Questions tagged [science-based]

For questions that require answers based on hard science, not magic or pseudo-science, but do not require scientific citations. Contrast with the hard-science and reality-check tags. Do not use this tag as the only tag on a question.

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45
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8answers
8k views

Could humanity survive the sun going dark?

The sun inexplicably ceases to give light. It's still there and continues to have a gravitational pull keeping us in orbit. The solar system continues to operate as normal, but the sun has gone dark ...
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What society might survive the 3 generation rule

A not widely accepted psycho-social phenomenon but one our descendents might sometime face, the Three Generation Rule states: that the degree of social discipline needed for a space habitat to ...
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8answers
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What is plausible biology of ocean-dwelling, tool-using, intelligent creatures?

I want to develop a water-dwelling, intelligent species that could ultimately reach space.1 My question here is about the biology of such creatures. I want my creatures to live in the water, not ...
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Is a Jupiter-sized planet plausible in a habitable zone?

We lived through loads of questions regarding aquatic races, so buckle up, I am going to gather some ideas around insectoids. The homeworld and race This race lives on a planet which has lower ...
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7answers
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What can we do to Mars to give it a survivable atmosphere?

Some science-fiction books I've read (including more than a few by Ray Bradbury) have men from Earth living on Mars, walking around outside of enclosures. I know that this is currently not realistic, ...
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15answers
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Telekinesis in Science Fiction

In my idea for a story, my main character has Telekinesis. My problem is, this is a definite hard science fiction world, and he is abnormal in the fact that he is the only known one who can perform ...
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3answers
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Interactions with higher dimensions

I was reading Flatland, and the thought occurred to me that interaction between an n-dimensional being and a n+1+-dimensional being may not only be difficult but dangerous, that Flatland contains ...
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18answers
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How could ghosts be explained without an afterlife?

I've always loved well-done ghosts. However, I've always hated the afterlife-speculation that they engender if used in a story. So I need a way to get ghosts without the fluffy spiritualistic bits. ...
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6answers
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Physics of a metal-poor world

I've read the other answers relating to this area (and discovered to my disappointment that my great ideas have been done before... hey ho). But I'd like to get the science right. I have a nation of ...
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8answers
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Metal Armour vs lightning strikes?

So I'm thinking about having my race of lightning wielding rabbits wear metal armour. The first one that came to mind was gold. And then a quick Google search later told me gold is one of the best ...
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4answers
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How to determine one's position in space?

On Earth you can find your position through GPS, with clever use of satellites, timestamps and maths. Now imagine you're on a spaceship, there no satellite and nothing is going to give you the time. ...
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13answers
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How close can we get to heated blades?

In many sci-fi scenarii, most often when mechs are involved, it is not uncommon to see such a technology, usually called heated blade. Supposedly, it would make the blade even more efficient at ...
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3answers
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Apparent Color of the Sun and Sky

The game Rodina features four planets, all with different colored skies. For some reason, the sun is a different color from each planet's surface (use this guide for reference). The four planets, in ...
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2answers
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Aliens picking up human radio and TV: how might it really happen?

In the Carl Sagan novel Contact and the 1997 film of the book, aliens from Vega have picked up TV pictures of Hitler opening the 1936 Olympics, which is depicted as the first TV signal powerful enough ...
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2answers
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Real deflector shield

Some time ago, I did a back-of-the-envelope calculation about magnetism, electricity, and graphene. I was (and still am) curious about developing a "deflector shield" based in known and viable science....
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10answers
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How could we time travel backwards without killing everyone with germs from the future?

Consider a world in which time travel has been made viable possibility. Initially, many are ecstatic at the new technology and the knowledge it will unlock. However, biologists and other scientists ...
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14answers
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Railgun-launched nuclear warhead

I'm making a world where sub-FTL interstellar travel is a thing, and so is interstellar war, but for the purpose of this question we'll assume the scale to be of a single system. Spaceships have ...
25
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8answers
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Would this winged human/angel be able to fly?

I take no credit for the image below. All artwork and information belongs to Blue-Hearts on DeviantArt: (click on image for a higher resolution) I'm personally very impressed at her level of detail ...
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4answers
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A moon that is hard to orbit

I had a dream last night where I was coordinating a space program for an Earth-like planet, with a Moon much like our own. The Moon in the dream had an annoying quirk... The space program kept ...
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8answers
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When will uploaded minds be a reality?

The Premise Setting a near-ish future world, where people live a full life and then upload their minds into different hardware and continue on. Setting a timeline for this, when (what year) are we ...
12
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3answers
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In a created planetary system, how many planets can fit in the goldilocks zone with stable orbits?

Given ideal circumstances and a type 4 or 5 Kardashev scale level of technology to set the system in motion (but not to maintain the motion over time): How many planets 1/4 of the Earth's mass could ...
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13answers
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What would come first, the colonization of the solar system or interstellar colonization?

I have a world (around 3000-3500ad) where human race is spread across various planetary systems - so interstellar travel it's possible. The interstellar travel is possible via a Bussard Ramjet which ...
10
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4answers
561 views

What is the botanic equivalent to muscles

A plethora of previous questions have queried the existence of botanic (plant) intelligence and they all have created good solutions, but their still remains a even bigger problem to even the dumbest ...
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12answers
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Solid material made from human blood

Is it possible to create a room-temperature solid made from 100% human blood? One of my stories features a girl who has the passive ability to block the superpowers of anyone in a 100-meter radius. ...
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10answers
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Is it a forgone conclusion that any exo-bacteria discovered on an alien, albeit Earth-like planet will be deadly to human life?

Would the discovery of alien bacteria found on even an Earth analog planet preclude the possibility of colonization due to the potentially deadly nature of bacterial/viral infections? Put differently, ...
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8answers
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Equatorial icecaps and polar jungles a fantasy or reality?

I am writing a science fiction movie script and a planet idea came to me a few weeks ago: A planet with equatorial icecaps and polar jungles. As interesting and intriguing as this is to think about, ...
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11answers
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What would be the first thing humans would mine on Jupiter?

Jupiter is a terrible place to be, but for a number of artistic reasons, I'd like to have my story take place there and only there. "Mining", or resource extraction by any other name, is the usual ...
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5answers
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Can a habitable planet have mini-suns (i.e. solar satellites or glowing moons)?

Suns are stars. They are orbited by planets, and sometimes other stars. Planets are orbited by moons. Reasonably advanced civilizations may launch artificial satellites into orbits around their planet ...
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4answers
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Anatomically correct Ent

The tree small giant creatures resembling people usually with beards are present in many fantasy stories, but that's it... it is fantasy. From a scientific viewpoint how would such creature even exist ...
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1answer
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Centaur anatomy help

If a centaur were to have one set of organs, how would they be placed and what sizes would they be? What limits would there be on the centaur's body?
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9answers
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Defeating the revised Snakebot of Doom

In Weapons for a civilisation-destroying giant robot I asked about what weapons might be placed on a sixty-billion-ton fusion-powered snakebot 9.27 km long and 1.19 km in diameter, armoured with 224 ...
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3answers
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Alynn the Scientific Mage: Keeping it Secret

Flopping down at the gates to Rolhelm after 5 exhausting days in the forest, Alynn felt a small sense of victory. She'd had to create new lives for herself before, so she could do it again here. Get ...
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12answers
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If Earth spin decreased, how can I get it spinning faster?

The question Could we still live if Earth's spin speed slowed down by 90% assumed Earth's spin speed slowed down by undefined human activities (as if climate change was not bad enough). One answer ...
6
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3answers
567 views

Gas-based circulatory system?

I'm making a species which has a gas-based circulatory system. How would one go about designing such a system, in which liquid blood is replaced by some kind of gas? What kind of blood vessels would ...
6
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1answer
886 views

Wing surface area for large flying creatures

These creatures are a few feet longer and about a foot thicker than your average cow. Their skin is covered in densely packed bristles to trap air, and thus heat, close to the skin in cold climates. ...
34
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9answers
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How would tattoos fare on reptilian scales?

In a world with humanized (or at least tool using) reptiles, how long would a tattoo be able to last on the scales? Would the tools need to be much different than what we use today? Would it be ...
32
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2answers
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What would skies look like on Worlds inside Nebulae?

I am building a habitable Earth like planet, but instead of it being in a solar system it is inside a Nebula. The actual composition of the Nebula is uncertain at this point. I am thinking the ...
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6answers
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Is there a man-made or natural event that can cause an abrupt climate change within hours/a day?

Meaning, cause a seemingly normal winter to suddenly take a turn within hours or a day/two into a completely frozen territory? From what I've read, abrupt climate change happens from ocean currents. ...
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4answers
836 views

Is it possible for a planet to have a liquid ring?

Is it possible for a planet to have a liquid ring rather than a ring made of solid particles? If it is, how long would it be stable for? If not, is there any other configuration of a liquid that ...
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5answers
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Is it possible for complex life to evolve on planets without oxygen?

*By complex life, I mean something more complex than microorganisms. Something closer to what we have on Earth. Similar to this question: Is it possible for life to evolve on planets without water? ...
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5answers
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Could venoms evolve naturally in mammals?

Venoms have evolved in certain classes of animals on Earth (notably snakes and frogs, but also fish and maybe elsewhere that I can't think of right now), sometimes for defense and sometimes (...
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6answers
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What could cause Earth to slowly fall out of orbit?

I would like to have Earth slowly move away from the sun, taking somewhere between several months and a couple of years to reach the point where human life on the surface is no longer possible. (The ...
14
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4answers
3k views

Is it possible that a gas giant of similar size to Jupiter could harbor life?

Say we had a planet which was a gas giant. Is it possible that at the core of the planet where meteors, asteroids, and comet debris had collected that there could be a layer of atmosphere similar to ...
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6answers
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Establishing an under-ice base on Europa - ice drilling/melting?

If life were discovered in the supposed ocean on Europa, it would be a popular destination for scientists and researchers. I am curious as to what life on Europa would be like, in terms of engineering ...
12
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5answers
698 views

How could a biological loudspeaker work and naturally evolve?

In this Answer I suggested that an animal could have a tampani acting as a loudspeaker, as in Vernor Vinge’s The Blabber, later featured as the race called Tines in A Fire Upon the Deep. In the ...
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6answers
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If true artificially intelligent robots could be built, would they be allowed human rights? [closed]

Let's imagine that by the year 2040, humanity has developed true, 100% artificial intelligence. That is, a robot that is physiologically identical to the average human. For X reason, humanity has ...
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4answers
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base-12 numeral system

What could drive a human civilization to use base-12 system? As far as I know there have been such civilizations and they probably used their phalanges to count (instead of their fingers). I have ...
8
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5answers
873 views

How would the inhabitants of one planet kill the inhabitants of the other?

Two planets rotate each other and are tidally locked. They are where earth is around a star nearly identical to the sun. One planet is much wetter, featuring oceans, swamps, jungles, and forests. The ...
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6answers
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Can a genetically modified human breathe something other than Earth's oxygen/nitrogen atmosphere?

If a human is kidnapped by an alien vessel and taken to another planet - and, for the sake of argument, let's assume that the alien life-form lives in a completely different environment from Earth's. ...
6
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4answers
835 views

Celestial arrangement for the Cube World

An earlier question here concerning a cube-shaped planet got me thinking. Suppose an artificial world-sized engineering project as described in this answer The K-II civilization that built it ...

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