Wolf 359


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Wolf 359 is a red dwarf star. The only reason for the settlement here is that it lies on the Jump-1 route from Earth to Procyon and beyond. The inner system has a dense asteroid belt, that contains the basic starport. The starport is home to a number of refugee families who have been unable to find passage onwards to Procyon. Asteroid miners extract Helium 3, which is sold on as premium fuel at the starport. Smugglers & outlaws are suspected to use the belt as a hideout. There is also a recently established Earth Union fleet observation post – its mission is to support the blockade against Procyon.

There is a single planet – a gas dwarf (named “Cub”) in the far out system. A small deuterium mining post extracts fuel from its atmosphere. Cub is believed to be a captured planet. The old Earth Union sponsored a research base to investigate it. The base is now running short of supplies.

Wolf 359 is a flare star, which can suddenly emit deadly bursts of X-rays. Habitats and ships in the inner system must be flare shielded at all times.

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  1. alex said,

    15 December, 2014 @ 11:55

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    Tony Jones How much of a problem does the population have with the massive flares Wolf 359 puts out, which emit X and gamma rays?


    Alexander Tingle Excellent point. Solar flares in our solar system have apparently proved to be less of a hazard than thought. The principle danger is from proton storms, and AFAICT these would not be any more powerful around a flare star than around our Sun. X-rays are a different story. X-rays from the Sun don’t pose a significant hazard, but X-rays from Wolf 359 can be 10,000 more powerful, which almost certainly makes them problematic. X-rays are pretty easy to block of course, but there would be no warning, so you’d have to remain behind shielding at all times.

    Not sure about the gamma rays. I’ve not found anything to say how powerful they might be. Most sources seem to concentrate on X-rays, so I suspect the gamma rays are less of an issue.

    Tony Jones Probably; gamma rays are only generated from nuclear energy level transitions so need much more extreme conditions to generate than x-rays which are just electron energy level transitions…

    Alexander Tingle I’ve added the point about X-ray bursts to this article

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