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[DCE-2] Therionic Drifts and Gould Belt

Started by Planet of Hats, July 22, 2022, 05:05:32 PM

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Planet of Hats



SUBMITTED:
Stardate: 99554.9
FILED BY:
CAPT Jadrys Itana
SECURITY:
Level 1 - Open



LOCATION: On approach to the Gould Belt

MISSION: Continuing Deep Centaurus Expedition initiative. ​

OUTCOME: Phase 2 of the Deep Centaurus Expedition to begin with arrival at the dark cloud and blue supergiant clusters of the Gould Belt, en route to the uncharted supershell beyond Antares.

KEY PERSONNEL:

CAPT Jadrys Itana, USS Copernicus
CAPT Ahash Ysec Harsk Laa, USS Vehaxein
CMDR Aienna Soin, USS Haida
NARRATIVE: This report serves as an update on our current progress over the past week or thereabouts.

Upon reaching the landmark star of Eta Centauri, we entered Phase 2 of our mission, the approach to the broader Upper Centaurus-Lupus stellar association. The constellation Lupus has long been considered in Earth mythology to be an asterism associated with Centaurus, and this phase of the expedition will see us explore stars mainly in both Centaurus and Lupus en route coreward.

As of present, Antares is the most coreward known star system with connections to the Federation, but lies significantly closer to the quadrant divide than anything we are about to explore. While Antares is associated with the Loop I bubble - like our own Local Bubble, a supershell believed to have been largely cleared of heavy cases by supernovae - it remains more closely associated with the large band of dark clouds separating our bubble from Loop I. This spatial bubble has yet to be explored or even effectively surveyed due to both its distance from the Federation core and the difficulty of penetrating both the luminosity of the associated Scorpius-Centaurus OB star association (Sco OB2) and the densities of the dark clouds in the region (see also the song "Beyond Antares"). This region forms one part of the 3000-light-year-long Gould Belt, a significant star-forming region characterized by young luminous stars and dark clouds.

As we leave behind Ustavan space, we anticipate soon entering the broader Sco OB2 grouping. This is a region where we anticipate finding very little by way of new life and civilizations: We are passing through the Upper Centaurus-Lupus moving group, where most stars are about 15 million years old, far too young for intelligence as we know it. The large and short-lived B-type and O-type blue supergiants in this moving group are fairly well documented through long-range observation, though we anticipate finding smaller stellar types along the way and making ongoing observations of star formation within the existing dust cloud complexes. Nevertheless, Copernicus will maintain a relatively high rate of speed through this sector, anticipating a course through the Lupus Tunnel, an area where stellar dust intensity is lower.

Our approach to the moving group has brought us into increasing contact with "bands" of low-magnitude stellar dust being ejected from the moving group by solar winds. We have identified these dust streamers as the Therionic Drifts, consisting mainly of ejected dust blown out of Lupus-Centaurus by novae associated with the earlier novae of O-class stars within the moving group. The drifts have to date not impeded our progress, but resolution past them is impeded by their tendency to obscure and reflect sensor beams to some extent.

The difficulties associated with dark clouds and comm transmission largely explain why so little is known about the Loop I bubble. As we have approached, we have continued to take readings in the hopes of preparing charts in as much detail as possible. We have some comparables for what we might find - our own spatial bubble is highly populous and home to many older stars of ages and spectral types amenable to sentient and non-sentient life, and it is likely that these sorts of spatial cavities are generally favourable to life. We believe we have an opportunity, once we successfully pass through the Gould Belt, to explore what could very well be an entirely new complex of worlds, species and complexes. Observations from Antares and Starbase 91-Lyonesse have been very limited, but we will rely on what information is available to assist us.

We have formed up with CAPT Harsk Laa of the Vehaxein and CMDR Soin of the Haida for this leg of our journey. We will also deploy three subspace amplifier beacons as we pass through the Gould Belt to assist in communication.

RECOMMENDATION: Continue to monitor our progress.




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