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I cannot remember the title of the story, but there was a story about a spaceship landing in the USA. We surrounded it with troops and when the doors opened out came soldiers with swords and spears on horses. The battle was short and one sided. The plot twist was that space travel involved a primitive technology that we never discovered, but most other races ...


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As others have said, that depends on the planet's distance to us and its atmosphere. For thick atmospheres, such as Venus and Titan, we will know they are there when we either: detect their radio emissions - however the question says this won't happen. send a probe; find signs of life in their atmospheres through spectroscopy. The latter will only work if ...


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I am assuming a few things here, As you said that the species became spacefaring, but you didn't explicitly mention that they developed the advance rocketry on their own. Maybe some advanced spacefaring aliens came along their planet, saw them as allies and gave them the technology and made them a part of their covenant. If you have read halo, the ...


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An aquatic species would be unlikely to develop firearms. Their notion of chemistry would likely evolve from much different needs. They could conceivably develop biological based knowledge sooner than humans did since the sea, like the rainforest is a fast bio reactor generating new genotypes at fantastic rates. If they did need thermal energy to smelt ...


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No Spacefaring implies advanced rocketry. Rocketry implies a long history of tinkering with different propellants. If this race is not particularly peaceful, they would have a lot of military applications for combustive propellants before they achieve their first space flight. They may not discover black powder the first, and weapons development may take a ...


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You can build an effect like this by invoking a sort of augmented magnetism. Suppose there is some force that pulls on some particles in the material, and pushes on other particles in the materials so that the net effect is that there is not overall force between the two bulks of material, but microscopically, you are getting motion of the molecules. Now ...


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Continuing on from cyber101's good answer, studying the early history of sending probes to Mars is probably a reasonable place to start and then add a dose of speculation to cope with your scenario. Despite studying Mars through telescopes for many years, it wasn't until the Mariner 4 probe in 1965 that we got images from Mars good enough to resolve large ...


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This sounds like Newtonian gravity, but restricted to this metal ‐ and not all the matter in the universe‐ and with glowing replacing acceleration. ...doesn't glow when it's in one piece Just like one piece of matter doesn't accelerates itself. ..its smaller pieces, which in turn glow brighter the closer they get to a larger chunk. ...


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Depending on how you define it, one of the larger structures humans build is a city. The built-up area of Beijing has an area over 4000 square km. The lunar crater Aristoteles has a diameter of 87 km, so an area about 6000 square km. So Beijing ought to be visible from another planet with a good telescope. Possibly by way of the concentric ring-roads, of ...


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It would depend on the distance to the planet, the composition of its atmosphere, their technology level, and our own. Translated to our solar system, if they were on Venus we'd never know about them until we visited the planet because its cloud cover makes seeing much of anything on the surface impossible with visual instruments. On Mars, a large enough ...


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The Great Wall of China can be seen from space! Not quoting you, obviously, but it's a thing we've all heard a lot. We can see a load of things from space - with Google Earth I can see my house! It's good that you don't seem to be making that mistake, but on the off chance that was in your head, I just wanted to make sure we're on the same page. I was a ...


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Electroluminescence Short answer, the metal/alloy produces a high frequency low current EM field, and the voltage increases with more in proximity. The oxide layer produced by exposure to the atmosphere acts as an inorganic electroluminescent phosphor. The metal would be able to make other electroluminescent items glow as well. Long answer... ...


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Just an idea for you to build off, or anyone else with more science knowledge. - A play off magnetic material - as magnets do seem to call to each other, but not visibly. But suppose you have a special alien space alloy, this alloy is composed with a super rare-earth magnet type material. The stronger this special magnetic field the more the components ...


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Kinda coming off other ideas, here. What if, the material constantly outputs a high frequency wave, i.e ultra violet, And that the metal will glow when subjected to the right frequency (materials that do one or the other exist IRL.) Then, when brought near eachother, the air filtering them slightly changes the frequency, and when at the right distance, will ...


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The material 1) needs to either contain a huge amount of energy or somehow continuously harvest energy to glow, and 2) needs to radiate and be sensitive to the same radiation to sense nearby pieces. My idea is that the material harvests vacuum energy and turns it into microwaves. Further, if the material is externally irradiated with microwaves it produces ...


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A Programmed Feature: This idea is inspired by Willk's answer, though there have been other good ideas in the thread. It's a deliberate design choice by the long ago designers of the craft. Meant to help highlight and locate damaged components - the nanites activate a phosphorescent effect whenever chunks of the ship become separated from each other. ...


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I don't think there is a true science answer for this. Materials don't behave this way. If this were in a large field, perhaps separated pieces would behave differently than the pieces merged. Consider metal in a microwave oven. Small pieces will spark and melt because the currents are too high. A large piece, like a metal bowl, will be fine with no ...


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It is alive. The pieces are calling to each other. its largest chunk begins glowing and doesn't stop glowing, sort of like a beacon for all its smaller pieces, which in turn glow brighter the closer they get to a larger chunk. These things want to be together. They are distressed to be apart. They are glowing because they are calling to each other....


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Have a look at Metamaterials Metamaterials are manufactured materials that have properties that natural materials do not have. Research into Metamaterials has been continuing for some time, and there are discussions that these materials would become more and more common in the near future as they approach viability, with some already in use today. They ...


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My answer is based on a previous answer which is about radiation. In my opinion that's exactly what you need. I thougth of Tritium which is usually used in watches to power the flourescent glow of the device. The problem is Tritium does not glow, it needs additional fluorescent material to do it, nor is it a metal. So I come up with two ideas: Should your ...


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See someone has already answered with nuclear decay... My answer is not actually based on science, so I know my answer will not be popular. This is more based on junk science and sci-fi concepts that we haven't yet mastered or even come close to. Quantum entanglement/FTL communication is the best I've come up with, and that's more sci-fi than regular ...


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Without fine manipulators we would not be able to use tools, and there's no sensible reason to develop tentacles on land so that only leaves hand-like clusters of extremities. "on land"; there is no reason why intelligent life could not develop underwater instead (in fact: octopi and dolphins here on earth are intelligent enough to be sapient) ...


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Convergent evolution works fine for external ears, you just need the right preadaptations. external ears are unique to mammals becasue ears with built in amplifiers are unique to mammals. the two extra mammalian ear bones at play make for a powerful sound amplifier. mammals are the only vertebrates that get a benefit from external ears. This is why external ...


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Mammals have unusually well-developed hearing compared to most animals because they evolved from nocturnal species, and most nocturnal vertebrate niches have been dominated by mammals since that happened. So the fact that it only evolved once on Earth might not imply that external ears are an unlikely feature (unlikely to evolve on another planet) - there ...


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Convergent Evolution Convergent evolution is an important factor in any creature design. The idea is that if you're doing very much the same task under very much the same circumstances then it's reasonable to come up with much the same solution. Sea birds tend to be black and white. Sharks, dolphins and whales have come up with very similar body plans and ...


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You ask for another plausible structure that serves a similar purpose... I think you should reconsider non-mammalian options. For example, some insects have Tympanal organs on various body parts that detect the pressure component of sound. They look like blisters. They are usually symmetrically paired in insects but you could add multiple tympanal organs ...


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They would cook. You are asking for 0.3 atmospheres of water vapor. The temperature of water with that equilibrium vapor pressure is nearly 70 degrees Celsius, or 158 Fahrenheit. An unprotected human will not survive that for very long. And the fact that the air is already saturated with water means our natural heat rejection mechanisms won't work. The ...


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