Background: We discover an artifact in the present day somewhere remote. This artifact is in the form of a small (approximately phone sized) sphere, and when researched, it is discovered to have the ability to manipulate temperature and pressure in a cylindrical band roughly 2 to 15 meters away from the user. It is able to control between roughly Venus and Mars surface weather conditions.

My questions:

  1. Is the artifact capability plausible according to known physics and if so how?

  2. At each of the extremes, what would the surrounding environment look like?

  3. At what levels would major environmental changes occur(weather, habitability limits)?

Any and all answers will be appreciated. Thank you!

  • $\begingroup$ Venus has raining sulfuric acid, among other things. Can this generate the acid if it's not already present or is it only going to mimic the weather conditions i.e. just the equivalent atmosphere and wind conditions? $\endgroup$ – Halfthawed Mar 18 at 23:34
  • $\begingroup$ Shouldn't that "circular band" be a "spherical dome", or maybe a "cylinder"? That is, shouldn't it be three-dimensional instead of two-dimensional? $\endgroup$ – AlexP Mar 18 at 23:35
  • $\begingroup$ Edited to better reflect comments. Thank you for the feedback! $\endgroup$ – Lelu Mar 18 at 23:38
  • $\begingroup$ We have a such a device now - it's called a "room". :-) $\endgroup$ – StephenG Mar 19 at 5:58


Most of these effects we can already do at short ranges. A fan gives you artificial wind, a space heater gives you artificial heat, a space aircon gives you artificial cool. A garden hose gives you artificial rain and a snow machine gives you artificial snow.

Your artifact simply combines these capabilities into a small space.

In order to seriously affect atmospheric pressure and in order to keep out exterior weather, your device would have to be able to generate and maintain a stable force field, otherwise any effects it generates will simply be blown away by the prevailing winds.

I would imagine that the weather outside the containment field wouldn't be significantly altered.

Anything hotter than about 100deg or colder than about 0deg; air pressure less than 250mmHg or more than about 1500mmHg; and acid rain is certainly going to ruin local habitability, i.e., within a spherical volume 15 m out from the device.

There will be no "major" environmental effects, apart from the local acid spill you created and no "major" environmental changes because the device's effects aren't that powerful.

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