Questions tagged [science-based]

For questions that require plausible (better than suspension-of-disbelief) answers based on Real World science that are not necessarily constrained to the known limits of Real World science. Contrast with the hard-science, science-fiction and internal-consistency tags. This tag may not be used alone. This tag may not be used with the science-fiction, hard-science, or internal-consistency tags.

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12 votes
5 answers
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Could a civilization as advanced as humans exist on a planet/dwarf planet like Pluto?

Could a civilization exist on a planet/dwarf planet like Pluto? It is so cold and barren. Is it possible? What would they live off? They don't have to be humanoid.
CrazySlayaNinjaBear's user avatar
29 votes
16 answers
9k views

Is it plausible that humanity goes extinct due to not making enough children? If not, what would make it more plausible?

With the increase in living standards, the number of children by women is decreasing in highly developed countries. Question: Is it conceivable (with the aggravating factors proposed below) to see ...
dyarob's user avatar
  • 688
14 votes
4 answers
4k 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 ...
Kcronix's user avatar
  • 612
21 votes
4 answers
5k views

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 ...
Pavel Janicek's user avatar
6 votes
4 answers
785 views

How to fragment a moon to form a ring around a planet

Given a planet about the size of Earth, and a moon the Size of the Moon, how could one destroy the moon without flinging the fragments onto the surface of the planet or into outer space? How can one ...
Robert Boettcher's user avatar
15 votes
6 answers
2k views

How difficult would it be to make high-power energy weapons undetectable?

Take, if you will, a sci-fi setting in which power is cheap and handheld energy weapons (blasters, lasers, plasma rifles, that sorta thing) are common. In this setting is an isolated community ...
goldPseudo's user avatar
87 votes
30 answers
11k views

The opposite to Worldbuilding: World Destruction

I am looking at different ways to destroy a planet - because a society within my setting wants to destroy a planet. I am assuming the planet is of a similar size and composition to the Earth just to ...
Jimmery's user avatar
  • 6,041
8 votes
4 answers
1k views

How soon will the first underwater cities be built?

Considering that the oceans are rising (and that humans don't seem too keen on doing anything about it) and that population is growing exponentially, is it plausible to imagine that in a not too ...
Sheraff's user avatar
  • 12.4k
9 votes
4 answers
846 views

What natural or human-induced disaster could bring to a scenario like in McCarthy's "The Road'?

This post-apocalyptic environment, as narrated in the book, depicts a world where most if not all animal life has been abruptly killed, and similarly most vegetation burned out. After the disaster, ...
guido's user avatar
  • 1,500
8 votes
4 answers
622 views

Life in planets with little Solar exposure

Could life originate on planets outside the circumstellar habitable zone (CHZ) where there is very little exposure to sun (like Uranus). If so what kind of energy source would they depend on. Could ...
user93's user avatar
  • 1,170
36 votes
8 answers
106k views

What would be the effects on the human body if the oxygen level increased by a lot?

How would the human body be affected if oxygen levels increased by a lot? Our air is 78% nitrogen and 21% oxygen. If it increased to 30% oxygen, what would the effects be and how long would it take ...
CrazySlayaNinjaBear's user avatar
5 votes
6 answers
1k views

Reincarnated into a war-torn world [closed]

My name is Kyoko Nakashima. I was a high school student in Osaka, Japan. I was involved in an accident which reincarnated me to this world. When I regained consciousness, I was told that I was in a ...
Ifree Contractors's user avatar
13 votes
1 answer
2k views

What would a pair of Death Stars do to Earth?

Y'all should know by now that I want to build a Death Star ;-) Let's assume that we did that already -- and against the odds, we've built two of them, and they're currently in orbit around a planet; ...
Shokhet's user avatar
  • 2,841
17 votes
7 answers
8k views

What could make an insect race intelligent?

TL;DR: I want a society which behaves as a hive. Is it plausible and how to achieve this? The setup: Different planet in our universe. In other words: Normal, physical rules apply, there is no magic ...
Pavel Janicek's user avatar
14 votes
5 answers
781 views

Is there any likely reason why personal DNA tinkering machines would become widespread?

Say we're in a world where it is possible to tinker with biology as easily as it is to tinker with programming nowadays. For feasibility, refer to How soon will tinkering with biology be as simple as ...
Sheraff's user avatar
  • 12.4k
10 votes
5 answers
892 views

How soon will tinkering with biology be as simple as programming is now?

Biotechnology is a big keyword in the industry right now, like computing was a bunch of years ago. Nowadays, anyone can pop up a terminal and start tinkering with their computer, program software, ...
Sheraff's user avatar
  • 12.4k
10 votes
2 answers
2k views

Can a spaceship traveling close to light speed be knocked off course by a gamma ray burst?

This was spawned from this question about Blueshifting (BS) when traveling near the speed of light. I had found this while learning about the other question. @99.99995 percent c And ...
bowlturner's user avatar
  • 49.1k
14 votes
1 answer
1k views

Space station mass per person

Imagine we build a space station much larger than the ISS with more or less today's technology. (For example in a scenario in which price of transport to orbit per kg is significantly reduced by ...
Irigi's user avatar
  • 4,586
3 votes
2 answers
273 views

Would the revelation of Climate Control Technology to the Public render it unusable?

I assume two Empires, A and B. A direct conflict between them would be tantamount to total annihilation, as both sides possess nuclear weapons and noone will be the first side to use them. They also ...
Robert Boettcher's user avatar
12 votes
2 answers
822 views

Being cooked for dinner! or What Danger of Blueshifting EM into X-rays and beyond?

When doing some research for some of the resent questions proposed, I ran across an article that pointed out a danger of traveling at extreme speeds in normal space as a high percentage of c I was ...
bowlturner's user avatar
  • 49.1k
50 votes
3 answers
10k views

How early was the Earth liveable for today's humans?

Say you were to drop a (bunch of) human(s) at some past era of our Earth. I'm assuming they might encounter a few problems such as the composition of the air not being breathable, the water being too ...
Sheraff's user avatar
  • 12.4k
18 votes
7 answers
6k views

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, ...
Shokhet's user avatar
  • 2,841
23 votes
3 answers
2k views

What would ammonia snowflakes look like?

What I've found out is that Ammonia has (in the relevant temperature/pressure regime) cubic crystal structure. But what would that mean for ammonia snowflakes? Would they have fourfold symmetry? But ...
celtschk's user avatar
  • 31.4k
3 votes
4 answers
634 views

Earth Exploding

If the Earth all of sudden was instantaneously transmuted into pure light, what would happen? How much energy would be released? How much damage would it do to surrounding space? Would it destroy ...
TheNumberOne's user avatar
4 votes
3 answers
528 views

Classification system and measure of progress for science and technology branches and other areas of life

I'm working on modeling how a civilization can progress from some known state making conscious choices about the fields in which to apply its resources. Is there some good / theoretically sound / well-...
moonfly's user avatar
  • 163
31 votes
11 answers
4k views

How would the road network change, after all cars are self-driving?

In a future where all cars and public services are self-driving the way, I am assuming traffic congestion would be seriously limited, if not removed completely, because the road network would also ...
guido's user avatar
  • 1,500
17 votes
3 answers
1k views

Where to place industry in a megastructure?

I am currently designing a megastructure which is supposed to provide living- and workplaces for about 100.000 people. It is supposed to be designed in a way that it provides everything the ...
Philipp's user avatar
  • 48.4k
19 votes
7 answers
3k views

How would long-term exposure to artificial gravity (as generated by a Stanford torus) affect human evolution?

A space colony that resembles the design of a Stanford torus generates artificial gravity by centripetal force. Discussions about benefits of such fake gravity can be easily found: no more constant ...
Hatoru Hansou's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
725 views

What would be the short-term and long-term effects of an increase in the strength of gravity on humans?

I heard that some scientists placed chickens under 2.5g for 6 months, and they survived. A normal human would black out at 5g. A trained astronaut could take up to 8g before blacking out. 20g would ...
BuildingBetterWorlds's user avatar
18 votes
12 answers
11k views

Could a space-dwelling creature survive solely off of sunlight?

On Earth, photosynthetic organisms require additional nutrients to survive; in addition to "feeding" off of sunlight, plants respire and absorb water from the ground in order to grow. However, the ...
ApproachingDarknessFish's user avatar
6 votes
4 answers
1k views

Blocking sunlight using space debris

Can large amount space debris be used to block sunlight from falling in a particular land area (about the size of Hawaiian islands)? If so, how much space debris will be required? What will be the ...
user93's user avatar
  • 1,170
9 votes
3 answers
2k views

Predicting lunar eclipses with multiple moons

I realize that creating worlds with multiple moons and/or suns is risky, but I'm toying with an idea to see where it goes. So, a planet has 3 moons. One is large like ours, the second is about half ...
Donny's user avatar
  • 211
13 votes
6 answers
3k views

Does the sun being blocked affect electricity?

I feel like this is the most noobish question ever. Anyway, imagine an asteroid hits Earth and the atmosphere is now full of particles, successfully blocking the Sun from Earth. There are people still ...
KaguraRap's user avatar
  • 1,315
27 votes
5 answers
4k views

Medieval Vacuum

Given a Medieval or Middle Ages level of technology - leather bellows, etc how close could craftsmen come to achieving a near total vacuum in an enclosed space. In context, I'm trying to create a ...
Scott Downey's user avatar
  • 3,433
18 votes
3 answers
2k views

How much stuff could we get into Earth orbit for the start-up cost of initiating asteroid mining?

I was reading this question and realized that I didn't actually know enough to give the answer that I wanted. Obviously in the near term, all our raw materials come from the Earth. The only other ...
Brythan's user avatar
  • 25.3k
33 votes
18 answers
6k views

How could a human-descended race appear to be all-female?

A group of behaviorally modern humans was cut off from the rest of the earth-like planet. At the time of the separation, humankind had reached a technology level including cattle ranches, brass, ...
Damian Yerrick's user avatar
14 votes
2 answers
3k views

How would nanobots consume objects?

I've been thinking about a cyberpunk universe where nanobots are a universal force capable of achieving many things, examples include: Biological and medical modifications of the human body Construct/...
sydan's user avatar
  • 698
4 votes
2 answers
2k views

Functional change of genital organs

Let's see if I can explain my thoughts accurately with an example. Imagine that a mad scientist decides to kidnap a few men and women and decides, just for fun, to switch their sexual organs, but not ...
Rodolfo Dias's user avatar
29 votes
8 answers
5k views

How close to interstellar space travel could humans get in the near future?

I had in mind a sci-fi setting where humans have begun terraforming nearby planets without the benefit of faster-than-light travel. For example, Wikipedia lists a handful of terrestrial planets within ...
TenthJustice's user avatar
10 votes
7 answers
542 views

Would the knowledge of physics on a native aquatic planet be similar to our own?

This question was stimulated by the question How would an aquatic race develop computers?. The answers obviously were based on the aquatic civilization being earth based, but what about a totally ...
fubar50's user avatar
  • 149
24 votes
7 answers
43k views

How would the human body develop under a different gravity?

What would be the effects of high or low gravity on human body development? How would the human body develop under a different gravity? Many science fiction stories explore the idea that people from ...
Mike Nichols's user avatar
  • 13.8k
27 votes
2 answers
7k views

How large does a spacecraft need to be to be visible from the surface of the Earth at 400 km altitude?

If a spacecraft is in low earth orbit ~400 Kilometres above earth. How big does it need to be visible from earth with the human eye without telescopes, with enough of its details to clearly ...
Kami's user avatar
  • 447
12 votes
5 answers
635 views

Can one humanoid species evolve to live at an altitude where another, similar species could not survive?

It seems that people who live at very high altitudes have demonstrably "thicker" blood, highly concentrated with red blood cells to overcome the low concentration of oxygen in the air. Moving between ...
lea's user avatar
  • 1,036
7 votes
3 answers
679 views

In life, what might substitute for phosphorus, if only trace amounts of phosphorus is available in the environment?

What sort of xenobiochemistry would support information-carrying macromolecules like DNA if only trace amounts of phosphorus were present on an alien planet? Since the phosphoribosyl backbone of DNA ...
Paul Magnussen's user avatar
15 votes
3 answers
466 views

Planet illuminated by blue-shifted relic radiation

Are there realistic circumstances that a planet would be accelerated (either artificially or naturally) to the speed at which relic radiation becomes so blue-shifted that the planet is illuminated so ...
Anixx's user avatar
  • 4,960
14 votes
2 answers
1k views

How close must a supernova be to severely harm the Earth?

I did a little looking and it appears stars outside of 10 parsec/33 ly will have very little effect on the Earth. What it did say was that inside that range the gamma rays would affect our ozone ...
bowlturner's user avatar
  • 49.1k
3 votes
2 answers
1k views

How would tectonics behave on a two continent planet?

I am working on constructing a world which is basically (from the northern pole to the southern pole): smallish frozen over ocean huge land mass encompassing the northern hemisphere tremendous ocean ...
dot_Sp0T's user avatar
  • 12.1k
13 votes
17 answers
4k views

How do I get rid of the Earth or local Solar System?

Assuming interstellar travel, and self-sufficient colonies in other star systems, what are some methods of destroying the Earth while leaving minimal impact on the colonies? Context I would like to ...
James's user avatar
  • 233
19 votes
4 answers
2k views

Gravitational effects of portals at different heights

Summary: I am looking for a portal transportation mechanism that is consistent with the laws of thermodynamics. Portals (or wormholes or gateways, something that connects two different locations in ...
HugoRune's user avatar
  • 760
6 votes
3 answers
553 views

What technologies could allow for individual scale invisibility and what are their caveats?

In a science-based futuristic world, individuals (soldiers) are able to become invisible to the human eye while keeping a decent amount of agility. What could be the different possible technologies ...
Sheraff's user avatar
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