New answers tagged

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An Alcubierre hiccup Either due to an engineering mess-up or just spatial anomalies fluctuating into being, the star and its closer planets were warped in a certain direction, whereafter they were either destroyed during the process or due to where they were warped to. You could have a known black hole in the area, for example, maybe it sucked on the edge of ...


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I think the nearly irreconcilable problem you have constructing a mercury ocean world is explaining the process by which so much of that particular liquid element became concentrated on the world at the exclusion of others more likely to be present at similar temperatures. For example, based on the relative abundance of elements in the universe you would be ...


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Spinning up a station "just" to launch ships (fighters, crusers doesn't matter here) is very energy intensive and you have to slow down after. It would be cheaper to just accelerate the lighter object. This means you could rapidly deploy fighters rather than taking the time to spin up a lot of mass just to throw out the fighters. Keeping it ...


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You control the gravity. That means you get to say what an orbit looks like. Sometimes stars are attracted, and sometimes they're repelled. Double and septuple stars fly across the landscape at sedate-to-relativistic speeds, chasing after one another like Keystone Kops. If there is a mishap in the choreography, fine ... reverse gravity to disassemble the ...


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Don't move the light sources, move the blinds Let's work through a few of the basics of this situation: A single point source (or even ring of point sources around the "equator") won't work - it/they would totally fry the centre of the structure while failing to illuminate the ends. (Assuming a light source around the magnitude of our sun, very ...


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That's no star, that's an illusion The plants get their energy magically at day-like intervals, which keeps them alive. The landscape and air is heated in day like intervals. However, the sun is an illusion only visible to people who have that illusion cast on them. It doesn't matter where you are on the thing. The sun appears to orbit like the whole thing ...


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Broken down alien liquid metal telescope I think your main hurdle is a physically plausible explanation of how get so much mercury in one place. Despite its rarity in Earth's crust (0.05 mg/kg), mercury collects at relatively high concentrations of 25000 mg/kg in its ores. This is probably due to its unusual chemistry, which is mimicked by no other metal. ...


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In addition to the other considerations given here, you also have the problem of oxygen. It's very abundant and loves to make compounds with just about everything. All that liquid mercury would quickly (on a geological timescale, that is) become solid mercury oxide and mercury salts of oxyacids. If you can make it work, though, maybe you have mercury oxide ...


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Any life as we know it can't exist on the planet. Nor volcanoes. You can't have a sulfur cycle In addition to L Dutch points, an ocean of mercury can not exist on any planet with a sulfur cycle. Any biological processes that produce hydrogen sulfide (sewer gas) or natural volcanic systems (sulfur dioxide) putting trace amounts of sulfur in the air will cause ...


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You would want the planet's crust to be dense enough to prevent the mercury from going underground. However, denser materials are typically metallic, and would form amalgams with the mercury. However, there is a solution: Make the planet an giant ball of mercury large enough to have its own gravity, and possibly with islands floating on the surface.


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If your goal is just to have a planet with liquid metal oceans, not specifically mercury, you could go with gallium. Its melting point is just ~30°C (~85°F), so a little warm but still perfectly survivable and even comfortable for humans. And it's much more common than mercury. Not sure about the feasibility of covering an entire planet in gallium seas, ...


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It might work if the rest of the planet is made of gold. But if the planet is made of lighter materials than mercury, the ocean will slowly but surely seep through towards the planet's core. Earth's oceans are only stable because the ocean bottom is heavier than water, and even so, lots of water seeps through the Earth's crust and the upper mantle contains ...


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You would have many problems: first of all, the abundance of mercury it's not that high to realistically be able to fill in oceans. In the solar system it is one of the rarest element, even less abundant than platinum. Moreover, even assuming that you had that much mercury, you would stumble into another, serious issue: the density of mercury is 13.5 $g/cm^3$...


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Put a red filter on the dome. You don’t need to actually turn the moon red. Your people are in a transparent dome! Put a red filter on top of the dome. It would just be in the place where the moon will be when they want to trigger the effect. Ideally your characters could turn it on and off with a remote. Alternatively they just scramble up there and ...


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A G star is sunlike, with a mass of anywhere between .8 and 1.04 solar masses, and the K star is smaller, with a mass of anywhere between .45 and .8 solar masses. Let's assume that the G star is just like the Sun, and the K star has a mass of .75 solar masses. More clarity would be needed, but I am able to work with small amounts of information. For a stable ...


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I'll just quickly throw my hat in here. There is a part of quantum field theory that describes something called a "false quantum vacuum". How it works exactly is complicated, but the theoretical end result is a local or universal cessation of action from the fundamental forces, causing the absolute destruction of matter. As per it is a ...


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A wandering black hole, or a black hole made in a lab gets loose. If it crashed into the star, the star could nova. People on the colony are encouraged to wear sunblock. Planets are disrupted in their orbits and destroyed, or perhaps begin an unstoppable fall towards the star, joining an accretion (?) disk. It might be a long time before they contact the ...


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Relativistic Jets Crossing the path of a relativistic jet could destroy a system with little to no warning. As a black hole rotates, ionized matter gets pushed to the poles and fired off in a long stream. The faster the black hole spins, the greater the jet velocity. Spin fast enough and these streams approach the speed of light. The beams are strongly ...


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Strangelet Strangelets are fragments of matter made of strange matter. I.E. matter composed by roughly equal numbers of up, down and strange quarks. So, the alien civilization is running an experiment for generating a high-density fuel by exploring the energetic possibilities of quark-gluon plasma. The strange* experiment needs copious amount of power, so ...


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A Descendant of Ernst Stavros Blofeld, famed nemesis of super-spy James Bond, was shooting pool one day with some friends when he uttered the most terrifying phrase in human history... "Here, hold my beer." What happened next stunned half a galaxy — which was fine with Amaranthos Ophiouchos Blofeld, who loves to be the center of attention. You see, ...


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It's certainly difficult to find information on the locations of individual stars in globular clusters, given that none are in our stellar neighborhood - which is expected, as they occupy the galactic halo. Messier 4 is believed to be the closest globular cluster to Earth, and while its distance is disputed, a value of ~7200 light-years seems to be commonly ...


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Gamma Ray Burst A nearby GRB manages to dead-center the solar system with one of its polar jets. This jet of energy contains the energy output of a typical star's entire 10-billion-year lifespan, focused along two polar jets. The Jets are quite directional, as narrow as just 2 degrees wide. Each contains something like 10e44 Joule, enough to vaporize a ...


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Do you really need a spatial map of a real star cluster for your story? Stars tend to orbit and move around so the map would have to include hundreds of thousands of stars, each with a three dimensional spatial co-ordinates as well as velocities and accelerations in 3D as the picture would change over time. This might not be exactly what you want but it's a ...


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Star Lifting Gone Wrong There are very few natural phenomena that are big enough to wipe out a solar system, but also small enough to not kill everyone just a few light weeks away. The only real candidate for this would probably be a nova (not to be confused with a supernova). Smaller novas can cause a star to flare up its energy output somewhere in the ...


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When you get to the scale of "wiping out solar systems" there aren't many phenomena capable of producing power on the insane levels we're talking about. The most likely option is to have a rogue black hole hurtle through the system and rip it apart. Detecting a rogue black hole might be incredibly difficult, as the only thing you can see is the ...


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(a) Ritual bloodshed The moon is densely populated - too densely populated. Every year, there is a lemming-like ritual where everyone over a certain age is killed and their blood used as fertiliser on the fields or spilled in the lakes. This causes a brief redness until the blood dries and turns back to its normal reddish brown. (b) St. Patrick's Day The ...


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If you don't need it to be cleaned up again, just small rockets carrying dust. Allow me to quote a bit from Heinlein's "The Man Who Sold the Moon": Harriman was shown into the office of the president of the Moka-Coka Company ("Only a Moke is truly a coke"— "Drink the Cola drink with the Lift"). He paused at the door, some ...


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Your moon is much like ours, but it has evolved a simple life form. Or perhaps it is only a self-catalytic phenomenon ... it is simple. There is a silicate mineral, similar to quartz, that has formed very small lenses across the surface of the moon. The lenses accumulate energy from photons that strike them and/or from their deformation by the heat ...


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If not for OP's reference to expanding into vacuum, I would have suggested life of some sort. An Algal Bloom, for example, would be perfect. But: criteria=vacuum. There's a handy writeup about the behavior of a gas expanding into vacuum here: http://adsabs.harvard.edu/full/1953MNRAS.113...43P In short: Determine your speed of sound in the gas. The expansion ...


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If the "red ritual" is an annual ritual associated with a festivity it could a festivity associated with the reproductive cycle of a red colored animal that requires the mass migration of the animals to one side of the moon. Something similar to the migration of red crabs on Christmas Island, in the Indian Ocean. Alternatively the moon could be ...


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I can't think of any (non-magical) way for your characters to cause the change, but there is a reasonable way that such a color change could happen naturally. One hemisphere - say the north - of the moon is heavily forested with deciduous trees similar to maples & red oaks, except the old foliage is all red (no orange or yellow) and doesn't drop off ...


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Photo-chromism-Reverisbal light-based chemical reactions ********* Photo-chromism is the reversible transformation of a chemical species (photoswitch) between two forms by the absorption of electromagnetic radiation (photoisomerization), where the two forms have different absorption spectra.[1][2] In plain language, this can be described as a reversible ...


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Let's look at the ways this would be possible: Kordylewski Clouds at the L4 or L5 Points There are natural saddles in empty space between any two massive objects in orbit around one another. These saddle regions can trap dust. But can they hold a 101.1 kiloPascal atmosphere at 300 degrees Kelvin? Mean Speed of Gas - The mean velocity of $O_2$ at $300^{o} K$ ...


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The closest thing to this in real life would probably be a brown dwarf. They're not technically stars (they're classified as substellar objects, something between a large planet and a small star) but early in their lives they do fuse hydrogen (deuterium mostly) and some of the largest fuse Lithium. Pros: They emit light mostly in the infrared spectrum, ...


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Slavery. 1-100 people living off the toil of 999900 people is currently achieved by arcane trade agreements and property laws - this could be handled much more efficiently by going to space, where you would have complete practical freedom (sure, there is space legislation - but what are they gonna do, tow you?). You also have much less hassle with runaways. ...


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Unless you have an earth killer type threat, getting 1,000,000 people living space in a short time for one big reason is probably never going to happen. So getting them out there is going to happen because of a combination of things over a longer period of time. Things on Earth will already provide you the reasons why: Climate change, food shortages, ...


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See Stine's "The Third Industrial Revolution", Heppenheimer's "Colonies in Space" Savage's "The Millennium Project" for serious economic handwaving. Historical parallels: Mining towns until recently were a family affair. Lots of old west examples. More recent, Uranium City, SK, Faro, YK Mining town form when the cost of ...


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Niven's The Integral Trees has exactly this premise. It has a somewhat implausibly benign gas ring around a star, pulled out of the atmosphere of a convenient gas giant that's too close to its parent star to fully retain its atmosphere. Could such an environment really exist? Almost certainly not. A major part of the problem is that when you're close ...


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Make it easy to get there. If you have enough space elevators, or cheap powerful spacecraft and rotating skyhooks at least, or physically viable warp drives, then the weak call of sightseeing, minerals, isolation, pioneering and so forth becomes strong enough to pull people out of the gravity well for a day or a week. Some stay for years. The rest is just ....


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I don’t think that many space habitat projects are going to be constructed for financial gain at least not initially. They will cost a lot and the people who build them will do so mostly for ideological reasons not economic reasons. As is the case with having a baby, babies eat a lot, cr*p a lot, want a lot and are a general money pits with no economic ...


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Radiation shielding. The overwhelming elephant in the room about everything connected to space travel is radiation shielding. Everything else is: nothing, a non-issue. Note that if we invented faster than light travel we could do .. nothing much. Because Radiation Shielding. All of scifi just a thing where we pretend Radiation Shielding isn't a thing. The ...


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Escaping an apocalypse! The Earth is going to be hit by a giant asteroid. It is so large that it can be seen a hundred years away. Scientists calculate that a concerted effort over those hundred years will allow a maximum of 1 million people to be housed indefinitely in space. When the time comes for evacuation, the world leaders will have the difficult task ...


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A FEW THOUGHTS: I can think of a few reasons people would want to move into space if they had the resources to do it. ESCAPING THE RIFF-RAFF: Rich folks who want to lord it over mere normal people can't get more OVER than moving to space. No one is going to sneak up on your house to rob you when the world can watch the thief sneak up on you. Rioting ...


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Because 'Oil Rigs' are just the beginning Wikipedia's Asteroid Mining article states that in the next 50 to 60 years, we will run out of phosphorus, antimony, zinc, tin, lead, indium, silver, gold, and copper. A lot of that is available in various asteroids in space, so that's where we'll begin. And sure, asteroid mining will start as a thoroughly unpleasant ...


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The way that Virgin Galactic, Musk, and Boeing expect to get people into space. Tourism. All-expense-paid vacations to the usual tourist spots are getting so ho-hum. Over-crowded, ridiculously expensive, and poor quality. "Dear, just EVERYBODY has been to that resort. Let's go somewhere the Jones' have not been. They are getting so boring, they just go ...


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Option 1: It becomes cheaper to build luxury space habitats than luxury apartments in New York City You want it to make economic sense to build space habitats and for people to get in them, so the first option is that it somehow becomes cheaper to build space habitats than expensive apartments in an expensive city. This is notionally possible because ...


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This is how I picture your design: I think this is plausible assuming the fighters and space ship holding them are. Two thoughts: Keep the ships orientated this way and the pilot can climb in using artificial gravity when the disk is spinning. You may want it to spin the entire ship normally for artificial gravity anyway. Use the engines of the fighters ...


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If space fighters make sense, then so does this Ok, so before everyone jumps in here and starts shouting about how space fighters don't make sense, I'm just going to assume that for some reason they do make sense and you want to have a bunch of snub fighters in space like a classic space opera. Your launch mechanism should technically work, with one caveat: ...


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Sorry to be so blunt, but as this was a concept I once considered heavily, you really aren't understanding the complexity or magnitude of the problems of interstellar spaceflight at all. Nothing about this concept works from an actual realism standpoint. Even well thought out generation ship designs are extremely unlikely to ever happen. To start with, your ...


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delta-v = 9.8 x ISP x ln((dry_mass+fuel_mass)/dry_mass) for regular chemical rockets, the proportion of dry mass to wet mass is around 1:20-1:25 so plugging numbers, like 700-sec isp, and taking quite optimistic 1:100 (it is in space, no need to get through the earth atmosphere, something like that) 700 isn't unrealistic if we consider some hybrid chemical ...


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