A journey to small places

The type 6 is the workhorse of the galaxy, it can do anything :D

I think I have three or four kitted out for different tasks in different places.
I started my exploration career in a Type 6; perhaps after this trip I will try one again for fun ...
Today we visit the delightful little moon of Kumbou A 1, Kumbou A 1 A.

I spent quite a while there searching for vulcanism, and a very nice sight it was as well;


A nice little metal rich moon of 175km radius, 216ly from Sol,you will find the geysers at Lat -30.35, Lon -174.44;


Again a fairly spherical small world with a slightly distorted profile;



As I said earlier I spent a while there, the better part a weeks playing sessions and by pure chance I did get a really decent picture;


When searching for vulcanism don't give in to easily, by chance most of my visits to Kumbou had all coincided with day on one particular side of the moon, only my last visit, the one where I throw my hands in the air and leave disappointed did I find myself in the dark, so I decided to take a final look at the far side of the moon and the first place I stopped I found the geysers.

That's all for Kumbou, the usual craters and shallow valleys, I am hoping for something spectacular from one of these small bodies one day but for now the geysers will have to do, they were exceptionally active and large compared to many other sites I have seen.
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Well hello to my readers, time for another update, which has unfortunately been a while in arriving.

I spent quite a while in the Hyadum I system, those of you who also read the geyser and fumarole thread will have read my report there, quite a few sites scattered across a number of bodies, two of those being under 200km in radius and one that gets an honourable mention for being just 7km to large.

Hyadum I 2 A at 207km gets an honourable mention but unfortunately not a place on the list, the criteria is exacting,but if you visit the Hyadum I system it is worth a visit for the two volcanic sites it has.

Hyadum I 2 B however at only 150km radius is the smallest body I have so far visited, and I must admit I was most impressed, of all the small bodies I have visited the bodies in Hyadum I certainly have more qualities I would associate with small bodies. The surface was sharply defined and rough and although still fairly spherical they didn't give me the impressions of being a large planet scaled down as many of the others did.

Hyadum I 2 B, 161ly from Sol.



There was volcanism and you can find pictures in the other thread, but location is Lat 18.34 Lon 163.96. They are still there in the beta however they seem to have changed colour from the regular game.

Hyadum I 3 A is 189km in radius and had that same small body feel as 2 B, I'mnot 100% sure why the bodies in Hyadum I feel so different,but even the larger bodies, 400km+ have a far more rugged feel.



They don't look very different until you actually get much closer, for instance here is a view of Hyadum I 4 D A, at 400km+ it is way over my criteria, but for feel it's right in there. This shot is probably in the area of 20km up, but it certainly doesn't look like a 400km+ radius planet from 50km above the surface


And finally one really nice shot I got of Hyadum I 3 A;

The timing has to be just right, but when it is it all just works.


Well I am currently kicking rocks around in the beta to see if anything breaks so I am not sure when my next update will be, stand by though, I'll be back!
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I found a metal monster, 187 km:

Thanks Watchdog, I have added that to my list, it's a big list so don't panic if I take a while to get to it :D

Meanwhile HR 745 is calling.

There are two weirdly shaped moons in HR 745, they are not really potatoes though, more just, distorted. They orbit the same primary body and they are respectively HR 745 1 A and 1 B. I A is my new record smallest body at only 145km radius, remarkably enough just pipping my most recent smallest body, yes you guessed it, 1 B at 146km radius. They are both 100% metal so should be twins in just about every way, and they are, except shape.

You can see them both here but it doesn't give you a good idea of the shapes;


1 A;



Yes it looks normal, but then we rotate it 90% and we get this!


Now I'm not sure what physical process could cause a body to be thinner on it's axis of rotation but there we are. Oh yes one nice shot, it's a spoiler for 2.3 though so if you want to hang on for the full release before experiencing anything of 2.3 skip this image.


The solar coronal mass ejections are quite spectacular, specially from really close, you can see the ejected material clearly here and it moves visibly as you watch, you can fly straight through them with no danger of hitting the exclusion zone. Maybe they intendto use it as some sort of fuel super charging in the future, it would be interesting, refuel faster by flying through the mass ejection

Now 1 B,I have to my hat to this one,in a manner of speaking;



With no vulcanism and few large mountains and craters they really were not special except for being almost identical in size and composition and so close together. The primary was a ringed landable body and I managed to get a nice shot of the primary and sun together;


Well that will be me done for maybe two weeks, I am holidaying and may be busy with other holiday type things, but I will be back.
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"... Well that will be me done for maybe two weeks, I am holidaying and may be busy with other holiday type things, but I will be back..."

Not good enough ... ;)
"... Well that will be me done for maybe two weeks, I am holidaying and may be busy with other holiday type things, but I will be back..."

Not good enough ... ;)

Challenge accepted, I will strive to get at least one update in, I just can't let my loyal readers down! ;)
I did say I would try and get at least one update in so here it is, the system of 32 w Eridani with it's two small bodies 1 A and 1 B.

They are both metal rich worlds, very silvery in colour once you get up to them although this isn't reflected in the system view.


They are both distorted somewhat rather than deformed, sort of squashed to one side;

1 A


1 B



1 A at 145km radius matches my previous smallest record, while 1 B at 146km is a close runner, in size and shape they almost match the last two from HR 745 system, although neither of these have volcanism. There's really only one item of special significance, both small moons had very large impact craters. Unfortunately the side of 1 B was in darkness so I couldn't get a decent shot of that but in size it pretty much matches the one on 1A below;


For a small moon that's a big crater, scaled up to earth size probably the equivalent of the entire continent of North America, in reality it would be surprising if the moons were still in one piece but the game doesn't allow for that, we either get rings, arguably in some cases the remnants of moons or solid moons. It would be nice to see some large moon remnants from recently broken up bodes but I don't think the game from what I understand of the stellar bodies are generated from a planetary mesh and bitmaps for the surface.

And one nice tourist shot, I haven't really got to grips with the new camera and still can't rotate, can we please have a basic mode for camera for quick shots rather than spending ages just trying to set things up only to miss the shot altogether because the sun burned out in the meantime?


Don't panic, I will try and get another update in while on holidays :D
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Nice shots - the last one is very moody - shame about the way the camera has distorted the sun (I assume!).
How small do you imagine a moon can get?
+1 Vrep
Nice shots - the last one is very moody - shame about the way the camera has distorted the sun (I assume!).
How small do you imagine a moon can get?
+1 Vrep

I have heard the smallest body size that the stellar forge can procedurally generate is 100kmin radius, the smallest I know of is 138km in radius. I am prepared to believe that around 100km radius is the smallest possible. Speculating now - there are two separate factors used to generate stellar bodies, the planet mesh, this determines the shape of the planet, and the height bitmap, this determines the surface geometry, what we drive on. It's complicated, but the reason most small planets are nearly round is to do with the minimum curvature radius of the body mesh. For instance if the minimum curvature radius of the body mesh is 100km you could distort the shape of small bodies slightly larger than 100km radius but you couldn't have depressions and flat spots like you see in the 250-600km radius bodies because that would require a mesh curvature with a minimum radius of less than 100km.

If the minimum curvature radius of the body mesh is 100km then a body with exactly 100km radius should be perfectly round as any distortion in the shape would require a curvature radius of less than 100km. I expect without a major change in the way bodies are generated, at least the very small ones, we will never see procedurally generated bodies like Prometheus, Pandora and Pan, Saturns smaller moons, they would need to be hand built like the asteroid bases.

This means of course any stellar body with any axis dimension of less than 200km couldn't be generated by the stellar forge, so yes I think the smallest planets we are seeing now are near the minimum size we will ever see.
Thank you for the full explanation!
I have managed to find around a 450km radius so far.
I do like the irregular shapes you have spotted; I will keep looking ...
I'm not 100% sure, but, I think it was this system.
There are so many of these B class star systems out here it's had to keep track of the screenshots and their system maps :D
Welcome, today we visit another small planet in the COL 285 sector, Col 285 Sector RI-R b5-3 1.

It's a relatively largish body for my little report at 196km in diameter, the largest I have reported on so far by just 1km, it's just on that point where the relatively smooth but distorted small bodies start turning into potatoe shapes, see my explanation for this behaviour earlier in the thread;



There are other angles that demonstrate this better, this one for instance you can clearly see it's no longer smoothly rounded like most of the other small bodies;


It's a small metal rich world with iron magma vulcanism, it's interesting because normally a body of this size wouldn't retain it's hot core for very long, but with a one day orbital period around its primary star it is subject to extreme gravitational and tidal stresses that serve to keep small bodies like these active;

I found two active volcanic sites here, one was quite spectacular for it's activity and colour, I managed to get a very active chimney and the sun in one picture;


It's well worth a visit if you are in the area, and at only 276ly from Sol is a good destination to get your exploration career started.

If you decide to pay a visit to the volcanic sites the details are here in the geyser and fumarole thread.
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