Meteors and Meteor Showers


Ryal

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In a secluded, desolate, and undeveloped region like the northern Canadian wilderness in which The Long Dark takes place, there is very little light pollution- especially since some kind of global geomagnetic disaster seems to have knocked out all of the electricity.

Therefore, it is not far-fetched to assume that we would see a great number of shooting stars in the sky during the night, which I think would add a nice subtle touch of realism and beauty to the game. I think anywhere between four and ten random meteors of varying brightness, direction, and duration per in-game hour during the darkest night hours would be sufficient. This would encourage players to spend a little bit more time outdoors at night. For a night sky enthusiast like me, I think that would be awesome.

Also, in real life we get meteor showers roughly once per month. Perhaps every thirty or so days in the game, the player could be rewarded with a wild display of meteors.

Let me know what you all think. Thanks!

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Welcome to the forums @Ryal ^_^

I don't know about meteor showers (I've seen meteors every so often in the north but never a shower) but you're right that the sky is gorgeous at night. One thing that would be falling down with a lot more frequency than meteors may be satellites. If the developers want to go the route that the aurora disrupted their orbits than there'd be lots of space junk burning up for the first few nights. :)

Regardless, on a clear night, you can see all the satellites in orbit zipping over as pale white dots. And the occasional meteor burning up.

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Night was near, player was standing in front of his house enjoying the starry sky. Life was good(well, as good as it can be under current circumstances). Suddenly a falling star appeared for just few seconds. But it was enough to make a wish. It was beautiful and peaceful.

...30 minutes prior to that...

Low Earth orbit. ISS was cold dead coffin, and last surviving astronauts decided to try his luck in dead cold space and spend his last moments inside a space suit instead of staying inside station. Gravity caught his fast and he begin fall towards Earths surface at rapidly accelerating pace... "No, no, no, no, no, noooo....."

It was starry beautiful peaceful night... 8)

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17 hours ago, Dirmagnos said:

Night was near, player was standing in front of his house enjoying the starry sky. Life was good(well, as good as it can be under current circumstances). Suddenly a falling star appeared for just few seconds. But it was enough to make a wish. It was beautiful and peaceful.

...30 minutes prior to that...

Low Earth orbit. ISS was cold dead coffin, and last surviving astronauts decided to try his luck in dead cold space and spend his last moments inside a space suit instead of staying inside station. Gravity caught his fast and he begin fall towards Earths surface at rapidly accelerating pace... "No, no, no, no, no, noooo....."

It was starry beautiful peaceful night... 8)

Hah, no. The electronics onboard the ISS are hardened to cope with the radiation of space, and the Soyuz capsules have a heatshield, so if they had to evacuate, they could jump into the capsule and it would disengage the docking clamps and re-enter with few issues. It might be a little hairy with navigation, but otherwise it would be fine.

 

 

On 29/07/2016 at 10:58 PM, cekivi said:

Welcome to the forums @Ryal ^_^

I don't know about meteor showers (I've seen meteors every so often in the north but never a shower) but you're right that the sky is gorgeous at night. One thing that would be falling down with a lot more frequency than meteors may be satellites. If the developers want to go the route that the aurora disrupted their orbits than there'd be lots of space junk burning up for the first few nights. :)

Regardless, on a clear night, you can see all the satellites in orbit zipping over as pale white dots. And the occasional meteor burning up.

Meteor showers occur on a regular, repeating basis. In one year, of the most major ones you have:

They originate from debris breaking off of larger bodies such as comets or asteroids, and drifting into the path of Earth's orbit.
Since the debris fields are in the same position relative to the Earth throughout the year, they can be predicted with quite a certain degree of accuracy.

There wouldn't be any increase in the number of sightings because satellites don't require functionality to continue in their orbits (hence why you have many dead and dying satellites in so called "graveyard orbits"). Eventually some of their orbits will decay to the point that their non-functional RCS systems could no longer compensate, and they'll get ripped apart by the atmosphere, but if all the satellites died tonight, most would still be orbiting in 100 years time, albeit a number may have been destroyed by impacting with space junk.

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4 hours ago, EternityTide said:

Hah, no. The electronics onboard the ISS are hardened to cope with the radiation of space, and the Soyuz capsules have a heatshield, so if they had to evacuate, they could jump into the capsule and it would disengage the docking clamps and re-enter with few issues. It might be a little hairy with navigation, but otherwise it would be fine.

True, but were talking about extreme event. Earths em fields are supposed to negate majority of solar winds as well, yet we lost probably everything, insluding hardened military infrastructure.

And whole re-entry issue reminds me of a movie "Space Cowboys", where they refer to a shuttle as a "flying brick" and its practical impossibility to land it with any degree of safety without working nav computer. Just a slight deviation off optimal trajectory and your heat shields wont help you.

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Note that not all satellites have stationary orbits either. Although the time period is likely very long (orbital mechanics is not my specialty) an extreme event with associated solar winds and the like may be enough to perturb the orbits and cause satellites to start falling. Again, I make no claims this is realistic. I just think it would look neat on the first few nights.

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6 hours ago, cekivi said:

Note that not all satellites have stationary orbits either. Although the time period is likely very long (orbital mechanics is not my specialty) an extreme event with associated solar winds and the like may be enough to perturb the orbits and cause satellites to start falling. Again, I make no claims this is realistic. I just think it would look neat on the first few nights.

I suddenly remember tv series "Dead Like Me"(loved it) for some weird reason. 8)

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8 hours ago, cekivi said:

Note that not all satellites have stationary orbits either. Although the time period is likely very long (orbital mechanics is not my specialty) an extreme event with associated solar winds and the like may be enough to perturb the orbits and cause satellites to start falling. Again, I make no claims this is realistic. I just think it would look neat on the first few nights.

As far as I know, orbits are orbits, so satellites would just continue orbiting. However, an electrical malfunction could maybe, just maybe, send the ISS plunging down to earth if the wrong thrusters were fired at the wrong moment. Then again, I don't know much about the ISS aside from the fact that it exists and that the people on board of it are awesome :D 

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57 minutes ago, Wastelander said:

As far as I know, orbits are orbits, so satellites would just continue orbiting. However, an electrical malfunction could maybe, just maybe, send the ISS plunging down to earth if the wrong thrusters were fired at the wrong moment. Then again, I don't know much about the ISS aside from the fact that it exists and that the people on board of it are awesome :D 

Most satellites will continue to orbit for centuries without human intervention, there are some (mostly military) that require periodic re-positioning. That said, even without that, it will be decades before they start dropping out of the sky. As for the ISS, so long as no one intentionally de-orbits it, it should stay up there for the foreseeable future. If the Long Dark Event (as I call it) does alter the orbit of even a few satellites, we could see a Kessler syndrome type event, that could lead to multiple objects on reentry trajectories. But that still doesn't guarantee you'll see anything for days, months, even years. There are just so many factors that go into where and how soon an object will fall, or if it will be big enough and bright enough to see.

However, imagine you're an astronaut on board the ISS, you somehow survive the event that brings about The Long Dark, your alone, have no contact with Earth, and your running out of food, water, and air. You might start thinking about those de-orbiting thrusters, as opposed to slowly freezing or suffocating...

 

But then you remember the escape pod. :D

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The mention of the solar storm de-orbiting satellites ( which is highly implausible, but regardless) reminded me of a little fix the NASA team in charge of the Kepler space telescope did.

Kepler has four reaction wheels designed to enable the telescope to orient itself in space. It had four so that in the event of a failure, they still had a redundancy system to fall back on.

Lo and behold, come July 2012, three years after Kepler was launched, one of the reaction wheels failed. No problem, they still had three other wheels to allow Kepler to function.

But then a year later, in May 2013, a second reaction wheel failed, crippling the space telescope. After much deliberation, NASA gave up attempting to repair the damaged wheels in August 2013.

Not long afterwards, however, a proposal came forward for enabling Kepler to continue its hunt for exoplanets, using, along with the remaining two reaction wheels, the pressure of the solar wind to balance the telescope in three dimensions. This became the K2 mission, and now Kepler uses the sun as it's third reaction wheel.

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9 hours ago, miah999 said:

Most satellites will continue to orbit for centuries without human intervention, there are some (mostly military) that require periodic re-positioning. That said, even without that, it will be decades before they start dropping out of the sky. As for the ISS, so long as no one intentionally de-orbits it, it should stay up there for the foreseeable future. If the Long Dark Event (as I call it) does alter the orbit of even a few satellites, we could see a Kessler syndrome type event, that could lead to multiple objects on reentry trajectories. But that still doesn't guarantee you'll see anything for days, months, even years. There are just so many factors that go into where and how soon an object will fall, or if it will be big enough and bright enough to see.

However, imagine you're an astronaut on board the ISS, you somehow survive the event that brings about The Long Dark, your alone, have no contact with Earth, and your running out of food, water, and air. You might start thinking about those de-orbiting thrusters, as opposed to slowly freezing or suffocating...

 

But then you remember the escape pod. :D

Most satellites will drop(or blow up), fast. Without electronics(or malfunctioning ones, which is a given) to correct orbit nothing will prevent deorbiting or collisions with space junk. Even with orbit compensation, depending on height, their lifetime is 3 to 15 years, mostly due running out of fuel for compensation. ISS will go down even faster, due to its size/weight and orbit. Right now it orbit is being corrected on average once a month, and thats just for height. Smaller collision correction are preformed on average every 5 days(even tho there is no guarantee that it hits, its done more just to be sure, but it still paints an interesting picture) and manually.

Considering that there are literally thousands of active satellites up there right now, after Event most will become inert, adding to already significant amount of junk.

Also, ISS dosnt have escape pod. And Soyuz wont be much of help without navigation.

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7 hours ago, EternityTide said:

The mention of the solar storm de-orbiting satellites ( which is highly implausible, but regardless) reminded me of a little fix the NASA team in charge of the Kepler space telescope did.

Its not just plausible its fairly common. Same ISS requires 3-4 times more orbit corrections during months with high solar activity.

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8 minutes ago, Dirmagnos said:

Its not just plausible its fairly common. Same ISS requires 3-4 times more orbit corrections during months with high solar activity.

It requires orbit corrections, but it does not de-orbit the ISS. This is progressive changes over a period of time.
It's the difference between a sudden shock-wave from an explosion knocking all the plant pots off your garden wall, and the slow gradual shift from a prevailing wind. Both have the same effect, they just occur in different time scales.
There is a big difference between being in a non-optimal orbit and being shunted into a ballistic trajectory. A non-optimal orbit can degrade more easily into re-entry, but it's not the end of the world, provided you have propellant to achieve a higher orbit.
LEOs have the issue that they are close enough to Earth that in the event of degrading to a lower orbit, aerobraking and atmospheric drag becomes a serious risk (The ISS still orbits within the atmosphere, tenuous though it is), The Mars Climate Orbiter was shredded when it grazed the wispy, disparate limb of the red planet.

The most at risk satellites would be those in LEO, they would have the most problems. Anything at higher altitudes will remain pretty stable for an extended period.
Don't forget that unless they are in a polar orbit, they will not be exposed to the same level of radiation as the electronics on the ground near the North and South poles (the magnetic field concentrates ionised particulates near the polar regions). The bulk of satellites are within equatorial orbits, with some geosynchronous orbits thrown in for good measure. Most would orbit within the protective confines of Earth's magnetic field (I don't care how serious a solar storm this is, Earth's internal dynamo is spinning sphere of trillions of tonnes liquid (and solid) metal, that ain't gonna stop any time soon). Plus, the serious effects of solar storms is amplified on large, unshielded electrical networks (National Grids, for example), leading to power surges that damage other devices. On small, heavily shielded and hardened circuits, such as those on satellites, the radiation would have a minimal effect.
 

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Take away ISS mobility and it will become falling star within 3 years time. Altho its far more likely that it will be shot to crap be4 by space junk.

And that shift will be slow only initially, lower the orbit, faster objects will fall. Not to mention that they dont need to go all that far. And since there are no controls, then having or not fuel plays no role.

Speculating about Earths magnetic field strength is a bit pointless at this point, since we havent seen newest iteration of auroras yet. Those are generally good indicator of interference intensity - greater intensity means greater amount of illumination, since auroras are direct result of that pressure. Like Carrington Event.

However, while power grids are in most direct danger, then most military infrastructure is shielded and hardened. Yet we see no military presence anywhere. And if any type of centralized government has been left intact, then there would be a lot of activity going on. First few weeks would be crucial in re-establishing control and making sure that people know that government still exits.

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On 7/30/2016 at 1:28 AM, Dirmagnos said:

Night was near, player was standing in front of his house enjoying the starry sky. Life was good(well, as good as it can be under current circumstances). Suddenly a falling star appeared for just few seconds. But it was enough to make a wish. It was beautiful and peaceful.

...30 minutes prior to that...

Low Earth orbit. ISS was cold dead coffin, and last surviving astronauts decided to try his luck in dead cold space and spend his last moments inside a space suit instead of staying inside station. Gravity caught his fast and he begin fall towards Earths surface at rapidly accelerating pace... "No, no, no, no, no, noooo....."

It was starry beautiful peaceful night... 8)

Reminded me of this: http://pbfcomics.com/97/

(Won't upload the image since it has some swearing.)

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1 hour ago, Dirmagnos said:

Take away ISS mobility and it will become falling star within 3 years time. Altho its far more likely that it will be shot to crap be4 by space junk.

Wrong, the ISS orbits within a relatively clear neighbourhood. most of the damage will be minor fractures and impacts from micrometeorites. The orbital situation regarding space junk is bad, but it's nowhere near Kessler syndrome yet.

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And that shift will be slow only initially, lower the orbit, faster objects will fall. Not to mention that they dont need to go all that far. And since there are no controls, then having or not fuel plays no role.

Again you are demonstrating a lack of knowledge of orbital mechanics. The lower the orbit, over a period of time with no interference from external factors, the sooner they fall, but they will not fall "faster". An object degrading immediately from HEO to re-entry will renter at a far greater velocity than a LEO object, because it has significantly more potential energy to convert into kinetic energy.

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Speculating about Earths magnetic field strength is a bit pointless at this point, since we havent seen newest iteration of auroras yet. Those are generally good indicator of interference intensity - greater intensity means greater amount of illumination, since auroras are direct result of that pressure. Like Carrington Event.

I'm not speculating about Earth's magnetic field - the Equator will still be shielded, regardless of what happens. This is why you never see aurora at the equator, and all the charged particles gather at the poles. Have a good look at the Earth's magnetic field in a geomagnetic storm, you'll understand what I am saying.

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However, while power grids are in most direct danger, then most military infrastructure is shielded and hardened. Yet we see no military presence anywhere. And if any type of centralized government has been left intact, then there would be a lot of activity going on. First few weeks would be crucial in re-establishing control and making sure that people know that government still exits.

You would not see a military presence at a distant place like this in TLD. Remote regions such as this would have been evacuated long ago, and with communications down, they would be holding back to their bases and their immediate environs. They would be more concerned with whether or not this is an attack, than patrolling a frostbitten region in northern Canada.

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Hello everyone.

Since there is a lot that remains unknown regarding the Long Dark's inciting incident please try to remain respectful of everyone. Until proven otherwise, all logical ideas and theories are equally valid. For instance, if Great Bear is a stand in for Vancouver Island than there should definitely be a military presence as there are coast guard and naval facilities on the island supporting @Dirmagnos theory. If it's just a remote northern coastal island than @EternityTide is more likely correct. Since we don't know either way, I tend to just agree to disagree ^_^

Also, the ISS is a constantly falling object (as are all things in orbit come to think of it). Without stabilization it will de-orbit within a few years.

Lastly, and I am partially to blame, this topic was originally about meteor showers which would still be a neat addition. Especially since I've been corrected by @EternityTide on their relative frequency

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20 hours ago, EternityTide said:

Wrong, the ISS orbits within a relatively clear neighbourhood. most of the damage will be minor fractures and impacts from micrometeorites. The orbital situation regarding space junk is bad, but it's nowhere near Kessler syndrome yet.

Relative to what ? And if neighborhood is so clean then why it gets constant orbit adjustments ? Because its the only protection it has from being shot to shit - staying away from path of anything that can make a lot of holes in it. And thats pretty much everything.

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Again you are demonstrating a lack of knowledge of orbital mechanics. The lower the orbit, over a period of time with no interference from external factors, the sooner they fall, but they will not fall "faster". An object degrading immediately from HEO to re-entry will renter at a far greater velocity than a LEO object, because it has significantly more potential energy to convert into kinetic energy.

Now youre just talking semantics. Greater the pull, faster the fall.

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I'm not speculating about Earth's magnetic field - the Equator will still be shielded, regardless of what happens. This is why you never see aurora at the equator, and all the charged particles gather at the poles. Have a good look at the Earth's magnetic field in a geomagnetic storm, you'll understand what I am saying.

Equator will be better off compared to poles, true, but its nowhere near being protected.

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You would not see a military presence at a distant place like this in TLD. Remote regions such as this would have been evacuated long ago, and with communications down, they would be holding back to their bases and their immediate environs. They would be more concerned with whether or not this is an attack, than patrolling a frostbitten region in northern Canada.

Evacuation implies preparation, something that seem to be in short supply in the game.

And yes, they would be patrolling, otherwise it would lead to widespread chaos and breakdown of society. Presuming that military and goverment will just abandon everyone and concentrate to population centers is pure stupidity.

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Unless certain users manage to revert to a more respectful tone towards each other in general, I somehow have the strong feeling it might be best to lock this whole thread down in order to prevent further pointless and latently aggressive discussions like in the emp and flashlight threads in the past. (Not even to mention that a return to the original topic of meteor showers instead of satellite orbits or military presence in remote regions during natural disasters would be quite desirable as well).

@cekivi already tried to get this thread back on track with a friendly reminder, but as this unfortunately doesn't seem to have left a noteworthy impression on the target audience, I've marked this thread for supervision now. You may take this as a last warning.

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4 hours ago, Dirmagnos said:

Relative to what ? And if neighborhood is so clean then why it gets constant orbit adjustments ? Because its the only protection it has from being shot to shit - staying away from path of anything that can make a lot of holes in it. And thats pretty much everything..

Relative to higher orbits where shattered remnants of Chinese weather satellites hum around the Earth at thousands of kilometres an hour like angry metallic hornets.
The reason why the ISS receives numerous orbit corrections is because of a number of factors:

  • the Earth's gravitational field is not uniform, take a look at some gravity maps and you'll see it is far from a uniform pull
  • the influence from the moon (and, minorly, the sun) will also perturb the ISS's orbit
  • the ISS orbits within the thermosphere, a disparate yet tangible shell of the upper atmosphere. Despite how tenuous the gas is, if you are tearing around the Earth at approximately 16 times a day, you're going to experience at least a fractional amount of drag
  • solar wind, although a minor force, is still sufficient to create slight variances in orbit over time
  • Re-emission of heat radiation on the dark side of the space station generates a minuscule amount of thrust, which is generally deemed insignificant, but is enough to produce deviations in orbit over long periods (for more info, see the Pioneer Anomaly)  

The number of impacts the ISS receives is relatively low, and the kinetic energy such impacts impart are negligible in long term schemes. They are point incidents which are pretty much rectified as soon as they happen, and they don't happen very often at all, certainly not on a monthly basis.

Now, in the interests of keeping things civil, I'm going to refrain from pursuing the other points (However mostly I am wary of the banhammer @Scyzara seems to be handling with inappropriate fondness and familiarity), however I have addressed the issues at hand which I felt needed to be rectified.
To remain on topic, here's a cool gif from our friends, the Ruskies:
meteor-crash-russia1.gif 

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9 minutes ago, EternityTide said:

(However mostly I am wary of the banhammer @Scyzara seems to be handling with inappropriate fondness and familiarity)

For a point of clarification, topic drift results in threads being locked (with discussion encouraged to continue under their own heading) with no actual penalities. Making derogatory comments about a moderator may get you a warning and three warnings will get you banned. I suggest now is a good time to deescalate, step back, and relax a little. People do disagree with one another. Great! We will not, however, tolerate any form of personal attacks in the forums.

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