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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1answer
137 views

Probabilties of the Universe [closed]

Is it plausible that the only way to be at both ends of the Universe at the same time is to have a Mass/Space/energy equivalent of the Universe? In essence is it possible the universe is the only ...
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7answers
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Wouldn't building down make more sense when colonizing a dead planet?

Most science fiction stories has humans building large domes on the surface of planets like Mars or the Moon. But wouldn't it make more logistical sense to dig down and build down into the planet? I ...
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3answers
941 views

Can cities and homes stop being functional during an impact winter where the only option is move on?

Following up on this question, Would Living Underground during Impact Winter be Ideal, I realized I have more questions. I was asking about an impact winter that was caused by an asteroid and leads ...
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16answers
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Scientifically Plausible Reincarnation?

Is it scientifically plausible for reincarnation to exist? When I think of reincarnation I am thinking of the following: Memories, personality, biases, opinions and feelings carry over from one life ...
12
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6answers
711 views

Generating a Magnetic Field Biologically

I was answering this question about how a living planet-organism could be possible, and realized I didn't know how such a planet-organism could produce a magnetic field. I postulated that it could ...
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4answers
648 views

Bioluminescent Organisms that use Light to Communicate?

Suppose such an organism had evolved from using sound like most life we know to use different intensities, wave lengths, and hues of light to communicate. This is assuming that these creatures are as ...
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6answers
3k views

On the immediate effects of a small, short term black hole

What immediate effects would a small, short-term black hole have if it appeared in a residential backyard? How small or short-lived would it have to be to be survivable, if it is survivable at all? ...
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5answers
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Can a planet have a figure-8 type of orbit around two separate stars?

Could a planet have an orbit in the shape of a figure 8 around twin (possibly binary) stars? Mostly curious about the physical possibility of such an orbital arrangement; is it stable over a long ...
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14answers
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Can two civilizations on nearby stars develop independently but be at a similar technological level?

One thing that a few science fiction films seem to get wrong: it is extremely unlikely for two civilizations to evolve completely independently and yet be within a few hundred years of each other ...
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6answers
2k views

How long does terraforming take if you have to build the planet from asteroids?

I'd like to set a story in our solar system with Earth and the inner planets becoming uninhabitable and a new planet being required. If human beings decided to build a world by making slight ...
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4answers
2k views

What proof could Ragnarök leave behind?

Ragnarök is the Norse rendition of the apocalypse. A major event during this apocalypse is Fernir devouring the sun. If we assume that the sun and all of its influence disappear entirely for 3 days, ...
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6answers
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Could a species benefit from intercourse with another species with no DNA compatibility?

After reading the question on inbreeding (Could fictional species benefit from limited inbreeding?), I started to wonder if there could be any reasons why an species (intelligent or otherwise) would ...
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4answers
702 views

Scientific Accuracy - alien communication ideas

(Disclaimer: I tried this question earlier in the scifi site as well as real science sites, and was told should be on topic here) I'm writing a speculative story about aliens coming to earth - and ...
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5answers
6k views

Can a planet realistically have multiple suns?

Several science fiction books I have read (including, IINM, Nightfall by Asimov) have featured planets with several suns. Some worlds where this happened wrought interesting effects on the inhabitants ...
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4answers
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Would living underground during an impact winter be ideal?

I was looking at these two questions: Expanding Occupied Underground Habitations Safely Does Living without access to Sunlight have known Physical/Psychological effects? And in a story I'm writing, ...
4
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3answers
772 views

Generating a magnetic field for planets with iron-cores that is revertable?

I'm looking for a solution to generate a strong enough magnetic field for planets with iron-cores - in my case, Mars - to keep the atmosphere from getting blow away by the solar winds (and ignoring ...
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12answers
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Could a disaster kill all (human) life on Earth but leave astronauts in low orbit alive long enough to return?

There are plenty of threats out there that could terminate all life on our little planet in varying amounts of time (Solar flares, meteors and supernovas to name a few). Are there any disasters that ...
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6answers
2k views

Could fictional species benefit from limited inbreeding?

There are quite a few known drawbacks to incest. However, incest can be helpful when trying to help a desired trait spread. Incest does happen in nature to some degree but it's not exactly actively ...
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6answers
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What would be the communication range of an underwater species?

It's a commonly known fact that whale song travels huge distances. In fact apparently before the oceans were so noisy they could communicate over 10,000km! However, whales are very big! They can ...
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7answers
4k views

Weapons for boarding spacecraft?

With today's technologies firing a gun inside a spacecraft could be catastrophic, although not certain it's widely agreed that firing weapons inside the space stations is very risky. Assuming space ...
25
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9answers
3k views

How advanced or effective weapons can be created from mostly animal body parts?

I have a race of carnivorous mammals living in a very resource-poor environment. Due to a mixture of lack of resources (no metal, no wood or tough stems, etc) and cultural taboos, they are only ...
7
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3answers
612 views

Could “normal” human development lead to a sufficient air pollution to make gas masks mandatory?

I'm starting a story taking place around 2080 AD/CE, and I'm wondering if the key element - global pollution - is plausible. In my storyline, the XXIst century brings no huge technological advances (...
13
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3answers
7k views

Terraforming a gas giant into an habitable planet

Is it possible (for humans)? My main concern was heavy gravity because they are much bigger and heavier. But it appears that in our system, the gas giants (but not Jupiter) all have a similar surface ...
32
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5answers
8k views

Why aren't animals photosynthetic?

Why aren't animals photosynthetic on earth? And what would make it plausible for them to evolve to be?
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4answers
4k views

What minimal radius is needed for rotation to simulate gravitation without adverse effects on humans?

A quite common idea to provide "gravitation" in space stations is to make them rotate, so the centrifugal force gives an effective gravitation. A possible design is a ring-shaped space station. Now ...
8
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3answers
270 views

Plausibility of Massive Maelstroms

Maelstroms are ginormous whirlpools. They can exist continuously in an area. They're cool. The question is, how large can they get? As large as an island? Could a maelstrom have a diameter of ...
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7answers
6k views

Could life form in outer space?

All life we know of to date (presumably) formed on a rocky planet (more precisely: earth). Fiction has been written about life in more exotic locations. Though as far as I know, these lifeforms were ...
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1answer
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Where would an asteroid have to hit earth to cause an impact winter?

I found this on Wikipedia. I'm aiming for the fastest climate change possible without that much advanced notice, e.g. perhaps a regional sized asteroid scientists miss or are too distracted to catch ...
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6answers
4k views

What would happen to a planet that was electrically charged?

If a planet had such a large imbalance of protons and electrons that it possessed a net negative or positive charge what would happen to it and its solar system? First, could it be stable, or would ...
28
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9answers
9k views

How big could a living thing be?

Simply put is there an upper bound for the largest possible living creature in a scientifically rational world without incorporating anti-gravity, magic, the force, or other physical concepts we are ...
42
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6answers
6k views

How do I prevent my turtle from collapsing under its own gravity?

Suppose the universe contained a species of planet sized turtles1 that can travers at least interstellar space. How can I explain (without invoking magic) that these turtles are not spherical? If ...
56
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3answers
22k views

Creating a realistic world map - Currents, Precipitation and Climate

Once geological processes and erosion have created a landscape this landscape will in turn alter the planet. Ocean currents and trade winds will tend to form and certain weather patterns will emerge. ...
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3answers
2k views

Would gravity be constant inside a Bernal sphere?

Suppose one constructed a Bernal sphere, similar in design to that described in this article and this article at the National Space Society. If the sphere was simply rotated on a single axis, would ...
35
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10answers
7k views

Is it more likely that merfolk would evolve with horizontal or vertical tails?

Another mermaid questions I'm afraid! Fish have tail fins which are vertical, whales have fins which are horizontal. My race of merfolk are: Very active (more likely to be warm blooded) Have gills ...
14
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1answer
2k views

What would be the effects of traveling faster than light on a worldship?

Assuming a civilization has the technology and capability to build a worldship, a planet that doubles as a spacecraft, installs an FTL drive on it and has the energy to power it, what would the ...
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7answers
2k views

What would push a civilization to terraform a planet considering the complexity of this process?

Terraforming is the process of transforming a celestial body to become habitable by Earth-like life. Even when I try to imagine an advanced civilization, the cost, time and complexity to terraform a ...
17
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4answers
550 views

Could inter-individual communication be based on DNA transfer?

There is this idea that we find in a few books, mainly The Swarm by Frank Schätzing and in the Ender Saga by Orson Scott Card, that some species could communicate via DNA exchange. Technically, yes ...
14
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10answers
7k views

What are the power options for intelligent humanoid robots?

In my future setting on Earth (or an Earth-like planet; haven't decided), the fields of robotics and AI have taken off and we have intelligent, ambulatory robots. (They were initially thought of as ...
13
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2answers
2k views

How would a planetary nebula affect a planet?

Let's say I have a binary star system. The planet is orbiting the smallest star similar to the Sun at 1 AU, the same Earth-Sun distance. The other star is located at around 50-100 AU from the Sun ...
6
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2answers
318 views

Maximum Earth population by wiping out biological life

I want to create a world set on our Earth but with humans converted entirely to machines, so the population can be larger than would be possible with biological humans. In contrast to biologically ...
6
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3answers
439 views

Maximum Earth population given biological shrinking

I want to create a world set on our Earth but with humans shrunk down as much as possible to allow a huge population. As the population increases they genetically modify their bodies to be as small ...
26
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8answers
4k views

Can an atmosphere englobe a planetary ring?

Would it be possible for the atmosphere of a planet to reach beyond its planetary ring so that earth-like biology could develop on some of the asteroids there? This question is mainly about whether ...
4
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1answer
825 views

What are the factors influencing the temperature of my world?

The question is rather simple, the answer is more complex. It is to answer why some places are colder than others. Example: North America is colder than Europe at the same latitude.
27
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5answers
5k views

Humans born without legs: how would they thrive?

or, Anatomically Correct Weebles A group of behaviorally modern humans was cut off from the rest of the earth-like planet millennia ago. (Myths hold that the separation occurred four to five ka BP, ...
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7answers
4k views

How much technology for a ring-world to work?

There is this setup that I've seen a few times of a ring-shaped world where people live on the inner side. My question is: what is the minimum advancement of technology for such a thing to happen? So ...
25
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3answers
2k views

Assistance to fight off a silicon-based lifeform

I am a survivor of the United Nations Space Corp's 2nd Exploration Fleet. On our travel to the distant Epsilon Canares system, our scouts encountered a strange lifeform. We call them 'shapeshifters'. ...
13
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3answers
945 views

What factors go into whether a moon or planet is tidally locked?

I was thinking about a different possibilities for habitable planets. And I was wondering what actually causes a planet to be tidally locked? I am assuming it more than chance that the bodies ...
20
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6answers
4k views

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. ...
35
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13answers
7k views

Can a river be put under enough pressure to jet straight up for a mile?

I've been mulling over an idea for my preferred RPG setting, and I wanted to check if anyone knows the following: Is it possible for a river to flow underground for miles, and then suddenly be put ...
21
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5answers
3k views

What kind of star should I use for my world?

If I want an Earth-like planet, what kind of star can I use to achieve that ? According to the Harvard stellar classification, our Sun is a G-class star. The best would be to have: Temperature ...