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C-ship: The Lattice Galaxy

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Let's begin our exploration of the strange laws of space and time in one of the strangest corners of the universe, the Lattice galaxy.

The lattice galaxy

Since we'll be exploring how space and time stretch when you travel at velocities approaching the speed of light, it's handy to have a large scale measuring stick, and the Lattice galaxy will do nicely. Located billions of light years from Earth, the Lattice was constructed by cosmic engineers of an advanced technological civilisation as a work of art. Its form, reminiscent of the Borg ship of Star Trek: The Next Generation reflects the obsession of its otherwise sophisticated makers with reruns of that series. But it's perfect for our purposes, so we'll borrow it for a while.

The Lattice is huge, 64,000 light-years along each edge; a typical spiral galaxy like the Milky Way is shown alongside for comparison. The spacing between the joints, 8,000 light years, is roughly one quarter the distance of the Sun from the centre of the Milky Way. The scale of the Lattice, while mind-numbing, will come in handy when we feel the need for speed.

Here's the view looking outward from a point near the centre of the Lattice toward one of the faces.

Inside the lattice galaxy

by John Walker