Or: "How to properly spend your spare time" - By Carlos
A few minutes ago, I was checking some not-so-up-to-date Vexillium pages, and I decided to see Kiltanlenad's website. Then, on its infraestructure page, I found these three lines of informations that somehow made me a bit curious...
Radio first received from Earth: 1947 Television first received from Earth: 1992 Earth's official apology for Milton Berle is due to arrive in 2027
Yeah, yeah, I know its totally unnoficial and that the inhabitants of Vexillium have no idea about our Earth. What Kiltanlenad's player wanted with this, we'll never know. However, let's play with these dates a bit, shall we? =)
Anyway, when I first read that, I could only think "Hm, maybe I can use this to discover where is Vex on an Earth nightsky...". Yep. Call me looney, but that's what I really thought. =)
A bit of phisics now: A radio signal travels at the speed of light (300.000 m/s), making the distance of 9.460.730.472.580.800 kilometers in one year. So, we have the Light Year. Right? Right.
Now, let's annalize the dates... Earth's official apology for Milton Berle is due to arrive in 2027. Television first received from Earth in 1992. 2027 - 1992 = 35. So, we have a possible Vex-Sun at 35 light-years.
Gliese 86 is seen in the southern constellation Eridanus (...) It is quite nearby - about 35 light-years only.
Oh. Right. Well, we still have the other dates to analyze... Maybe we can find other possible stars?
Television first received from Earth in 1992. If you watched the movie "Contact" (or, even better, if you've read the novel of same name by Carl Sagan), you'll remember that the first intercontinental, high-powered TV transmission was the opening of the 1936 Olympics, in Berlin. 1992 - 1936 = 56
The star Iota Horologii, 56 light-years from Earth, possesses not only an extrasolar planet, but also a dust disk.
Hm... Maybe the Kiltanlenad player was an astronomer, or maybe a psychic of sorts? =) Anyway, still one more dating to do: Radio first received from Earth in 1947. A quick Wikipedia search reveals that Reginald Fessenden, in 1906, transmitted the first radio broadcast in history. 1947 - 1906 = 41.
55 Cancri is a nearby 6th magnitude star in the constellation Cancer (...) Distance to the system is 41 light years (...) Four extrasolar planets have been discovered around 55 Cancri, making it the largest known extrasolar planetary system as of 2004.
Well... Three candidates. Further inspection reveals that 55 Cancri is a binary system - that is, there are two stars there. So, it's out. Gliese 86 is also a binary system. That leaves us with... the sun-like Iota Horologii.
So... Thanks to an old player entering strange data on his country's website, I've found the possible location for Vexillium's solar system.
And... How exactly this affects our gameplay? Nothing. Just a random trivia... Just that.
On the other hand... Now you can look for Iota Horologii on the sky and say "Hey, I can see my country from here!"... =)