## Friday, January 15, 2021

### How much room is there on a planet?

Talavera, the capital of the Empire of my Church and Empire setting, is a large planet with vast oceans. The UPP is A-969835-F, and 947 million people. But how much room do they actually have for a billion people?

Size 9: 9,000 mile diameter

Hydro 9: 90% of the planet is oceans

I had an initial idea of a densely populated island, where the buildings reach high into the sky to make room for nearly a billion people.

Then I did some math. What I found was, to say the least, not that dramatic.

Talavera has 25,446,900 square miles of land area. Spread 947,000,000 people over that and you get a population density of 37.215 ppl/mi^2.

According to this table of population densities of countries, that's less than Norway or Sweden. Neither are the sorts of places you think of when you think of dense populations. China, at 378 ppl/mi^2 is ten times denser. 25 million square miles is several times the size of Russia.

I did up a table to compute the square miles of surface area on planets in Traveller. By taking the Size code and cross-referencing with the Hydrographics code, you can find the land area of any planet of normal parameters. It may be water, it may be ice, it can be some other kind of liquid.

Here is a sample of the table, including a few Earth examples for comparison. The entire table, in MS Excel format, is available here.  The long and short of it is this: any planet is going to have plenty of room for exploration, or to hide something or someone. Even a Size-2 planet with Hydro-5 has space near to the size of Russia to work with.

Of this area, only a scant percentage is going to be inhabited, unless A) the population is in the Billions or above and B) most of the planet is covered by liquid or ice. A planet with only a few million people is going to be 90+% uninhabited.

What might go on in the frontier areas of a lightly populated world? Possibly a lot.  Share your ideas in the comments.

 Size Code Diameter Radius Total Area Hydrographic-5 0 500.0 250.0 785,398.2 392,699.1 1 1,000.0 500.0 3,141,592.7 1,570,796.4 2 2,000.0 1,000.0 12,566,370.8 6,283,185.4 3 3,000.0 1,500.0 28,274,334.3 14,137,167.2 4 4,000.0 2,000.0 50,265,483.2 25,132,741.6 5 5,000.0 2,500.0 78,539,817.5 39,269,908.8 6 6,000.0 3,000.0 113,097,337.2 56,548,668.6 7 7,000.0 3,500.0 153,938,042.3 76,969,021.2 8 8,000.0 4,000.0 201,061,932.8 100,530,966.4 9 9,000.0 4,500.0 254,469,008.7 127,234,504.4 10 (A) 10,000.0 5,000.0 314,159,270.0 157,079,635.0 Russia 6,601,670 China 3,600,950 Canada 3,511,023 USA 3,531,925 Brazil 3,266,584 Australia 2,947,336 Texas 261,231 California 155,779 New York 47,126

## Fantastic Technology for Traveller? Why Not?

It has been observed over the years that the Classic Traveller Technology seems dated. Like stuck in the 1970's dated. We all know about the computers. Someone I know recently compared the CT equipment section to a 1970's hardware store.