Join the starship UGA Starstrider as she explores the far reaches of outer space. Starstrider is a scientific
research vessel whose mission is to examine unusual astrophysical phenomena, as well as to discover new life
and new civilisations.
This section will be updated regularly with the Starstrider's log.
Ships' log galactic date 10340.1-06: The UGA Starstrider analysed the spectral class M flare star
G7Sb-0081001. An atmoprobe was launched into the star's atmosphere to obtain scientific data. Flare stars
are faint cool red dwarf stars that exhibit intense outbursts, or flares, from localised regions of the stellar
surface. One particularly intense flare occurred during observation and the plasma stream temporarily
disabled the ship's primary magnetic sensor array. The flare intensity peaked within 8 seconds and the flare
lasted for 47 minutes. Spectral emission lines of hydrogen and ionised calcium were recorded and a very
strong magnetic field of 0.225 microtesla was measured. This star is one of a group of young stars in this
region. Being a newly formed star, G7Sb-0081001 rotates very rapidly and this rapid rotation produces its
intense magnetic field. The intense magnetic field, in turn, generates the intense flares as plasma erupts
along magnetic field lines and streams away from the star.
Above: UGA Starstrider analyses a spectral class M red dwarf flare star, from a moderately safe distance! The
solar panels have been folded and turned edge on to the star to protect them from the intense flares. The ship
suffered minor electronics systems damage from the star's intense radiation, but these were soon repaired and
the data obtained made the risk worth while. Click on the image to see a larger version, or click here. Got to the
Space Tech glossary for an explanation of terms. Click here for the Starstrider Pov-Ray source code.
Ship's log galactic date 10340.1-10: The UGA Starstrider collected data from a rare Of star. Of stars are young
giant blue-white spectral class O stars. These stars are the hottest, most luminous and among the most
massive stars in the Universe. This star, G7Sb-0081241, has a surface temperature of 30 000 kelvin (about 30
000 degrees celsius or centigrade), a luminosity of 1.6 million Suns and a mass of about 120 solar masses. It is
so hot and luminous that the radiation pressure of the photons is blasting away the outer layers of the star's
atmosphere as two great polar lobes and an equatorial disc. This star will probably evolve into a Wolf-Rayet
star, which is a large O class star that is in the later stages of its life and having blasted away most of its outer
mass is visible as the extremely hot stellar core. More massive stars burn more brightly but live much shorter
lives than dwarf stars. This star will probably burn for about 2 or 3 million years. In comparison, the life-span of
Earth's Sun is about 10 billion years, and it is currently in middle age.
Above: the UGA Starstrider examines a rare Of class star. The star is so luminous that the
image has been extensively filtered to remove the background glare. Still, the light is intense
and no background stars are visible. This star is an ultraviolet star and emits massively intense
ultraviolet radiation. If the ship approached much closer than this then its hull would suffer
damage. The gas in the polar lobes is streaming away from the star at over one million miles
per hour (about 2 million kilometres per hour). The picture was taken from Starstrider Shuttle
2. Click on the image for a larger version, or click here.
Ship's log galactic date 10340.1-11: Our telescopes have detected a planet 19 light years away that has a
light-spectral signature indicative of life. The planet orbits a detached binary system of a yellow dwarf (class G)
and an orange dwarf star (class K). We are on our way to investigate - ETA 20 days from now.
Above the new and mysterious planet as seen through the Starstrider's optical telescope. The
spectral signature indicates the possible presence of life and the planet clearly has an
atmosphere. Click the picture to enlarge it and click the link below to see an animation of the
planet in time-lapse to show one daily cycle of rotation.
Welcome to the UGA Starstrider! Click on the thumbnails below to view larger images: