In the future, we created a Dyson Swarm.

Each node (which I'd like to call a Gigalga) is an asteroid-sized, biotechnological, space-adapted, sentient plant that speaks the same evolved language as we do. The whole swarm can also work as a Skhadov thruster or a starlifter and/or as a hive intelligence that doubles as head of the system-wide government.

Apart from that, we also made artificial minds and tasked them to redesign entire planets, moons, and asteroids into gigantic, semi-sentient spherical, hard-shelled gas-bag creatures (called Astrophytes) that can choose when to generate gravity on their own surfaces. These Astrophytes can then grow to be more intelligent than baseline humans.

We basically transformed the solar system into an ecological paradise.

Every smaller creature, while not particularly as sapient as baseline humans, can now be made to understand our intentions. The same goes for the relationship between Astrophytes and baseline humans. In a way, everything can talk about everything else with every other thing, made possible by a nearly-telepathic way of communication that temporarily connects the conversing creatures' brains.

In short, aside from the sun itself, we chose to make every single thing within our system a living, breathing, understandable organism with a (more or less) semi-sentient life of its own that should be respected and lived accordingly.

In order to make that happen, the Gigalga swarm is constantly generating massive amounts of atmospheric molecules as a byproduct of their photosynthesis, which gets distributed evenly away from the sun and across the whole system.

Smaller creatures can even live on the surfaces of Astrophytes or within their innards. Zero-gravity adaptations can also allow entities to just float between these enormous Astorphytes since there's a system-wide breathable atmosphere.

Now, how plausible will such a world be?

Can this atmosphere be contained within the system by the Astrophytes?

Where might the reconstruction of spacerocks into astrophytes go wrong?

Are all the raw materials within our solar system enough to create that kind of atmosphere?

  • $\begingroup$ At first sight, the biggest issue seems to be the relation between cost and benefit. This is a major project that might be possible eventually, however nobody has anything to gain from it. If you have to spend ressources from multiple star systems and a lot of effort in designing and constructing that thing, well, you have to get something out of it that potentially compensates you for it. You can perhaps do it just because it can be done in like a small area with a couple of beings, but an entire star system, that's a lot of space. Also, is it spherical or a disk? $\endgroup$ – Raditz_35 Aug 12 '18 at 8:47
  • $\begingroup$ It would be a like a ring of atmosphere, stretched at the equator that makes it appear like a disk, with no air near the sun and a near-homogenous earthlike atmosphere away from the sun. $\endgroup$ – Kyle Zabala Aug 12 '18 at 8:55
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    $\begingroup$ With your new edit, "Are all the raw materials within our solar system enough to create that kind of atmosphere?" In order to answer such questions, you need to provide numbers. Also, keep in mind that 99.8% of the solar system's mass is in the sun when asking if you can fill out space with the rest of it that potentially is much larger than the sun $\endgroup$ – Raditz_35 Aug 12 '18 at 9:02

I’m afraid it doesn’t work. Your system-wide atmosphere will simply collapse into the sun. That’s basically how stars form, by the gravitational collapse of clouds of interstellar gas. See The Integral Trees by Larry Niven or the Virga series by Karl Schroeder for more plausible examples of the kind of thing you’re after.

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  • $\begingroup$ I semi disagree. Yes, but a) it would take a lot of time at least for human standards and b) if you can create a system-wide atmosphere, I think you are not that far away from solving the issue on how to keep it up. $\endgroup$ – Raditz_35 Aug 12 '18 at 8:50
  • $\begingroup$ Where can I find a free version of these books? Integral Trees kind of captures the idea. $\endgroup$ – Kyle Zabala Aug 12 '18 at 9:02
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    $\begingroup$ @KyleZabala In your local library. You can order them if they don’t have them in stock. $\endgroup$ – Mike Scott Aug 12 '18 at 9:02

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