21 votes
Accepted

What would be easily missed, but undeniable, proof of life from non-advanced detectors?

Dimethyl Sulfide In September and October 2023, there was news that the James Webb telescope had found this compound on a faraway planet. This is what gives the sea its particular smell, and there are ...
The Square-Cube Law's user avatar
10 votes

What would be easily missed, but undeniable, proof of life from non-advanced detectors?

I'm going to back up my comment with an answer, that still potentially fits. Visual cues Your astronauts take a series of photographs of the planet. None of them show anything extraordinary, the ...
JeffUK's user avatar
  • 1,906
5 votes

What would be easily missed, but undeniable, proof of life from non-advanced detectors?

Frame challenge: Not a chemical compound, but since you specifically outrule automatic analysis tools you could just resort to human error. Your scientist have to go over the thousands of chemical ...
datacube's user avatar
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4 votes

What would the societal effects be, generally of inhabited worlds having time pass at significantly different rates

I agree with the others that this question is to broad. You also have a couple of misconceptions i would like to clear up before this is closed. Gravity, as described by General Relativity, is not a ...
ErikHall's user avatar
  • 2,137
4 votes

Is it possible to use the tech behind Project Daedalus as an asteroid defense system?

How does the Daedalus Project move the planet-killing asteroids? Plural? I think it is possible, but there are better ways of doing this... A small deflection has a much greater effect the further out ...
Richard Kirk's user avatar
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3 votes

What would be easily missed, but undeniable, proof of life from non-advanced detectors?

Oxygen is not a reliable indicator of life on it's own - but taken together with other facts about the planet it can be. Ideal as a late-realization tool for the plot. NASA gives the photocatalytic ...
bukwyrm's user avatar
  • 5,849
3 votes

What would the societal effects be, generally of inhabited worlds having time pass at significantly different rates

I think you have a lot of freedom here. I don't think there's one answer. There's two fundamental forces here. I'm going to refer to the people involved as fast-time and slow-time. For simplicity ...
Cort Ammon's user avatar
  • 132k
2 votes

What would the societal effects be, generally of inhabited worlds having time pass at significantly different rates

Solar Systems will be mostly insular Even traveling at near light speeds, the trek from one solar system to another will be a journey of many years. This is still many times longer than a Mars ...
Nosajimiki's user avatar
  • 90.4k
2 votes

What would the societal effects be, generally of inhabited worlds having time pass at significantly different rates

This time difference could lead to different levels of technological and scientific advancement on different planets. Those on slower-time planets might have more time to develop new technologies, ...
alkahest's user avatar
  • 931

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