Questions tagged [exploration]

For those questions that boldly go where none have gone before.

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Is raidation on Mars line-of-sight? [migrated]

Roughly a year ago, there was a TV show about colonizing Mars; National Geographic channel I think. The habitats were underground to avoid the sun's radiation. So I'm wondering: does the radiation ...
24
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8answers
8k views

What's stopping me from inventing a planet with oceans of mercury?

It doesn't necessarily need to be breathable by humans. But it should be room temperature (at which mercury is liquid). My concern is whether mercury oceans could remain stable or would they all get ...
5
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2answers
1k views

Is there a good way to approximate alien biological age?

Let's ignore extraterrestrial visitors on Earth because I don't want to discuss twin paradox, we should be focusing on life inhabiting on another planet instead. Here on Earth we can do carbon dating ...
25
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13answers
9k views

Why don't adventurers (and monsters) suffocate in lower levels of dungeons?

Why don't adventurers (and monsters) suffocate in lower levels of dungeons? Gases in mines and dungeons can be unbreathable I asked a question about this on Physics to check my reasoning. Why does ...
7
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3answers
3k views

Is mirror test a good way to explore alien inhabited world safely?

In a distant future our robot will be setting their tracks on another hospitable planet, I believe we are not alone and there must be other intelligence beings out there in these billions upon ...
4
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3answers
173 views

How would cats navigate oceans?

So, these are the same cats detailed in previous questions. Intelligence is equivalent to 'human in cat bodies', they have mildly opposable thumbs, they can be bipedal temporarily (Think like bears or ...
3
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1answer
139 views

How long would it take for a group of settlers to form a new civilization

In my world, sometime before the main events of the story, a group of about 100 explorers set out to cross the uncrossable mountain range that divides the continent and venture into lands unknown. ...
16
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3answers
2k views

Anatomy of men with beards

Lest anyone think I am making fun of men with beards, I should point out that I am a man with a beard. A space-exploration team land on a new planet. They are surprised to discover that the local ...
6
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5answers
157 views

Most Likely Way to Protect Against Infectious Disease When Visiting Other Planets?

In various science fiction works, we see our plucky heroes beaming down to, or flying down to planets other than their own. They meet with the inhabitants there, be they human or otherwise and then ...
3
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4answers
141 views

Putting together a research expedition to an alien planet - what kind of scientists am I taking with me?

It's the 22nd century and we have discovered a derelict alien craft somewhere in the Oort cloud. The craft contains a star chart showing its origin on an alien planet some 30 light years away. Let's ...
6
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2answers
351 views

Exploring a world with chiral biochemistry: chirality detection

Space explorers have landed on an Earth like planet and, to their surprise, the place is luscious and covered in life, to the point of resembling some earthly tropical atoll. What they don't know yet ...
14
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14answers
5k views

Exploration for a noble reason (something other than expansion of religion or conquest)?

I am currently building a world where one of the most powerful countries/kingdoms is much known for its exploration and architectural culture. To be really short, exploration is a noble profession for ...
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14answers
4k views

What could prevent a thriving civilization from exploring neighboring lands/continents?

first question here (but not last I think). I'm currently thinking about ideas I have to form the base of a book I'll then write, and I need some insights/knowledge about exploration. I'm looking for ...
14
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13answers
4k views

Why would a medieval civilization leave newly discovered land undeveloped?

tl;dr: what issues would cause more risk than reward for a civilization to settle a fertile, heavily forested area; bonus points for less magic / historical examples / it being a threat My son, ...
1
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0answers
118 views

What are the components of a Von Neumann probe? [closed]

A Von Neumann probe is a theoretical space probe based on the 'Universal Assembler' concept. The probe would be capable of using raw materials found in the universe to create copies of itself, thereby ...
6
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3answers
131 views

How long would could a mars rover remain intact?

The year: Sometime a long time from now The place: Mars Little Bobby Colonist is going to play out in sand dunes beyond the edge of the domed city where he lives. Terraforming efforts over the last ...
3
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6answers
226 views

Could dinosaurs have been discovered during the age of discovery? [closed]

Could dinosaurs have been discovered on the Americas during the age of discovery? Some things to take into account: Assume they survived their extinction event Assume they could survive on the ...
12
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5answers
2k views

What could prevent concentrated local exploration?

In my world there is a village with a hot spring, the only one on the entire island. The spring emerges from a local cave which has been filled / caved in by a past civilisation, since the water is ...
7
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4answers
944 views

Aliens in a 4D universe try to explore our 3D spacetime fabric: How can they do it?

They do not necessarily meet humans and try to interact with them. This question is more about the technical possibility/impossibility of 4D aliens being able to "analyze" the inner structure of our ...
5
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3answers
220 views

How to broadcast Earth's position to someone in the future?

Using current technology, what could I do to optimize the odds of being located by time-traveling humans a thousand years from now? The accuracy must be such that they could "transport" me out of a ...
9
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4answers
769 views

When did humanity have the knowledge to prove this semi-flat world is an octagon?

The world below is flat. However, there are no endless walls of ice or force or magic - Instead, each side of the octagon "wraps" to the other side. That is, the North boundary wraps to the South ...
0
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2answers
213 views

How to find earth's relative position anywhere in the galaxy without any markers or brute force exploration?

The idea is that is to find the ancient seat of power of humans which is earth, but no one knows where it is, there was no transmitter nor any markers that will give the relative position. The catch ...
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15answers
11k views

The Infinite Sea, how narrow can that be?

I have a Roleplay setting on the books. It's a constructed pocket universe that the Dragons built to hide from the Great Old Ones; because of its structure, there are vast bodies of water, potentially ...
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6answers
709 views

A large island is discovered and thoroughly explored by scientists. What happens next?

I doubt that any of you remember "the guy with the island". Basically, about 3 months ago, I asked a whole slew of questions that were preparatory for a book project. Now, the book is very nearly ...
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2answers
129 views

What could make a group of living organisms disappear completely from a closed structure?

An alien pyramid had inhabitants trapped within. Without prospect for rescue, they eventually went mad. Later the pyramid is discovered by human explorers. No trace of the alien inhabitants or their ...
15
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20answers
4k views

How to make people spread over the earth?

I created human beings and placed them on a planet full of landmasses, oceans, rivers, forests, desserts, swaps, snow, mountains, hills, animals, insects, plants, fish you name it. But I have a ...
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2answers
350 views

What equipment would a well-funded research team need to explore a previously undiscovered island about 55,000 km2 in size? (EDITED) [closed]

NOTE: I have edited this in the hope that it will be deemed on-topic, as the previous version was too story-based. I have checked the guidelines for fixing story-based questions and believe it ...
37
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15answers
9k views

Colonizing the galaxy by slow boating reality check

Humans like to explore and seem to have an almost instinctual need to expand. After spreading throughout the solar system and even into the Oort Cloud they decided that humanity should follow the ...
6
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3answers
398 views

How unlikely is it that Hawaii was discovered by Old World explorers?

I recently went to Hawaii for a business trip. As I was coming in for a landing and looking at the progress map in front of me, it occurred to me just how very small the Hawaiian Islands are out there ...
11
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12answers
6k views

Two countries have a five thousand mile desert between them. How can a city survive there?

In a world that I am building, there are two countries that both are fairly primitive and only have medieval methods of transportation. They have a huge meeting every 100 years. Other than that, they ...
3
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1answer
236 views

How far would I need to go back in time to find an isolated island on our earth?

If you want to tell a story of a lonely island on earth, isolated from the rest of the civilization, how many years do you have to go back to be realistic? I think about a story about 350 people who ...
21
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6answers
3k views

Exploration of a 50 mile high mountain

My friends and I are building a world with a 50 mile high volcano on it. The mountain is the result of some bored god deciding to play a joke on everyone. Or, some other god got angry and decided to ...
2
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1answer
154 views

Exploring extraterrestrial oceans with submarines?

So, with all the recent discoveries and almost certainly true theories that a few of Jupiter and Saturn's moons could have a subsurface ocean, notably Enceladus and Titan, would an ~10 meter long ...
14
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18answers
2k views

How might the actions of descendants matter for their ancestors? (reverse causality)

Imagine two groups of people exploring the same location, but at different times. For convenience, think of the group exploring first as the "ancestors" and the group exploring later as the "...
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1answer
119 views

Exploration team design [closed]

I am trying to design an exploration team so that they can explore what Kepler Bb, the planet I am constructing, has in store for them. Here are some things I want for my exploration team: They must ...
3
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2answers
169 views

Reasonable way to determine orbital parameters in an unknows stellar system

After traveling a long long time, your spaceship is finally entering into the gravitational sphere of influence of a Sun-like star. Your captain would now like to move from the Oort-like cloud ...
6
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4answers
558 views

Battle tactics for portal warfare / exploration

In a story a long time ago in an age long forgotten, the main characters find an ancient portal-gate-system, powered by an even more forgotten magic. The main characters have access to soldiers, ...
22
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12answers
4k views

Is it possible for a large pre-electricity empire to stay in touch?

Background Information In my world, there is one spherical world that is 2,000,000 miles in diameter and has the same land-to-sea ratio as the earth. On this world , there is a civilization of elves ...
2
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2answers
250 views

How much area of a gigantic world could an 18th century maritime civilization explore in a millennium? [closed]

In my world, there is one spherical world that is 2,000,000 light-years in Diameter. The world also has the same land-to-sea ratio as the earth. On this world , there is a civilization of elves ...
0
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1answer
137 views

Can humanity survive on red planet

Research is done each and everyday, challenging the boundaries of what we used to think was impossible. After all, it used to be thought impossible to land man on the moon. Is it possible, give today'...
2
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1answer
330 views

Logistics of manned Europa exploration?

It is 2057 and a manned mission to Europa has been comissioned in the prospect of further exploring the ecosystem and energy signatures of Europa. Unlike the implied unnmanned probe, this mission ...
6
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4answers
715 views

How can I tell if stone age aliens are sapient?

Let's say I have been chosen to evaluate whether or not alien worlds contain sapient life before we terraform them. Just assume that we learned to work together and live as a species in peace, ...
6
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1answer
849 views

Can we land on a planet with methane-oxygen atmosphere?

If there is a planet whose atmosphere consists of : 30% methane 70% oxygen Then, can we land on it? If yes, then how, and why would it not explode? Also, can such a planet exist for a long time?
44
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11answers
6k views

Migrating Dungeon Monsters / Why do monsters not leave the dungeons?

Background : Consider a typical dungeon, which has weak monsters at the top and the lower you go, the stronger the enemies become. Some questions about dungeons have already been answered - why are ...
2
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4answers
1k views

How to build a “cloud city” in a gas giant?

Another question made me remember this. Consider a sizable base (building, station) in the atmosphere of a gas giant planet. It should hold a staff of a couple hundred, with supplies and scientific ...
4
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2answers
346 views

How would lack of stars , sundials , and compasses affect the exploration age?

In my fictitious universe, a god like entity ( which is an amalgam of all individuals , scientific understanding , capabilities , and tech of a type 3.5 civilization ) produces a sun with the same ...
17
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8answers
3k views

How large would an orbiting structure have to be to be largely unexplored after 100 years?

For as long as recorded history, the Earth has had two moons - religions were based around the interactions of these two bodies in the heavens, they were worshipped, feared and romanticised. Then at ...
4
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3answers
176 views

Where would Heaven be? [closed]

How could it be explained that living humans have yet to see heaven despite it being depicted as amongst the clouds, when they have technology to see vast distances in to space and have ventured out ...
2
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2answers
455 views

How to prepare for an alien pyramid exploration? [closed]

In the near future, NASA has discovered the existence of a huge pyramid buried under the red dunes of Mars but no signs of life were detected. NASA has already achieved three successful space missions ...
6
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2answers
415 views

Monolithic vehicles vs a convoy; So you want to go on a road trip

The scenario; suddenly a modern human world finds their nice, simple, understandable spherical world/solar system going poof overnight, and it being replaced by a mine-crafting plane world. Everyone ...