They had decided where to go next. The thing with space – contrary to a graviton highway – is that you can always go in an infinite number of directions, as long as there are stars in range. And since they were still attuning the new Arsenic Injection System to Andrew’s Asp, they had many stars to chose from.
Finally, Andrew insisted they stay along the Giant Strides and make for one of the nearer clusters of stars. More specifically, the nearest cluster from Sol: They were going for the Hyades.
“Historically,” Andrew began his explanations, “the Hyades were often associated with the Taurus Moving Cluster but modern technology proved them wrong. After all these centuries the Hyades are still the best-studied of all clusters due to their proximity to Sol. And let’s not forget that there are millions of people living there nowadays. They consist of some 40 stars of various age and class.
The name ‘Hyades’ comes from Greek language and refers to the daughters of the Titan Atlas. They were thus the mythological half-sisters of the Pleiades (Atlas had at least two wives). In old astronomy catalogues the Hyades were also listed as Collinder (Col) 50 or Melotte (Mel) 25. Don’t confuse Melotte with Messier, those two astronomers were more than 150 years apart.”
He zoomed in on the inner stars that still seemed to be bundled together. “The Hyades’ core segment is still made up of closely packed more massive and bright stars, including several yellow and orange type III giant stars like Ain (Arabic for “eye”), or Epsilon Tauri. Other giant stars include Hyadum I (Gamma Tauri), Hyadum II (Delta Tauri) and the A III-type giant of Theta Tauri (78 Theta-2 Tauri). Their gravity captures them and prevents them from going anywhere. However, if you look around the cluster thins out considerably after some light years. The lower mass stars are flung around by rather complicated mechanics and it’s generally believed the Hyades Stream is responsible for it. It’s what I said about the Taurus Moving Group before. Today we know that there are hundreds of stars that share the same trajectory. The Hyades just happen to lie in its center, more or less. When the more massive stars began to burn away the surrounding gas the gravitational grip on these stars lessened and they began what is called a cluster’s mass segregation.”
Elvira ran her fingers across the holopanel where they projected the galaxy map, zoomed in on that cluster of stars.
“I wanted to live there myself but like the rest with me, that seems to be ages agon. Back in the day ‘living a Hyadean life’ meant taking it easy and not getting involved in political antics. Then the Feds moved in and claimed multiple worlds at once. And those were the days of Hyadean life.”
Andrew drifted back in his own memories. Some bad, some… not so. “I struck quite a few good deals there when I was freelance trading in my Cobra.” He hesitated. “I also have some… good memories buried there. But then again it’s like you: Seems ages ago…”
They both stared out of the Asp’s canopy for what must have been a small eternity. Finally, Elvira Martuuk broke the silence: “All right, the Hyades and us two ‘back in the day’-spacers. What places are there for an explorer to see or dig up?”
Andrew drew up the Stellar Cartographics infopage and selected the ‘Survey Propositions’. “There,” he said, gesturing across the panel. “There are quite a few giant stars around. All in all the cluster is pretty massive. It’s like I said: The Giant Strides runs straight through the cluster. We just have to follow their footprints.”
- Hyadum I (G III Giant)
- Hyadum II (G III Giant)
- Ain (G III Giant)
- Botein (G III Giant)
- HIP 15310 (Tourism, Twin Ammonia Worlds) – NO Facilities
- 78 Theta-2 Tauri (A III Giant)
- HIP 19219 (G III Giant)
- HIP 18320 (G III Giant)