It seems my previous class M red dwarf star encounter in the brown dwarf layer was the most awesome so far, but only for a brief time. Today, I was greeted by a star orbiting the main substellar dwarf even more closely:
But then again, that's not the entire truth, as it was actually orbiting a tight binary of that class L dwarf with another class T one, see this slightly different angle:
That trinary system is in co-orbit with another pair of class L brown dwarfs as well, see the system map:
That was also the hottest and brightest class M star I've managed to find in the (brown dwarf) layer so far, as this was no M9, but an M8!
Nothing else to report for now though.
I'm guessing I'm roughly at 3500 class L stars surveyed by now, and today I had kind of a heartwarming experience. This may seem entirely mundane to people not familiar with the brown dwarf layer, but I found the experience to be... elating!
This is what I saw right after hyperspace exit:
This is the closest pair of class L / M objects I've seen in the layer so far. The red dwarf star is both less massive and smaller than the failed substellar object that is the systems' primary body. Let's look at the brown dwarf from the star's immediate vicinity:
As you can see, the brown dwarf can clearly be seen from the star. Makes me think.. there might be even closer pairs than this...
The orrery was quite interesting as well:
And here's the system map view:
Maybe I'm too easily impressed by now, but I found this to have been a really nice experience today. :)
Now, as for the stats, adding another non-terraformable water world that I found today as well:
Edit 3306-01-07: And today... just another class II gas giant.
Edit 3306-01-08: Another gas giant has been found. This time it's one with ammonia-based life again.
Edit 3306-01-12: Got a few nice catches today; Two class II gas giants, one gas giant with ammonia-based life, one terraformable high metal content world and one more class M9 red dwarf star in co-orbit with the L2 main body. I didn't take any photos, but here's the system with the M9 star:
Edit 3306-01-12: I had the suspicion for a while now, but today I checked my data, and now I am sure: I have mis-reported the finding of a Sudarsky class IV gas giant in a class L system. There was no such thing. Hence, it will be removed from the statistics.
Edit 3306-01-16: Two days of having found absolutely nothing... Just icycles, high metal content pebbles and some boring Jovian planets. And today? Today was gas giant day. Caught one of the rare class III gas giants plus one with ammonia-based life as well as one with water-based life!
After a few hundred less-than-interesting systems with just one gas giant with ammonia-based life and one terraformable high metal content world, I've found something interesting today, this is another first for me:
At first I though "hell yeah, a water world!" when looking at the spectrograph in the FSS, but that wasn't all.
It was indeed a whole three water worlds with the same brown dwarf system! And the main body was just a relatively cool L5, not one of the hotter ones.
Unfortunately, this was where my luck had ended, as none of the three was terraformable... too bad.
Starting from the inside, this is the first one:
That world featured the highest atmospheric pressure despite being the innermost planet, a whole 50 atms. The water down there is over 100°C hot!
Now, to the second, and largest one at over 9000km radius:
Just a tiny little bit less boring to look at, this one at least featured some visible cloud formations.
And the third one, which was over 34Ls out from the star and featured just slightly over 5 atms of pressure:
Despite the relatively "low" pressure, it still retains water in liquid state on the surface, but we can see ice caps on the poles now.
And that's it for today, I guess.
Ah, right, this brings up my stats quite a bit:
Edit: And just briefly after the triplet, I found another interesting water world, just look at that orbit, it's apoapsis is over 56Ls from its parent body:
Of course one would ask: How can this world have liquid water? Well, it's the atmospheric pressure once again; Sitting at over 840 atm's, so that's that.
Not much light out there though:
The funny part is, that this body is seemingly tidally locked to the brown dwarf. Now if it wouldn't mean a week of waiting, I'd actually want to see the flyby at periapsis...
Edit 3305-12-16: And another edit. Today, I found my third gas giant with water-based life in class L brown dwarf systems. I guess that makes it about 1 in a 1000 systems.
On a side note, I have added class O stars to my menu. I did this because they were the original reason for coming to the Empyrean Straits - to look for landable high-g worlds.
The following photograph isn't anything special really, but let it commemorate my re-entry into at least one kind of "normal" star systems. Like, with actual stars in them. ;)
Here you go:
Edit 3305-12-17: One more terraformable high metal content world and one more Sudarsky class II gas giant were discovered today, and have been added to the statistics.
Edit 3305-12-17: Today, I found my fourth gas giant with water-based life, making them half as common as those with ammonia-based life. Not great, but not too bad either.
Edit 3305-12-25: And one more class II gas giant as well as one more gas giant with water-based life!
Edit 3305-12-31: On this last day of the year, I decided to take my ship for another stroll through the brown dwarf layer, yielding really good results! Today I found a class II gas giant, a gas giant with water-based life, a terraformable high metal content world and even an ammonia world! That makes for a neat finish! :)
Edit 3306-01-01: And with the new year comes another class II gas giant!
Edit 3306-01-02: Another lucky day today. After 80 jumps of finding absolutely nothing of interest, I stumbled over two gas giants with ammonia-based life in quick succession, and then found a terraformable high metal content world only slightly smaller than Earth. Might continue later today.
Edit 3306-01-02: And here comes the second part of today, with two more class II gas giants and one with water-based life! In addition to that, I've found two more class M red dwarf stars in systems with a class L brown dwarf primary. A good day indeed!
Edit 3306-01-04: More water! One non-terraformable water world and one gas giant with water-based life have been found today!
This is getting pretty crazy. Within a very short amount of time, I've found yet another ammonia world - orbiting an L2 dwarf again. Seems L2's are gonna become my lucky charm:
This means that I've found 3 out of 4 of those within just 10% of all class L brown dwarfs I've ever visited... huh.
Ah, and there was another class II gas giant yesterday as well. I assume I should be getting close to 2300 systems visited by now.
Edit 3305-12-12: And there was another gas giant with ammonia-based life today.
Edit 3305-12-13: And today, another terraformable high metal content world.
It was just one discovery after another in the last few days! Now, with about 2200 systems surveyed, I've finally found my second terraformable water world orbiting a class L2 dwarf:
It's pretty small at just over 3500km of radius and features an atmosphere consisting of roughly ¾ oxgen and ¼ carbon dioxide with traces of sulphur dioxide.
It's probably still a little too early to try and find some trends in what little data I have so far, but here are the updated stats:
Today was a good day. On my brown dwarf survey, I suddenly decided to take a sidestep, because I had noticed a carbon star in the sky, and it was pretty close to the brown dwarf layer, so I decided to visit it.
Felt weird to see a carbon giant star in front of you after having seen nothing but brown dwarfs for so many times (over 2000 by now).
But it paid off, because on my way back to the layer, I stumbled over an Ammonia world! Almost gave me a heartache, because I thought it was an Earth-like at first. ;)
Here you go:
This was actually one large and massive world, featuring a radius of more than 12.000km at over 2g's. It was just slightly over 60Ls away from its quasi-star.
Continuing, I stumbled over a stellar remnant nebula, also very close to the layer, so I visited that one as well. Just an already-discovered supernova remnant, but on my way back to the brown dwarfs, I got lucky again!
Another Ammonia world! This one was much smaller, more like the size of Earth, but far less dense. It orbits its parent at roughly 25Ls, and is thus relatively warm as well at over 180K on average.
Oh, and before I forget it, there was yet another class II gas giant as well.
So let's update those stats:
Edit: And since I'm not so sure whether this warrants its own log entry, today I found yet another one of those class M stars orbiting a class L primary. In this case, the class M9 red dwarf star's mass was at 0.1680M☉ with a surface temperature of 2039K. The class L0 brown dwarf's mass was at 0.1719M☉ with a surface temperature of 1987K, following the usual pattern:
This brings me to three red dwarfs within just a few hundred jumps... I'm starting to question the rarity of those constellations. Or maybe I just got lucky?
The stats have been updated.
Today, while continuing my brown dwarf survey after a time of inactivity, I found something quite odd. This was the first brown dwarf system that actually allowed me to scoop fuel (which I was in need of anyway):
That's right, that's a real class M red dwarf star right there, and it's not the systems' main body. Reason being that the main brown dwarf - albeit not being a real star - was just marginally more massive than its hydrogen-fusing hotter companion, however that's possible.
So yep, no need to leave the brown dwarf layer to replenish my fuel supplies this time around:
And just briefly after that I found my second class III gas giant in a brown dwarf system:
It was a pretty close orbiter as well, and hence, somewhat oblate.
Today wasn't a bad day, I guess! :)
With that, let's update those stats, since I've now seemingly surveyed about 2000 brown dwarf systems (thought it was less, but apparently not):
Edit: 3305-12-07, found one additional, terraformable high metal content world and one non-terraformable water world. The Statistics have been updated.
After resting for about a week, I continued my brown dwarf survey yesterday, almost immediately stumbling over my first Ammonia world in such a system:
At about 41Ls from the quasi-star, this world featured a temperature of slightly over 180K.
Here's a perspective with the sub-stellar object in view as well:
This photograph has been post-processed to remove some geometric distortions.
Aside from that, I managed to find my fifth water world in a brown dwarf system today. It was dancing with an ice planet, itself having a liquid surface only because of its atmosphere excerting a pressure of over 500 bar:
The non-terraformable water world as seen from its partner planet.
Aside from that, one more gas giant with ammonia-based life has been found, but there's no picture as the planet was just to dark being over 700Ls away from the central object. With that, I can update my list of discoveries for this survey:
Not too bad, and I'm still under 1000 systems discovered on this survey!
Edit: Instead of making a new report for just that, I decided to edit this one. One day after writing the above report, I found yet another class II gas giant as well as a non-terraformable water world. This makes water worlds seem almost common in brown dwarf systems, with 7 found amongst about 700 systems. So that's roughly 1 in 100.
The water world was once again outside of the habitable zone, maintaining a liquid surface only by an atmospheric pressure of over 3300 bar:
The cloud layer largely obscures the liquid surface
Interestingly enough, the world appears to feature a large ice cap on one of its poles, but it's hard to confirm through the very thick and mostly opague atmosphere. Maybe it's a large storm cloud instead? But it really looks like a mass of ice...
Here's the view when looking towards the particularly dim class L dwarf:
The dwarf appears to be close, but this one is just too cool for the water planet to be within its goldilocks zone
Edit: And another Class II gas giant has been added to the list.
Edit: I've took a break for a while, but yesterday on 3305-11-07, I visited 15 more brown dwarf systems, and stumbled over yet another non-terraformable water world. Not so bad!
Edit: And another gas giant with ammonia-based life as well as a Sudarsky class II giant on 3305-11-23!
Edit: Just a day later, I managed to find another class II gas giant, and a whole three terraformable high-metal-content worlds too:
Edit: 3305-11-28, and today I surveyed about 70 class L dwarf systems. A pretty boring ride today, but there was at least one ray of light: A gas giant with ammonia-based life, sole planet of its system!
In my last report, I had some great news with those two terraformables in a brown dwarf system, but after that, there wasn't any such luck to be had. At least not so far.
In the meantime, I shall list all interesting or somewhat interesting/rare worlds I have found so far, after surveying about 500 such quasi-stars (it seems my previous estimate wasn't quite correct). "Rare" in this context means "rare in class L brown dwarf systems according to my survey".
The most common terrestrial planets in such systems are of course ice worlds, so those are of no interest whatsoever. Second to those are high-metal content worlds, followed by rocky planets, which are already pretty rare, metal-rich worlds being even more rare. As for gas giants, the only common ones are class I. All of those will be excluded, unless terraformable (for rocky, metal rich and high metal content worlds).
Here's my list of less common worlds found so far:
So no class V gas giants so far, and no water giants either. The latter is probably understandable, as water giants are thought to form from very large water planets which are having their liquid evaporated by a hot star.
When it comes to terrestrial worlds, I am still to find an Earth-like planet as well as an ammonia world. Given how few water worlds I've found so far we can make a guess that that won't be easy though. In regular star systems, my ratio of water worlds (all of them) to Earth-like worlds was 110:9, so 12.24× as many water worlds.
As for the water world to ammonia world ratio, mine is 551:72, so 7.65× as many water worlds than ammonia ones.
It's going to be one long search. Current likelyhood that I will abort before having found an Earth-like: 90%. ;)
Edit: I'm updaing this, as I found twin water worlds orbiting each other plus another gas giant with water-based life just after having posted this, so they've been added to the list now:
The water worlds were just a bit too far from their "star", so they weren't terraformable unfortunately. The water was being kept liquid by very thick, high-pressure atmospheres.
For the past week or so, I have decided to survey brown dwarfs of spectral class L, so the brightest of them. Goal was to find interesting, optimally even naturally life-bearing worlds in such systems.
Aside from a gas giant with ammonia-based microbial life, I didn't manage to find anything until very recently. It took roughly 400 - 500 systems before I got there though, and it wasn't an Earth-like world, but instead of it, two terraformables within a single system, one being a high metal content world and one (almost a jackpot..) a water world!
The quasi-stellar object in this case was a class L0 V brown dwarf, so they don't come any brighter than this. It was the only one in that system as well.
Here's the brown dwarf as seen from the terraformable high metal content world:
The planet is a bit smaller than Earth at a radius of 5477km, and features a similar surface gravity at 0.96g. That's where the similarities end though. It's atmosphere is a thick and hot layer of CO₂ with some SO₂ and a pretty high surface temperature of 768K. It sits about 20ls away from its parent, and is tidally locked to it as well.
Now here's a similar view from the vicinity of the equally terraformable water world:
As you might've guessed by the apparent size of the central body, the water world is farther out then the one before. Its size is very close to Earth's at 6247km of radius. Surface gravity is 1.14g for this one and the atmosphere is very Earth-like, as it's made of N₂, O₂ and H₂O at about the same distribution as back home. It's a bit on the cool side with an average of 250K, but still, very close to optimal.
It orbits its parent at a distance of roughly 33ls. Like the high metal content world, it's tidally locked to the brown dwarf. Must make for some interesting ocean currents on the surface I assume.
Here's a view from the direction of the star, which illuminates the water world, dipping it in quite a bit of red. Makes for a very different view from the usual ocean planets, which tend to orbit much brighter and bluer stars:
So I'll count that as a pretty big success. For now, the class L survey shall continue, as I'm not yet bored of the dim red quasi-stars. Finding an Earth-like world is a bit of a goose chase, but let's see what I'll get.