honks a system only to find there's nothing there but an AW, they might decide not to bother scanning it - and so nothing gets entered into EDSM.

    I plan on accumulating a set of data that does not have these biases. My goal:
    - Fly to a remote, poorly-explored sector of the galaxy.
    - Do a systematic survey: Scan at least 200 of each of the major star classes (B, A, F, G, K, M and L) for a total of 1400 stars in the sector. I'd like to subsort them by stellar class eg. K0 to K9, but that's too hard to sort for on the galmap.
    - Take notes on the numbers of ELW, WW and AW detected around each star type.
    - Repeat four more times, in four different sectors scattered throughout the galaxy, for a total of 7000 stars.

    I'm hoping this data set will be statistically large enough to answer some questions:
    - Just how probable are ELW/WW/AW around the different star types?
    - Are different sectors statistically different, in terms of probability of finding ELW/WW/AW?

    Comments, suggestions and constructive criticism welcome.

  2. #2
    How are you planning to choose which stars you survey in the sector?

  3. #3
    Filtering on the galmap filter. This is my first attempt at a systematic survey, so I was planning on just flying into the middle of a sector, switching to a single star class on the filter and then making 200 jumps back and forth inside the sector on that class. I may need to modify this technique if I choose a sparsely populated sector and of course I'll have to add refuelling stars for the L-class series. I do want to get a mix of different galactic regions: inner core, outer core, western spiral arm, eastern spiral arm and maybe an upper or lower galactic bulge.

  4. #4
    Sounds like a good initiative, but there are two problems (that have come up already): boxels and sample size. Both are tied together, so allow me to elaborate.

    We're pretty certain by now that even inside sectors, different boxels can have different generation. As such, you'd have to choose your systems from within the same ones... but here comes the problem of size: outside of the super-populated places of the core, boxels don't have nearly enough systems for a good sample size. Which means you'd have to spread your search to different areas, which means they'll probably be under slightly different conditions. I think that if you take care to go along the same plane, and not to approach any region transitions, it should probably be fine, but who knows.

    Some more about the sample size: given the probabilities involved with ELWs around the "less populated" star types, like B and M (and especially L!), 200 systems visited would be too few for a reasonable confidence level. Well, probably even with A and F. Of course, this problem can be solved by simply visiting more of them, which would work best as a group effort.

    Speaking of which, perhaps you'd like to join us for one? A few of us, led by Jackie here, have recently started surveying columns of boxels (in specific areas) for their helium levels, via gas giants. (You only need to find a couple in a boxel, their helium content is almost exactly the same.) Granted, that's not what you're looking for, but there's nothing stopping anyone from noting down the planets as well. Helium levels in turn should lead to better metallicities, which in turn should lead to "better" planets.

  5. #5
    Originally Posted by marx View Post (Source)
    surveying columns of boxels (in specific areas) for their helium levels, via gas giants
    Did I really hear someone say "survey", "boxels", "helium levels" and "gas giants" in one sentence? Brings back memories... Where can I sign up?

    As for OP's expedition: Sounds great, although I have to agree with marx's assessment regarding the sample size of 200.

  6. #6
    Originally Posted by Redfox View Post (Source)
    Did I really hear someone say "survey", "boxels", "helium levels" and "gas giants" in one sentence? Brings back memories... Where can I sign up?
    Swing by the DISC Discord.

  7. #7
    This sounds like a fascinating expedition. I agree with marx, I suspect that you'll find different values in different boxels. The smaller boxels are supposed to inherit from their parent boxels, so it will be interesting to see if the frequency of these planets follows the same pattern. Come compare slide rules* with us on the DISC Discord!

    *I can neither confirm nor deny that any slide rule competition has ever taken place on that server.

  8. #8
    Working on my latest cube...all the D systems in a parent E cube, all 88,000 of 'em. Good luck in your survey!

  9. #9
    Or just adopt the english explorer approach.....

    Kit your self in the worst kind of explorer

    Ill equip ALL equipment

    Don't think or plan ahead

    set off with stupid expectations/goals

    don't plan for failure/upsets

    Learn an uplifting song for when things go wrong

    Have no repeatable first name - but a jaunty nick name

    AND ALWAYS keep a stiff upper lip....