In the Universe Update; Dwarf Galaxies.

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    So this is based on some real science, presumably, because I saw it on the science channel, right?

    Anyway, there is such a thing as as dwarf galaxies. Compared to the milky way, which contains billions of stars and has a spiral shape, these are pretty formless clusters of a few hundred thousand stars.

    This is relevant to starmade thusly; we want other galaxies to be accessible in the future for explorers, but with difficulty. Instead of leaving our starting galaxy and always encountering other full size galaxies nearby, we could encounter clusters of 40-50 stars nearer to the starting galaxy, and interspersed throughout the void like stepping stones between the bigger spiral galaxies, and maybe presenting their own features.

    These dwarf galaxies probably don't have a supermassive black hole or anything, maybe a handful of smaller ones. They don't have the huge, hot galactic core. Probably a lot of excess gas and debris that isnt going anywhere fast because this is a pretty boring place overall. So, big gas nebulas with scattered asteroids throughout.

    They probably don't have the magnetic interference and shielding effect from external stimuli that is granted by the multitude of stars and charged gasses, dust and plasma that bigger galaxies get. So if there's an interstellar/void radiation effect, that should probably persist even in the interior of these dwarf galaxies.

    One interesting concept, though, are advanced alien civilizations that have pretty much taken over this entire mini galaxy and everything in it, consuming everything it had available. But maybe they don't have the tech or interest for intergalactic travel? If so, they probably have had nobody to fight with but themselves and no resources to work with that aren't recycled junk for millennia. What are they going to do with intergalactic contact?
    Or, they could have failed to recycle their tech and have gone extinct. Which could be a fun puzzle for players to decipher.

    A quick addendum to this;
    Stray stars; as was observed with a collision between a dwarf galaxy and the milky way, sometimes stars get flung out away from their galaxy and get stranded in the void. This is something like you might see one or two, extremely rarely. They probably don't have any nebulas or extrasolar objects tagging along with them, just them and their inner planets and asteroids.
     
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