The Slow Zone, the Dandelion Sky or the Hub is the location on the other side of the Ring. It's a black, starless space approximately one million kilometers across, with 1373 individual Ring wormholes[Citation needed] in an enormous sphere around it. Ring Station sits in the middle of the slow zone. The actual location of the slow zone in space, or whether it is connected to the universe other than through wormholes, is unknown.
The slow zone was named for its absolute speed limit of six hundred meters per second. Any object with non-zero invariant mass moving faster than this limit is locked down by an inertial dampening field, and then begins to move towards the central Ring Station, forming a ring around it. Light still acts normally and adheres to the speed of light, but radiation made up of larger particles like alpha and beta radiation does not exist inside the slow zone.
For more information about the events at this location, see Slow Zone Incident.
After the flotilla succeeded in following Miller's advice and powered down their ships, the speed limit inside the "slow zone" was lifted, and all rings that still had an active ring on the other side reactivated. Following this, the area became known as "the hub".
- The "speed limit" is described as an active defense mechanism of the Ring Station in Abaddon's Gate rather than a fundamental change in constants of nature. "The speed limit grips the hull of the ships but anything inside is unaffected." This effect is used as a key plot elements throughout Abbadon's Gate. Bullets fired from weapons behave normally inside ships. A grenade fired by a Martian marine on Ring Station though "comes to a halt and drops to the ground centimeters from the barrel." When the speed limit is dropped, crew and passengers are killed or injured due to the sudden deceleration of the ships hulls.