Questions tagged [space]

For questions related to outer space, stellar systems, stars and other astronomical phenomena.

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How to place multiple small moons and one large moon in stable orbit around an earthlike planet?

Earth has one very large, spherical moon believed to have been formed by a giant impact. Mars has two small, sorta potato-ical moons believed to have been captured. Suppose an otherwise earthlike ...
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  • 803
6 votes
6 answers
941 views

Static Floating Objects in Zero Gravity

In Ender’s Game, the Battleroom is comprised of large, static objects called “stars” that are organized into patterns to create an environment for zero-gravity Laser Tag. Presumably the stars don’t ...
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  • 1,372
3 votes
1 answer
121 views

Can moon people generate electricity using a gravity dynamo that is turned by the gravity of their host planet?

On Earth, we generate electricity from the Moon's orbit using tidal turbines. Would it be possible for denizens of the Moon to generate electricity using the Earth's gravity, using a windmill-sized ...
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4 votes
1 answer
67 views

Magnetic Flux Pinning Whipple Shields?

Would it be possible to have a collapsible whipple shields that can extend far out of a spaceship and be held in places with super conducting magnets? My rough idea is to be able to absorb more damage ...
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4 votes
7 answers
2k views

When are Turreted Railgun better than Spinally-Mounted Railguns?

When and why are spinally-mounted railguns superior to turreted railguns for space combat? Is it a power issues(longer barrels could probably be mounted spinally, and the longer barrels might allow ...
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9 votes
4 answers
2k views

Would a hollowed out world be mechanically stable?

I am working on a universe where humanity has expanded across the stars. Humanity has access to a Dyson-Sphere-like technology level (1). The Capital is not the Earth anymore but Mercury. To build ...
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  • 93
2 votes
3 answers
171 views

What might case cause the development of biological nuclear weapons as a natural evolutionary adaptation of a species?

Im doing a one-shot space campaign with some friends. One of the navigation hazards I wanted to add for my PCs was the system being infested with space Bourne biological life forms that, like some ...
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4 votes
4 answers
192 views

Political Concerns of Laser Propulsion System

Now it's 2085, and human civilization has started to reach the planets. Using the most advanced fission rockets, we can travel from Earth to Mercury in 8 months and from Earth to Jupiter in 1 year. ...
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8 votes
2 answers
547 views

How would a sky with extreme kessler syndome look like?

A few decades ago the Third World War destroyed Earth. Space infrastructure was considered a priority target by both sides. Orbital space was in the years before the war was filled with skyhooks, ...
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4 votes
1 answer
102 views

How would I calculate the greenhouse effect based on atmospheric composition?

Problem: For a known, but hypothetical planet orbiting a celestial body, how would I calculate the surface temperature after greenhouse gases? What I know about the planet as given: Planetary ...
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  • 101
5 votes
2 answers
234 views

In my story, a new metal is found, but an overlooked mineral is in the ore of the metal. Why wouldn't prospectors be able to identify it?

The story takes place in the far future. It involves space exploration and inhabiting new planets. The new overlooked mineral is an "associated mineral" - it occurs where the new metal is ...
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  • 53
5 votes
3 answers
196 views

Can two moons, moving at different velocities, periodically overtake each other and share an atmosphere?

Idea being, can two moons orbiting a large planet move at v_1 and v_1 + delta, but the distance between the two moons is small enough that when their positions along an axis periodically overlap they ...
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6 votes
3 answers
1k views

Is it possible, at least in theory, to travel between two spots in the universe through an Einstein-Rosen bridge?

I'm using as a means of "long-distance travel" the generation and exploitation of Einstein-Rosen bridges, through quantum entanglement of black matter in different points of the galaxy, as a ...
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  • 419
3 votes
1 answer
123 views

How fast would strangelets travel in space?

At what speed would strange matter travel in space after being ejected from a neutron star merger? I have searched around online but I have not found an answer.
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5 votes
3 answers
149 views

How would future galactic civilizations deal with the Big Rip? Could they escape it or hide anywhere, like inside black holes? [closed]

Humans colonized all the stars in the Milky Way in the first million years. In the next 200 million years they conquered all the planets in the Local Group. In the next few billion they conquered all ...
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  • 111
4 votes
2 answers
108 views

Would seasons be affected on two planets sharing the same orbit?

I'm writing a science fantasy short story where two planets share the same orbit (ie, they don't orbit around each other, then orbit their star, they orbit the star, but one of the planets follows ...
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  • 2,441
7 votes
7 answers
924 views

What observable traits set the MilkyWay apart from other Galaxies?

In a short story, Earth's humanity goes extinct due to a plague and a few thousands years later a space faring race plants a new seed of humans in attempt to restore what civilization used to be. The ...
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6 votes
1 answer
125 views

How much payload can a space elevator support?

I'm working on a project involving an interstellar society, and I'm looking to incorporate as much actual science and economics into the project itself since I'm a stickler for numbers and logistics. ...
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-2 votes
2 answers
138 views

How Would Owls React in the 0 Gravity of a Space Station

The setting is the typical Earth is going to be destroyed by a rain of Asteroids/Bolides and so The ISS is repurposed be accommodate a lot of humans almost reaching 300 or so working together to ...
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12 votes
7 answers
2k views

What are some ways combat will occur in 0 gravity

While reading Seveneves by Neal Stephenson, I realized that most combat techniques don't work as well in space. Old fashioned hand to hand combat and swordplay don't work since there's no footing and ...
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20 votes
9 answers
5k views

How Does Orbital Warfare Work?

Let's say in the near future(so no fusion drives or anything exotic like that, VASIMR engines are the "best" engines placed on ships, not on expendable weapons), two space ships, armed with ...
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11 votes
9 answers
2k views

On a new settler planet, what could semi-randomly wipe out surface electronics?

I am looking for a plausible explanation as to why approximately every few decades something happens that destroys surface electronics and then continues for several years. Ideally it would be ...
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5 votes
1 answer
54 views

Best way to convert solar energy through a portal

Scientists have discovered a way to make wormhole-like portals. Here's how they work : Both sides have to be created in the same place, then moved to the desired location. The gates are created as a ...
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4 votes
1 answer
149 views

How long would it take for two civilizations in the same system to notice eachother [closed]

I have this hypothetical world that's a rocky planet about 5 times the size of the earth and its moon about the size of mars. Assuming each civilization starts at the same time and progresses about ...
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  • 1,220
5 votes
0 answers
126 views

Questions about the potential characteristics of a hypothetical Planet 9

So, I'm writing a story. Most of the main story is set near Planet 9, which has finally been found somewhere far out in the outer solar system. So first, I’ve been working on determining the probable ...
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3 votes
3 answers
182 views

Zero propellant interplanetary travel [closed]

I am creating a world where there is an interplanetary network that allows planetary commuting to and from all planets and major moons in the solar system with 0 propulsion being supplied by the craft ...
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  • 314
7 votes
4 answers
142 views

Controlling Air Temperature on a Futuristic Spacestation with Iron Age Technology

The Setting World consists of humans with primitive technology living within an asteroid space station built by their technologically advanced ancestors. A lot of knowledge has been lost, obviously. ...
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7 votes
3 answers
389 views

Advanced Soldiers using Echolocation/Sonar?

My story takes place on a dark, dusty planet full of canyons and tunnels. The atmosphere is compositionally similar to Earth’s, but it is too dark and cloudy for humans to see properly. The humans ...
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  • 1,372
-1 votes
1 answer
85 views

Short and long term effects of an Earth sized planet entering Earth's orbit [closed]

In this scenario a Earth analog planet is accidentally pulled into Earth's orbit through the creation of a wormhole. The planet would orbit Earth at about 80,000 miles (128747.52 Km). The planet has ...
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3 votes
4 answers
111 views

The plausibility of Rock comets and Molten Asteroids

If a stony asteroid get so close to it parent star that the siliceous rock would get hot enough to melt, What would happen? Would the rock turn straight into vapor and form a comet tail line like in ...
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  • 61
5 votes
4 answers
193 views

Chemical component that would be dangerous (existential threat) when liquid, but safe if it evaporates?

The story I am writing takes place in a world where someone invented time travel. This technology, and the control of anti matter is only available for the creator (and the protagonist that helps him)....
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  • 121
3 votes
2 answers
93 views

Ore/mineral hotspots in planetary rings

In my setting, there is a small, rocky ring system surrounding an earth-like habitable planet. This ring was formed relatively recently (approx. 50 million years ago) from a small moon with a Moon-...
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  • 1,165
4 votes
2 answers
158 views

Effects of CME (coronal mass ejection) on astronauts, or other ways to die in space

I'm writing a sci-fi story involving a lot of asteroid mining and things like that. A major character is a 'development scout' for a large company and has a backstory in which they apparently made a ...
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  • 43
21 votes
19 answers
4k views

Could animal husbandry in space ever hold economic value?

Could animal husbandry ever have any economic value as a space-based industry? We are already on the cusp of lab-based meat that is grown as an alternative industry, but would the practice of actually ...
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3 votes
6 answers
264 views

How does one detect a warp bubble LYs away without years of delay?

This question relates to a space-strategy game I'm conceptualizing. The game is supposed to be somewhat realism-oriented, except for the existence of Alcubierre / Star Trek warp drives and the like. ...
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3 votes
2 answers
193 views

How destructive would a antimatter bomb be?

I already know that antimatter is a destructive thing. But how destructive is it? I want in my far future human reality there be a mass produced bomb using antimatter that makes sure aliens know to ...
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25 votes
18 answers
5k views

Marooned in space! How would they die?

I should say: this is for a video game, not a short story or novel. Calibrate accordingly. ;) Imagine that we solved the rocket equation with some kind of impossibly energy-dense fuel. Interplanetary ...
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  • 7,067
0 votes
1 answer
96 views

The Geodynamics of Tidally Locked Planets

Would the tidal forces of the star a tidally locked world orbits have any effects on the Geodynamics of the planet? I imagine that the tidal forces would pull the crust thin at the Terminator making a ...
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  • 61
4 votes
3 answers
100 views

Debris Field around space wreckage

I am writing a story in which a crew is investigating a wreckage of two space vessels that collided at enough speed to disable the vessels without completely annihilating the two structures. The ...
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  • 273
20 votes
11 answers
4k views

Hairstyles for long-haired astronauts

In modern-day spaceflight, most astronauts with long hair simply bundle up their hair to keep things in order in zero-g, or to ensure easy helmet operation during spacewalks. However, fast forward a ...
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  • 1,165
9 votes
1 answer
794 views

How far away from earth could atomic weapon detonations be detected?

Let us suppose that ten high kiloton to low megaton range fission/fusion weapons are being detonated between three and five kilometers under the surface of the sea on a planet much like earth, in a ...
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  • 45.4k
4 votes
3 answers
187 views

Is this method of “burial” possible?

Now that colonization of Mars and The Moon is starting to pick up, lots more people will start dying. LifeHarbor Burials™ says that they will provide a way to dispose of the dead for free. They claim ...
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  • 2,103
4 votes
2 answers
180 views

How long can this planet hold its atmosphere?

Humans are looking for a permanent home. They colonized Mars and later terraformed it, temporarily, before being forced out of the solar system entirely when the Sun went all Red-Giant on them a few ...
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  • 4,005
8 votes
14 answers
2k views

Would Corrosive Weapons Work in Outer Space?

In the new Thrawn books by Timothy Zhan, he describes a weapon called a 'breacher missile'. In simple terms it is a missile that sprays a corrosive chemical onto an enemy ship or structure, damaging ...
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  • 383
4 votes
3 answers
130 views

Accidentally detonating Titan?

In my story, humans colonize Titan, the moon of Saturn (for religious reasons). While complete terraforming is out of reach, they decide to try and make the atmosphere (which is already similar to ...
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3 votes
6 answers
188 views

What would the commodity money system of an interstellar civilization be made of?

I'm building an interstellar empire that uses commodity money as its preferred currency. Despite the network of wormholes connecting various star systems, light lag between planets and stations within ...
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  • 1,165
0 votes
3 answers
120 views

Is this scenario possible? How can it be done?-Dyson sphere replaced by gas giant star

Scenario: "...Regino is a gas giant approximately the size of Saturn, and three moons, Reo, Gei, and Tan orbit it. All three are small, rocky bodies a half to a quarter the size of Earth's moon. ...
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  • 577
3 votes
3 answers
78 views

Could an ecosphere realistically survive in space long enough to plant life on a new celestial body

I’m not taking about the ecospheres by the brand “ecosphere”, but the type you see on the channel life in jars. These type of ecospheres are essentially a sealed clear container with water, dirt, ...
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  • 2,103
-1 votes
1 answer
141 views

How long would (dry) food in a glass jar survive in space?

Say you eject a jar of jerky or something through the airlock of your space ship. Does the lid pop right away due to the vacuum? Does the food get so much UV it gives you cancer? (Does that depend on ...
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  • 117
11 votes
9 answers
1k views

Methods for mitigating impact of a large high speed cloud of dust in space

Vaughn Heppner wrote a science fiction series in which humans have to defend against a growing cyborg threat. The star of the series, Martin Kluge, comes up with a way to destroy a group of military ...
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