Hot answers tagged

12

Of course it's "possible" -- proof case, rockets have been sent to the Moon for decades (first flyby was around 1959, as I recall, impact in 1959 or 1960, and those were launched with the same boosters that launched Mercury orbital missions). You don't even need a warhead; targeting capability of a late generation ICBM with a chunk of concrete replacing the ...


11

You can see fires from space, but even really, really big fires are usually kinda small by the standards of a planet. Moreover, blobs of fire like that won't last very long because the fuel in them will be exausted and what you'll get instead is a wall or front of fire that is blown downwind until it reaches somewhere that's too damp (like the sea) or has ...


8

Not going to work. You can’t lift yourself off the ground by pulling your own pants higher. The black hole pull runs into the same problem. Gravity pulls two things together... it doesn’t chain them along. The white hole would just push you into the black hole faster because you’re closer to the white hole than the black hole is. Gravity cannot accelerate ...


6

With no oxygen present, a very long time. Decomposition is a process where organic material degrades, and can do this through biotic or abiotic means. (Either bacteria break it down, or it breaks down naturally.) Since there's no oxygen in this scenario, and it is in space with no direct sunlight it's wayy too cold for bacteria to break anything in the ...


5

The trick here is "generates". Let us consider just one hole, to keep it simple. The ship generates a black hole in front of it and falls towards that hole. There does not seem much prospect of bolting some sort of rig onto a real, wild black hole to hang it in front of you, like a carrot hung in front of a donkey. The event horizon and all. But your ...


5

Tidal recession is produced by the tidal bulge in the primary due to the mass of the moon(s). Our moon is huge by comparison to the Earth, so even though it's also incredibly far out compared to other large moons (and the sizes and masses of their primaries), it produces a good sized tidal bulge in the Earth, which (because the Earth isn't tide-locked to ...


3

You could disassemble Venus into her molecular components in short time. I don't know Venus's gravitational binding energy, but it should be less than Earth's since she's less massive. Let's assume Earth's: 2.49 x 1032 joules. The Sun's output is 3.86 x 1026 watts. That means that with some very gross rounding, you could use a Dyson sphere to dissolve ...


3

I'd say that Tidal Recession is one of the LEAST of the effects moving the moons around. Mars sized is a very big moon, even for a super Earth. It would be big for a gas giant. None of our planets have moons anywhere close to that size. With only 1 mars-moon, the super earth would essentially be in a binary system. Adding more moons would likely be ...


3

Tidal Recession is only one of a number of factors in play here, and as Zeiss Ikon pointed out, it's going to be considerably LESS of a factor in your system than it is in ours because your moons are smaller relative to the primary. If you REALLY want stability though, you want to have a look at orbital resonance. If you set your moons up such that they ...


3

Or, to paraphrase, all you need is a corset, A corset will provide mechanical counterpressure for your breathing, but there are a lot of other ways in which vacuum (or near-vacuum) exposure can hurt you that mean you need to cover up. Renan already referenced the main thing I was going to, which was Kittinger's hand. It didn't cause permanant damage, but ...


3

The filling the lungs in an incompressible fluid will increase the the g forces a pilot could handle since g-forces would be uniformly distributed evenly across the body, in side and out. The pilot might need hydraulic assistance with respirating. The thinker medium might be too much load for the diaphragm and ribs to move in and out of the lungs. But, a ...


3

This would be a very bad idea if the liquid is like water. Alright, we need to explain a few things here about the difference between straight line acceleration and the kind of agile moves you describe in this question, and how a medium like water reacts in each case. To start with though, we have to explain something else; for all intents and purposes, ...


3

The first issue I see up front is how do you keep the black and white holes suspended "a set distance" from the front and back of the ship? You'll need some force to accelerate the holes, which doesn't seem to come from anywhere, since you're using the holes to accelerate the ship in the first place. This would be like bolting a rig to the top of your car ...


3

Stellar JetSail This is basically a solar sail on steroids. Unlike solar sails, which rely on a relatively gentle wind of particles, you need something much more sturdy. Rather than trying to capture the relativistic particles, since most of them are ionized, you can simply try to steal some of their kinetic energy by setting up a large electrostatic ...


2

The Penrose mechanism - how to extract energy from a black hole Throw an object with a certain trajectory into the black hole Once in the ergosphere, break the object in two to give them a certain trajectory is absorbed by the black hole decreasing its cinetic spead gets out the ergosphere with a superior spead and a total energy superior to the mass ...


2

How much sunlight can you focus? Troy Rising postulates a solar-pumped "laser" that can push nearly 2000 petawatts, which reportedly can "destroy the Earth in 6 months, the biosphere in 16 days." But that's boring. What if we tried more power? Well, XKCD speculated what would happen if you aimed really powerful lasers at the moon. At a "measly" 5 ...


2

A few off the top of my head: Asteroid impact or megavolcano. Make it as big or as small as you want. Put it anywhere you want. Directly destroys whatever it lands on. Throws up huge dust clouds that affect crop production and biosphere for years (look up the proposed dinosaur-killing asteroid and scale it back by a factor of 2). If you land it in the ocean ...


1

Two ideas: (1) Fossil Fuels Suddenly Run Out: We know the fossil fuels will eventually run out. They just ran out much sooner than predicted. This cripples most industry but has no obvious effect on the biosphere. Eventually we can recover by converting to nuclear/solar/wind. (1.5) Earthquakes make some major oil wells inaccessible. Yes the fuel is ...


1

Let me see if I got this right. You want to conjure an object, have it contain enough mass and gravity to collapse on itself without dissipating, motivate it to move at FTL speed, drag your vessel along with it, then create an new repelling object, motivate that object to follow you at equal speeds, close enough to push you towards the dragging object, all ...


1

Your lungs are the result of us evolving to live at 1 atm. We can in theory survive in 0.33 atm, the pressure of the top of the Everest, for a few hours. We know this because a few crazy people climbed the Everest without oxygen tanks. But a handful lunatics doesn't represent a species, so let's just imagine that unless your protagonist is a mutant, you are ...


1

"Tell me how I'm wrong!" water ... you are made of it. As pressure drops so does both the freezing and boiling point of water. Hard to know which is the concern or whether it would take 10 minutes to be a serious issue without knowing the temperature. Also a fast enough rate of change in pressure may trigger nitrogen narcosis (the bends) That's the ...


1

While the question as asked does not seem to have a reasonable answer, I would suggest that (assuming firearms are not allowed) torsion based weapons might be considered rather than tension weapons like bows. Ancient ballista were designed to transfer the draw energy into skeins of rope or sinew, which could then store the energy for a short time while the ...


1

You don't need a superior bow and arrow. You need superior archers. If you replace the limbs of your commandos with powerful, enhanced prosthetics and enhance their torso with more resistant materials and synthetic muscles, you can end up with archers that put way more power into each shot, using bows with far higher draw strength and heavier arrows. ...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible