Why would a civilization choose to inhabit a single enormous vessel instead of maintaining interstellar colonies?

They have the destination, they heading to Supermassive black hole.

  • reasons are TLTR, if short it allows to overcome some growth problems for a more extended period of time and have a bigger population as result.

At the moment, this is the only place I know, where is possible to extract energy more efficiently than with any thermonuclear reactions. Efficiency is around 50% of mc2

They do not make pit stops at star systems, as it seems, they do not stop at all. The main ship does not stop. They launching probes ahead to research systems and to set up heavy elements extraction systems, like in How can I move a planet?.

The average density of stars is 0.004 per ly3, so average distance between stars on their way is 6.2 ly. (average density here, local stuff around the sun, closer to center of galaxy is denser up to 10 times, Stellar density)

Distance to SMBH is 26000ly, so they will have 4120 possibilities to get materials which they will need to build SMBH energy extraction system, and to accelerate ship for higher time dilation.

Average star, or better to say like our sun as an example, can be used to accelerate only small asteroid-size of materials with radius 25km to 0.99c speed in time of 6 years. (2-tonne density per cubic meter)

  • it can be done better than that, but still each star provides not so much star lifted material(energy flow from a stars isn’t so great for the purpose of starlifting and accelerating matter to the 0.99c), but the ship system can make continuous flow of the matter for a long time by leaving systems for that in each star system where the ship is passing by. Those systems can form one system with the ship, long strands of matter from stars to the ship – super starship spider – with 100-1000 years long strands if needed. They can get all needed materials. But even they potentially be able to refine entry star system they do not do that because of star energy limitations.

Distance to SMBH is 26000ly, and 0.99c speed is 50 times dilation which makes subjective time travel 500 years, not bad actually.

This time dilation and speed 0.99c explains why it is one ship, and not many of them. Accelerating big(0.01% of Venus by mass) ship needs 181 years of the energy of 1000 stars like our sun.

So potentially we talking about 10 stars, 100years to launch, 2e18 kg ship, 1e12 humans(1e6 kg mass of a ship per a human). If they prepare their departure in 500 years starting from now, it looks like good solution.

This very exciting moment

Of inserting into SMBH orbit at 0.99c speed

  • Actually isn’t so dangerous, if done properly, AND if ship made from what it supposed to be made, not a tin can from 196x, but the active material(like the tool from moving planets, link above). But author might make a great scene of the fight with a great problem, where the life of entry civilization is a hair from disappearing in BH.


  • energy extraction from the black hole, I’m talking about gravitational potential energy.
  • SMBH is pretty big 41 light sec, and the closest star is at the distance of 6.5 light hours, and it can be converted into pure energy to warm up further consumption of stars around SMBH
  • amount of energy extracted from one kg of mass dropped into BH, do not depend on mass of BH, because of event horizon radius proportional to mass, and gravitational potential proprotional to BH_mass/BH_radius2.95km/Sun_mass so it’s kinda constant
  • not sure about 50% efficiency, but something close enough, and at least order or two orders of magnitude more than all possible thermonuclear reactions from H to Fe.
  • any mass is a good mass for energy extraction with SMBH.
  • anyway, all stars from galaxy will end here, so it’s just a natural direction of nature, also there will be BH near for researchers.
  • one star with a mass like our Sun dropped to BH provides 8 times more energy then Hypernovaenergy output, 1046J.
  • there are some reasons to fly to BH for energy, some of them in this A to Q What would come first, the colonization of the solar system or interstellar colonization?
  • to stop thermonuclear reaction of star like our sun, by converting star to cloud, needs energy like 19 millions years of work of our sun or 0.000023 of hypernova blast (1046J), or each 1kg dropped to BH, another 500000 kg might be lifted from a star(with energy produced by this 1kg).
  • Having BH nearby means ability (if there is energy for that) send stuff with almost(at some extent) arbitrary time dilation across the galaxy. Or wait with entry civilization up some event.
  • I tried to be correct with numbers, in a reasonable way, but errors are possible, so feel free to calculate by yourself, the calculation is funny, better then wow.
  • If someone wishes to correct my English, I welcome that.

BH is definitely good opportunity which might be exploited in interesting ways, and offer possibilities as nothing else as my knowledge we may imagine now.

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