Saturday, April 16, 2016

The Physics of the Embassy Universe, Part 2

This is Part 2 of a blog series dedicated to the scientific concepts I use within my science-fiction novels Embassy and Resonance, Books 1 and 2 of the Recovery Series

Read Part 1 Here

TPEU #2: The Kairos Supernova

One of my favorite recurring events in Embassy and Resonance is the Kairos supernova (in Resonance, it’s later explained to have actually formed a magnetar, but the main characters just call it a supernova). The light from Kairos reaches Undil on June 12, 4319, so Kairos itself collapsed in the year 4262. The light reached Narviid in 4311, and Rygin in late 4317. It has yet to reach any other planets; however, Arman and our trusty cast get to see Kairos explode three times, and unexplode (literally) three times.

While I don’t show every single instance in the books, I do show both stages of Kairos enough to get the point across.

As you can see, Kairos is an incredible distance from the Bubble (the collection of inhabited planets in which Embassy and Resonance take place). The distance between Narviid and Kairos is roughly the same as the distance from one side of the Bubble to the other (Belvun to Artaans).

After Arman and Co. see the supernova on June 12 (their second day in Undil’s Embassy), it stays bright in Undil’s northern skies for a little less than a month. Of course, if you’ve read the books, you know Arman travels to Belvun on June 18, about a week after the supernova appears. Therefore, the light has traveled about one light-week from Undil…in certain directions.

When Arman’s fleet departs for Belvun, they catch up to the light of the supernova on the second day of the expedition, passing it early in the morning of the third (yes, the fleet travels faster than light. Click Hereto Read How). Sticking to basic relativity, because the fleet is traveling 166x faster than light, the passengers would watch the reverse-explosion happen extremely quick. The 8-days’ worth of light recedes in about 1 hour and 24 minutes, give or take.

Here's what the supernova would look like normally:

Here's what the supernova would look like in reverse:

Each time the expeditions leave Undil and travel to Belvun (in Embassy and Resonance) or Daliona (in Resonance), the passengers would see the reverse explosion. But whenever they return to Undil (at the beginning of Resonance, and again about 3/4 of the way through), the would see the normal explosion (happening extremely quickly in both scenarios, of course).

Visually, it’s a very exciting event, and I love detailing it and bringing it back up during the expeditions. I think it helps add to the feeling of this being a real concept (though so far as we know, this wouldn’t work in real life), because the consistency of this tiny detail is just one of those things that I will ALWAYS pay attention to in my books. I try to think of EVERYTHING when I’m world-building, because really, that’s the only way to do it.

I do this for plot, and I do it for world-building: I ask, “What would ACTUALLY happen right now?” I don’t include things for convenience. All the events and all the details are 100% deliberate and realistic to my best assumptions, and the Kairos supernova being an ever-present event, in real-time, is one of those details you are going to continue seeing throughout the series.


So there you go! The second post about the science and physical concepts in my books, Embassy and Resonance.

I hope you enjoyed reading about this! At some point in the future, I plan to compile all of these into a book/ebook that you can add to your collection!

If you have any questions regarding the Kairos Supernova/Magnetar just ask! I’m open to all questions and will explain whatever you need me to.

If this piqued your interest, please check out my books!



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