Most recent update (All By Hand(TM)): 1-Apr-2006 00:53


And in those days, he who created the universe took fire; and he set the universe on fire...
[Korowai myth of origin]


Strange facts from the Frontier Universe

Interesting findings

I've scanned the nearest +/- 100 sectors around Sol for abnormalities to check if my algorithm for generating planets gives the same result as the original games. In doing so, I've found a couple of extremes -- which, in every case, also appear in the game itself.

The idea to scan for weird systems came from the excellent web site Daniel Sevo's Frontier Fan Page. I've found all weird systems (other than those caused by wormholes) and even managed to bring him up to date on some!


The coldest planets are a cool -270C, and occur quite frequently. Check far-out moons. The coldest object possible would be -273C, but I've found none of those.

The hottest planet is Hadar 1 at a scorching 3223C. At some distance of that is Merope 1 at 1646C. Next are Taygete 1 (1558C), Alkaid 1 (1497C), Phekda 1 (1472C), and Electra 1 (1437C). On Grefaphi (-2,-36) C3 you can bask in the light of 3 different colored suns at a temperature of 1347C.

The furthest orbiting body is Proxima Centauri at a distance of 963.360 A.U. from Alpha Centauri. But that's a hard-coded system so it doesn't really count. Other faraway objects (all components of binary star systems) are Enioay (-91,-36) A,B5 at 787.616 A.U., Veaur (67,-56) A,B5 at 787.136 A.U., Inurve (-19,-79) A,B7 at 782.208 A.U. and Ayliaur (-61,-82) A,B7 at 726.848 A.U. The furthest planet is Rigel 3 at 711.264 A.U., second place is for Iourur(-99,4) 4 at 665.696 A.U.

Close objects occur frequently. Small asteroidal bodies such as Phobos orbiting a small planet display their distance as 0.000 A.U. The fastest orbiting city is Griffiths Town on Irvin's Hole, Ayaze (5,-6); it spins in 15 hours around planet Capitol. The shortest year for a planet orbiting a star has Camp Lowing on Ousey Reward, Tiwafa (5,6). Your birthday occurs every 5 days there.

Exphifa (83,-19) A,B3 has the longest orbital period with 43494.4 years. For a planet, it's Laara (11,-17) A,B2 with 43267.2 years. The longest year for a city is 97.5 years; Hooper City on Camp Jordan, Essvece (-7,1).

The highest number of towns are in the systems Alioth (0,4) and Tiacan (3,-4), both with 13 planet-bound dwellings. Runner-up is Achenar (1,-4) with 11 towns.

The highest number of towns on one planet is 7; the planet is Earth... Five towns are located on Trojan, Eta Cassiopeia (0,2). Four towns on a single planet can be found in 45 other systems. One of them is remarkable; New Australia, Uroland (-6,-3) is aptly named because its surface temperature is 75C! Home, Bedaho (-4,-2) is the coldest planet with 4 towns, at 10C.

Of course Sol has the highest number of orbiters, 8 of 'em. Second is Cegreeth A,B (-1,-3) with 7, third comes Anquphi (-3,-10) with 6 orbital stations.

If you prefer docking on orbiters only, avoid Belaho (-7,-5) (6 towns), Liamiess (1,-6) (5 towns) and Ackhoess (0,-6) (4 towns). Though inhabitated, they have no orbiters at all.

The highest number of landing places is 18 towns and orbiters. These can be found on Alioth (0,4), Alkaid (-4,10) and Tiacan A,B (3,-4). Runner-up is Anquphi (-3,-10) with 16 spots to land on or in.

If you prefer landing at all, avoid Urain (1,-13), Candaed (3,-13) and Miinqu (-3,8). Though they all have 7 named planets, they have no cities or orbiters...

The coldest town is no doubt Lexington. Found on Jennings Hollow, Titican (-2,5), it's a freezing -134C there! Du Prs Landing on Stevensworld, Anquphi (-3,-10) is one degree above that.

The hottest town ever must be Newtown, Jameson's Wreck (Zearla (-5,1)). A minor export is Air Processors; no wonder when it's 997C outside! Cool second is Perry Landing on Simpson Rock, Etharin (-1,-5) at 744C.

There are only four sextuple systems with inhabited planets: Liaaed (-2,-11) (two planets), Mihoqu (3,-6), Phienay (-6,9) and Ackquan (-1,15). Probably the continuous light is a killer for its inhabitants' sleeping patterns.

A very habitable quintuple system must be Cegreeth (-1,-3), featuring no less than 9 habitated planets. There are 11 other quintiples with planets.

A quaternary habitated system is Sohoho (6,15), where people live on 4 planets. There are 7 other inhabitated quaternaries; all of them have two habitated worlds.

There are 3670 worlds with real names. 'Gold' is the most popular name (167x).

There are 1562 towns on 644 planets; 81 of'em are called 'Newtown'.

There are 650 orbiters around 399 planets. Ever heard of 'Villa Mancini'? It orbits around Arexex (-1,6).

How unique are we?

I wondered if the solar system generating algorithm could produce something like our own. So I wrote a program to scan the entire Milky Way; and indeed it found a couple of candidates!a


System, CoordsTemperatureRemarks
Oldaand (-3521,-4787)46CThree Saturns instead of one
Liaioen (-201,-4406)49CTwo Jupiters in a row. Too hot anyway
Arfaeth (-4354,-4100)-13Cnot too similar
Beincan (-1955,-3990)40CA Saturn-like planet between "Earth" and "Mars"
Beaned (-628,-3955)42Ctoo much gas giants
Phisoan (-2871,-3853)72Cway too hot, rather similar system for the rest
Fadacan (-1591,-3100)57Cin Venus' orbit, so too hot; but only other flaw is an extra planet after "Pluto" (Persepone?)
Soquwa (-863,-3010)12Cway too much other planets
Canhowa (-3395,-2903)14Cfour Saturns instead of a single one
Ackanack (-2104,-2846)35Cdistribution of inner and outer planets is same, but more planets
Ancanbe (1060,-2074)26Cagain more gas giants
Liaedess (-647,-2016)58Cway more rocky planets
Miackda (-2341,-1991)42Cnot too similar
Hohoti (-1522,-1944)42Chigh temperature and a second Jupiter spoil this one
Waayay (1015,-1914)71Cnot too similar
Phivewa (-1815,-1825)21Crather good, bit much planets
Sowaack (-1288,-1745)39Cnot too similar
Zehoso (975,-1675)34Cthe 6th planet, and still too hot
Laetheth (275,-1602)55C, 12Ctwo oxygen atmosphere planets for the price of one!
Miioen (874,-1530)61Ctoo hot
Enwada (-1952,-1426)12Cnot too bad; pity that a large gas giant between "Neptune" and "Pluto" spoils the overall image
Tiessqu (-1608,-1200)14CA single Saturn-like planet spoils the outer system
Liaanday (-565,-794)60Cinner system is exact, outer system marred by rocky planets. Too hot anyway.
Fazear (-2120,-768)30CTwo tiny planets too much, exact otherwise
Inbear (-2040,-693)51Ctoo hot, a lot of extra planets
Iozeay (-1780,-686)61Cnot too similar
Extimi (-1588,-484)51Cnot too similar
Enfain (1200,-471)27Ctoo much gas giants
Ackackho (-1662,-341)42C, -7CDoubles of almost every single planet
Arzefa (-676,-221)60C, 9Ctwo with oxygen atmosphere, a few extra planets
Daaeth (-372,-168)21Ctwo Mercuries, two Venuses, two Jupiters and two Saturns, but its Earth analogue is almost spot on. Galileo would have had a much simpler life here.
Dauress (-1369,-95)35Cagain, extra gas giants spoil this one
Faolol (-3409,1798)40Cand again


Calculations required for this scan:

  • used computer system: Intel Pentium 4, 3.00GHz, console application running inside Win XP
  • time taken: 795.1 sec (13m 15.1s)
  • checked number of sectors: 67,108,864 (-5912,-5412) to (2279,2779)
  • total number of systems found: 513,982,470b
  • checked number of systems: 28,616,763c
  • calculation speed in sectors: 84,310/sec
  • calculation speed in systems: 35,991/sec
a The systems consist of at least and in this order: a type 'G' yellow star, a barren rocky planetoid, a rocky world with a thick corrosive atmosphere, a world with indigenous life and oxygen atmosphere, a rocky planet with a thin atmosphere (the Mars analogue would not have been terraformed), a large gas giant, a medium gas giant, two small gas giants, and a small barren sphere of rock.
b Though a very slow way of counting star systems, it again proves that John Jordan is right...
c Only systems with a single primary star of type 'G' yellow sun were completely checked.



Based on original data and algorithms from Frontier:Elite 2 and Frontier:First Encounters by David Braben (Frontier Developments)

Original copyright holders:
Elite 4: The Next Encounter David Braben 2011?
First Encounters David Braben 1995
Frontier David Braben 1993
Elite David Braben and Ian Bell 1984


For comments -- preferably positive -- you can reach me at jongware.