Arches Of Chaos: Jovian Space Manifolds Create A Celestial Autobahn

Space manifolds act as the boundaries of dynamical channels enabling fast transportation into the inner- and outermost reaches of the Solar System.


(Global arch-like structure of space manifolds in the Solar System)

Besides being an important element in spacecraft navigation and mission design, these manifolds can also explain the apparent erratic nature of comets and their eventual demise. Here, we reveal a notable and hitherto undetected ornamental structure of manifolds, connected in a series of arches that spread from the asteroid belt to Uranus and beyond. The strongest manifolds are found to be linked to Jupiter and have a profound control on small bodies over a wide and previously unconsidered range of three-body energies.

Orbits on these manifolds encounter Jupiter on rapid time scales, where they can be transformed into collisional or escaping trajectories, reaching Neptune’s distance in a mere decade. All planets generate similar manifolds that permeate the Solar System, allowing fast transport throughout, a true celestial autobahn.

(Via The arches of chaos in the Solar System)


(A finer image of the manifolds with colliding and escaping objects along them. )

The arches of chaos are reminiscent of that wonderful scientifiction notion space-lanes. As far as I know, the first mention of this phrase was in Edmond Hamilton's 1928 classic Crashing Suns:

He had travelled the space-lanes of the solar system for the greater part of his life, and now all of his time-honored rules of interplanetary navigation had been upset by this new cruiser.

(Read more about space-lanes)


(Crashing Suns by Edmond Hamilton)

Just a generation later, Philip K. Dick appropriated this by-then commonplace term and used it to describe a harrowing daily commute back to Earth in his 1954 short story Sales Pitch:

Commute ships roared on all sides, as Ed Morris made his way wearliy home to Earth at the end of a long hard day at the office. The Ganymede-Terra lanes were choked with exhausted, grim-faced businessmen; Jupiter was in opposition to Earth and the trip was a good two hours.

In more modern sf movies, you might want to use this stellar cartography room to plot these routes.


(Picard and Data in stellar cartography)

Thanks to @BrianRoemmele for pointing this item out.

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