Questions tagged [hard-science]

Requires answers backed up by equations, empirical evidence, scientific papers, other citations, etc. Contrast with: science-based and reality-check tags. This tag should never be the only tag on a question because this tag frames how a question should be answered, not the topic. Review the tag info before using this tag, and flag your question for moderator attention once posted to have the hard-science notice added.

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Can an Unstable Ternary Star System Last Several Hundred Years?

After reading the following question, I know that there are not that many solutions to the 3-body problem, and I know that a ternary system is unstable. Doing research elsewhere, I've discovered that ...
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3answers
137 views

What's the limit of my rockets weight?

I want to launch the heaviest booster + spaceship possible in about 1.5 of earths gravity, using the technology we currently have. To make things easier, imagine there was the same atmosphere as on ...
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5answers
883 views

Walking across lava

What would it look like if a human (with the proper protection) walked across a lava stream? Assume that 'proper protection' means some way of insulating against the heat so that they don't get ...
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1answer
112 views

How to calculate the average temperature of the hemispheres of a planet tidally locked to its star?

I have a planet orbiting a red dwarf and, as expected, it is tidally locked to its star. I know that these planets will have a very significant temperature difference between the diurnal and nocturnal ...
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2answers
121 views

Asteroid thicket dogfight in Saturns rings

Sadly, the asteroid belt isn't the place to showoff your ace pilot skills. It is so sparse you wouldn't even see an asteroid most of the time if you flew through it. But Saturn's rings! The rings ...
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6answers
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Is it now possible to undetectably cross the Arctic Ocean on ski/kayak?

Consider current level technology - surveillance satellites, patrol boats, coastal guards, both USA and Russian anti submarine jet air planes patrolling skies of Arctic Sea. I have a big group (~1000)...
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1answer
109 views

Can a Planet's Electromagnetic Field Be Strong Enough for Wireless Electricity (Induction)?

Wikipedia states: "Electromagnetic or magnetic induction is the production of an electromotive force (i.e., voltage) across an electrical conductor in a changing magnetic field." This one sentence ...
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4answers
113 views

Could a new planets plane be at a different degree as the other planets in our solar system?

I read this and wonder now, what if we would introduce a new planet to our solar system; would the force of gravitation demand a similar plane as that of the other planets? Mercuries 6.3° indicate ...
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0answers
72 views

How to calculate atmospheric circulation cells

Does anyone know an equation or something along those lines for calculating how many and the locations of atmospheric circulation cells for a planet? Also, does the planet's radius and atmospheric ...
6
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2answers
145 views

Producing solar panels on Mars - what is minimal process required, and the mass to import it?

On Mars any initial colony will be power limited. Power sources can be brought from Earth, but any power generation capacity would reduce the mass available for other, more useful cargo. ...
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5answers
289 views

What metallic alloys would be used for weapons and armor in the XXI century knighthood games?

The year is 2035 and Channel 55-KYED decided on a new reality show. the XXI century knighthood games. It will be your basic renaissance faire re-enactment of medieval combat but since they are doing ...
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5answers
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A drug that allows people to survive on less food

In this near-future setting, biotechnology is slightly more advanced than our own. Genetic engineering is cheap as well, but due to an ecological disaster the environment just doesn't have enough ...
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2answers
393 views

When is the earliest in Earth history when Grade 5 Titanium alloy could be made, assuming one knows the formula and has the feedstock?

Bob the time traveler has a problem. He went to 75,000,000 BC to get some dinosaur eggs (don't ask) and his time machine re-combobulator broke and a big chunk is missing. Fortunately he can still ...
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2answers
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How does escape velocity work with rotational gravity? [closed]

Every planetoid who gains gravity "normally" like Earth and Io and every other piece of matter in the universe gets it from their mass and radius. Escape velocity is also from mass and radius. My ...
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1answer
137 views

Could a planet be habitable due to illumination from the galactic core?

I recently saw this answers where it was suggested that the galactic core could illuminate a planet suffiently to make sure it is always summer on one side of the planet. This got me curious and after ...
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3answers
244 views

Is there a reason that females passing on more than 1/2 of their genetics to the child would be unlikely to evolve?

On the earth today most animals use a two sex mating system where male and female provide the same amount of genetics to the resulting offspring, despite the fact that in many cases the female ...
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6answers
364 views

What kind of “fog” could be harvested (and processed) for fuel?

In my setting, a permanent "fog" hangs over the ocean. It is thick, granting low visibility to anyone within it. Instead of water droplets, however, this fog would consist of some substance or ...
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1answer
87 views

What trajectory would an interstellar asteroid move in if a super creature jumped off it? [closed]

The recent interstellar asteroid Oumuamua is the inspiration for this question. if a humanoid creature that had all the abilities to survive in space had hitched a ride on this asteroid and chose to ...
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1answer
134 views

Dystopian Future | Moon Destroyed What Would Our World Look Like in 500 years? [duplicate]

This question came to me after reading this question on the Astronomy Page, and having a length discussion with colleagues about the 2002 movie "The Time Machine". As a result I am looking for hard-...
3
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1answer
124 views

How do I determine whether hybridization would be possible between various creatures? [closed]

I ask because the world I'm building has eight distinct races of humans on one planet, as well as various non-human animals that don't currently exist in the real world. I'd like for some forms of ...
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1answer
120 views

How to calculate time to reach fractions of the speed of light when accelerating at 1g

Currently writing a scifi novel and am trying to do the math to establish time frame of the lore. The main points are that in 2068 CE Earth sent a generation ship to colonize Proxima Centauri. They ...
4
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1answer
212 views

Steam-powered organ

Today I visited a two hours long organ concert (man, it was amazing) and weird idea have popped up in my head: organ powered by steam instead of pressurized air. This also made me thinking that it ...
8
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3answers
278 views

What gases could be present in a viable atmosphere for humans?

I'm working on a story involving humans looking for another habitable planet, and I have been scouring the net for days, finding lots of info on varying levels of oxygen and nitrogen, but none that ...
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4answers
222 views

Is this atmospheric composition breathable on a planet with 50% more surface pressure?

I've read all the related questions on here and as far as I can tell this should be breathable on my planet Liskuel, which has 1.5 bars of pressure. However, I'm really bad at maths and don't really ...
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0answers
64 views

If there's a human-level civilization in a nearby star system, would we detect it? [duplicate]

So, I'm not into writing or creating any new worlds, but this question (or a set of questions) was bothering me for a while and I thought it's a good place to ask. If there exists an alien ...
4
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1answer
126 views

How much of our solar system can you change without breaking the science of life on earth? [closed]

I am making a near-future setting that takes place in an alternate solar system that's similar to ours (one planet with life, a moon, and other planets without life and their associated moons). And ...
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4answers
98 views

Requirements for melting snow from orbit using EM radiation

My (your) goal is to melt several tons of snow and ice in a small area using electromagnetic radiation beamed down from a spacecraft in orbit. The atmosphere that's in the way is vaguely Earth-like ...
8
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5answers
354 views

Can early astronomers determine the gravity of their planet's “moon” without ever going there?

As I was thinking about space flight for my world, I thought about how they would need to know a planet's gravitational force before they could land, and found that humans figured out the moon's ...
13
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2answers
250 views

Rogue Planet Illuminated by Galactic Centre

The black hole question reminded me of an idea I wanted to implement at some point in a space campaign, but didn't go forward with because I was unsure whether it's merely statistically very ...
5
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0answers
60 views

Relationship between Ocean Gases and Atmospheric Gases [closed]

A version of this question is posted in Chemistry SE but doesn't seem to be getting traction there. Perhaps this SE is a bette place for this question? If you think it belongs on a different SE please ...
8
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2answers
349 views

How would a rail gun affect the trajectory of a spacecraft?

What sort of force would a railgun need to produce to have a measurable affect on the trajectory of a large spacecraft? In the scifi book I am working on the primary craft of the story is a military ...
3
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3answers
407 views

Aliens blew up Pluto so we would stop debating whether or not to call it a planet, what happens to Earth? [closed]

It seems the Fraxians, an alien race from Alpha Centuri, have been secretly watching our television ever since we started broadcasting it (well technically I suppose 4.367 years after we started ...
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4answers
414 views

What's the largest an Earth-like planet can be and support Earth's biosphere?

For certain reasons I decided to not set my story on Earth. However, the planet is meant to host an Earth-like biosphere (including humans, most of Earth's species (perhaps some that didn't evolve ...
5
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2answers
319 views

A universe without light?

In the story Wang's Carpets (and part of the novel Diaspora), Greg Egan sketchily describes a high-dimensional universe which contains no analog for light, such that the aliens who inhabit this ...
9
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2answers
435 views

What is the theoretical maximum number of habitable planets in one solar system?

In the DC comic book universe, the Vega System is a solar system around the star Vega (Alpha Lyrae), which is depicted as having dozens of habitable planets. While it seems to be an implausibly large ...
13
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2answers
620 views

How Efficient Could Anaerobic Megafauna Be?

Obviously, if available, atmospheric oxygen is a great source of energy. However, I'm surely not the first worldbuilder who wants an alien species which doesn't depend on it (whether due to having ...
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2answers
2k views

Could a planet have a naturally occuring moon at one of its Lagrange points?

Would it be possible for a planet to naturally have a moon or large natural satellite at one of its Lagrange points? If so would it then also be able to have a second moon that would be orbiting this ...
2
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0answers
171 views

Can a system of 10 planets be stable if star is not on the main sequence?

My star is 2.17 Solar masses. For narrative purposes, I decided this so it will collapse in the theoretical Quark star. Could such a big star that isn't on the main sequence (Because it is class A, ...
30
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7answers
2k views

How do ballistic trajectories work in a rotating cylinder world?

For the sake of fixing some image in your mind, imagine you want to practice some sport in a rotating cylinder world: whether it be launching a javelin, strike a tee at the golf club or scoring a 3 ...
5
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2answers
199 views

External ATP Synthesiser Plausibility

Assume a civilisation with futuristically advanced knowledge of biochemistry. Assume it wants to develop a cybernetic device meant to facilitate the organism's ability to perform high-power activities ...
5
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1answer
234 views

Black hole stardrives/artificial gravity [closed]

I'm a sci-fi world builder, and I was recently reading Charles Stross's sci-fi/space opera novel Singularity Sky for inspiration, and I noticed some interesting but scientifically dubious ...
5
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1answer
152 views

How many terrestrial moons can my planet hold?

I have a Gas Giant with 13x the mass of Jupiter. How many satellites of Earth size and mass can it hold safely in its orbit? Edit: This gas giant lies smack dab in the middle of its parent star's (...
9
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4answers
507 views

Crop production in mountains?

Would potato- or grain-like crops be able to flourish in northern alpine regions? There's a lot to be said about the Andeans, but the have the benefit of living near the equator that other ...
32
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9answers
5k views

How useful would a hydroelectric power plant be in the post-apocalypse world?

The details don't matter, just that a large fraction of people have died (let's say 90%) and society has completely collapsed. It's only a year or two later, and people have started to gather ...
11
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4answers
683 views

Life on the Broken Ring - an issue of size

One of my ongoing projects is what I think of as the "constructed worlds gallery", a series of Megastructures as settings for stories and games, including things like the "Flying Pie-plate" a world ...
6
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1answer
210 views

What are the effects of a nearby supernova on a young solar system?

I'm building a S-Type binary system where the primary star is a black hole. Yet the system formed as a O + K-Spectral class binary and the 20 solar-mass O giant went nova 2,7 myr after both the stars ...
11
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2answers
513 views

Body plan of a 4D human-analog?

I am attempting to design aliens that live in a universe with a 4+1 space-time--i.e., a universe with four orthogonal spatial dimensions, rather than three, in addition to a fifth time dimension. In ...
5
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3answers
433 views

Mega-human: What are the largest possible dimensions of a human? [duplicate]

How big can a person be while retaining all the functions of all their organs (including bones)? I am wondering if it is possible for large people to exist without compromising some part of their ...
4
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4answers
296 views

How can I measure the distance between two stars? [closed]

So I am doing a write-up for a world setting set in our galaxy. I know the distance from Earth to the different stars in Light Years. However I am now trying to figure out how to measure the distance ...
14
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3answers
250 views

How to calculate the loss of primordial heat for a given age and mass of a planet?

I´m working on a computer program which generates realistic planets for worldbuilding purposes. I´ve run into an issue with calculating my planets heat loss. While radiogenic and tidal heat generation ...