The Science - Science Fiction thread

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  • chrisisallchrisisall Brosnan Defender Of The Realm
    edited January 2022 Posts: 17,687
    DarthDimi wrote: »
    I burned my fingers on Battlestar Gallactica (remake), for example, four seasons of which felt like a lifetime of boredom.
    I thought it started out interesting enough, but it quickly turned into a mud swim for me.

    The Expanse is 62 episodes (as opposed to Galactica's 75). Each of the six seasons is roughly one of the first six books of the literary series, executive produced by the authors, which is why it feels more like reading a novel than watching a simple TV show.
    I hate fly-in-flight-cam more than most, but their hand held shots are very tame compared to the sometimes nauseating Galactica. My Son & I have gone through this entire series stunned by two things: 1)No filler. One arc in season four was maybe an episode longer than it needed to be, but there are no wastes of time in this series. 2) The pains they went to for the sake of scientific accuracy. This series put most others to shame. My Son is a space guy & makes positive comments constantly about the gravity & orbital physics stuff being textbook perfect.
    Worst thing I can say about it is that the first episode dumps you into the fray & some folks may not have the capacity to absorb it all on contact (I didn't- I had to watch it twice before feeling comfortable that I was up to speed, but you being you probably wouldn't need to).
    You'd be able to know by like the 4th episode if the show is for you. I was hooked by the third.
  • DarthDimiDarthDimi Behind you!Moderator
    Posts: 23,523
    chrisisall wrote: »
    DarthDimi wrote: »
    I burned my fingers on Battlestar Gallactica (remake), for example, four seasons of which felt like a lifetime of boredom.
    I thought it started out interesting enough, but it quickly turned into a mud swim for me.

    The Expanse is 62 episodes (as opposed to Galactica's 75). Each of the six seasons is roughly one of the first six books of the literary series, executive produced by the authors, which is why it feels more like reading a novel than watching a simple TV show.
    I hate fly-in-flight-cam more than most, but their hand held shots are very tame compared to the sometimes nauseating Galactica. My Son & I have gone through this entire series stunned by two things: 1)No filler. One arc in season three was maybe an episode longer than it needed to be, but there are no wastes of time in this series. 2) The pains they went to for the sake of scientific accuracy. This series put most others to shame. My Son is a space guy & makes positive comments constantly about the gravity & orbital physics stuff being textbook perfect.
    Worst thing I can say about it is that the first episode dumps you into the fray & some folks may not have the capacity to absorb it all on contact (I didn't- I had to watch it twice before feeling comfortable that I was up to speed, but you being you probably wouldn't need to).
    You'd be able to know by like the 4th episode if the show is for you. I was hooked by the third.

    Thanks for that, @chrisisall. I honestly am enthused now. ;-) You have addressed some of my pet peeves in a good way.
  • chrisisallchrisisall Brosnan Defender Of The Realm
    Posts: 17,687
    DarthDimi wrote: »
    You have addressed some of my pet peeves in a good way.

    Also, no unexplained artificial gravity nonsense. I only buy that in Star Trek because it's so far into the future....
  • DarthDimiDarthDimi Behind you!Moderator
    Posts: 23,523
    chrisisall wrote: »
    DarthDimi wrote: »
    You have addressed some of my pet peeves in a good way.

    Also, no unexplained artificial gravity nonsense. I only buy that in Star Trek because it's so far into the future....

    Yeah, it's sadly one of the many things films often get wrong:
    • gravity gone wrong;
    • instantaneous death-freeze in space;
    • sound in space;
    • breaking in space;
    • ...

    I admire the writings of Asimov, Clarke and others, who never fail to address these issues with cleverness and care.
  • chrisisallchrisisall Brosnan Defender Of The Realm
    Posts: 17,687
    Not actually science fiction, but The Book Of Boba Fett episodes 1 & 2 were lots of fun. Not an absolute must-watch, but good for us Star Wars geeks.
  • chrisisallchrisisall Brosnan Defender Of The Realm
    edited January 2022 Posts: 17,687
    @DarthDimi, we just saw the Expanse finale.
    Great end to a great series, no simplistic nonsense.
    Just an FYI.
  • DarthDimiDarthDimi Behind you!Moderator
    Posts: 23,523
    chrisisall wrote: »
    @DarthDimi, we just saw the Expanse finale.
    Great end to a great series, no simplistic nonsense.
    Just an FYI.

    Thanks, mate!
  • royale65royale65 Caustic misanthrope reporting for duty.
    Posts: 4,421
    DarthDimi wrote: »
    chrisisall wrote: »
    DarthDimi wrote: »
    You have addressed some of my pet peeves in a good way.

    Also, no unexplained artificial gravity nonsense. I only buy that in Star Trek because it's so far into the future....

    Yeah, it's sadly one of the many things films often get wrong:
    • gravity gone wrong;
    • instantaneous death-freeze in space;
    • sound in space;
    • breaking in space;
    • ...

    I admire the writings of Asimov, Clarke and others, who never fail to address these issues with cleverness and care.

    I always found the above bolded to be of fascination. Space is a vacuum. Vacuums are good insulators? As our resident physics expert, what say you @DarthDimi?
  • ThunderfingerThunderfinger Das Boot Hill
    Posts: 45,489
    Wouldn t it depend on where in space you are?
  • QBranchQBranch Always have an escape plan. Mine is watching James Bond films.
    Posts: 13,888
    Pretty sure you freeze gradually, not in a matter of seconds.
  • ThunderfingerThunderfinger Das Boot Hill
    Posts: 45,489
    QBranch wrote: »
    Pretty sure you freeze gradually, not in a matter of seconds.

    I feel that an experiment is needed.
  • QBranchQBranch Always have an escape plan. Mine is watching James Bond films.
    Posts: 13,888
    QBranch wrote: »
    Pretty sure you freeze gradually, not in a matter of seconds.
    I feel that an experiment is needed.
    Just took a few seconds, T.
  • ThunderfingerThunderfinger Das Boot Hill
    Posts: 45,489
    QBranch wrote: »
    QBranch wrote: »
    Pretty sure you freeze gradually, not in a matter of seconds.
    I feel that an experiment is needed.
    Just took a few seconds, T.

    Thanks! And RIP whoever.
  • NickTwentyTwoNickTwentyTwo Vancouver, BC, Canada
    edited January 2022 Posts: 7,526
    There's a story of a guy who was exposed to the vacuum conditions of space for a few seconds and survived, I'll see if I can find it.

    https://www.reddit.com/r/space/comments/1agzby/video_of_a_man_exposed_to_total_vacuum/

    I originally thought the last thing he felt before falling unconscious was that the saliva on his tongue started to boil, but he says here, "bubble". Then later someone else says the conjecture about what happens when exposed to lack of pressure is that a person's fluids might boil.

    You wouldn't die instantly when exposed in space, I don't think, but you'd pass out quickly, and then die.
  • DarthDimiDarthDimi Behind you!Moderator
    edited January 2022 Posts: 23,523
    royale65 wrote: »
    DarthDimi wrote: »
    chrisisall wrote: »
    DarthDimi wrote: »
    You have addressed some of my pet peeves in a good way.

    Also, no unexplained artificial gravity nonsense. I only buy that in Star Trek because it's so far into the future....

    Yeah, it's sadly one of the many things films often get wrong:
    • gravity gone wrong;
    • instantaneous death-freeze in space;
    • sound in space;
    • breaking in space;
    • ...

    I admire the writings of Asimov, Clarke and others, who never fail to address these issues with cleverness and care.

    I always found the above bolded to be of fascination. Space is a vacuum. Vacuums are good insulators? As our resident physics expert, what say you @DarthDimi?

    This is an interesting question. And also, I am by no means a physics expert. Physics is a big something, and even after years of studying and teaching physics, I find myself humble enough to say that I have, at best, dipped my toes in it. ;)

    That said, here's the thing about death-freezing in space. In order for us to freeze, we need to lose enough heat. Three mechanisms are known to cause heat loss:
    • conduction: another material "drains" our heat when we touch it (like ice-cold water causing hypothermia). There's no such material in space. With only about one atom per cubic centimetre, space is pretty empty, hence the term "vacuum".
    • convection: a flowing medium (like windy air or running water) not only draws heat from us but immediately carries it away, meaning that the thing we touch, doesn't itself heat up with our body heat, it remains cold, and so a bathtub of cold water is less life-threatening than waves of equally cold water splashing against you all the time. Naturally, no running water or wind in space.
    • radiation: objects at a certain temperature, like our bodies, radiate heat via infrared radiation. Ergo; we lose heat by radiating it away. And that is what we will still be doing, even in the vacuum of space. Slowly, our body will lose heat and eventually, we'll freeze to death. But heat loss through radiation is a relatively slow process as compared to heat loss via conduction; it takes "a while" before we die.

    So exactly how long does it take? Luckily, most of this science is speculative at best because it doesn't happen every day that astronauts step outside their space vehicles without a suit. We won't freeze within seconds, that's for sure. Could we make it for half a minute or more? I don't know. Should your lungs be empty or not? Can you open your eyes? I'm sure trained astronauts have something to say about that.

    Anyone who has seen Danny Boyle's wonderful film Sunshine may remember a scene in which a couple of blokes try to cross a few metres in space without a suit. Spoiler alert: the one that kept to the right path survived. It hurt like an SOB, but he survived. That is probably closer to reality than any scenario in which someone gets hurled out of a spacecraft and freezes to death instantly.
  • chrisisallchrisisall Brosnan Defender Of The Realm
    Posts: 17,687
    The Expanse addresses this in an episode. But then, 2001 did it first.
  • ThunderfingerThunderfinger Das Boot Hill
    Posts: 45,489
    chrisisall wrote: »
    The Expanse addresses this in an episode. But then, 2001 did it first.

    21 years ago, so ahead of its time!
  • DwayneDwayne New York City
    edited January 2022 Posts: 2,617


    The sort answer (as @Thunderfinger and @Qbranch have stated) is it “depends” on where you are at in space – and your position.

    As the above video states – while the “baseline” temperature of space is very cold, since space is a vacuum, the idea of temperature is really only meaningful if you are an object placed in space.

    For example, an object close by the Sun and facing it would be very hot, but the non-Sun facing side of that same object would be very cold. And the closer you are to the Sun the more extreme this difference is. Solar exploring spacecraft (“Parker”), therefore, face a very different thermal environment than a something like the “New Horizons” probe exploring Pluto. This is a result of space being a vacuum where heat is transferred via radiation instead of conduction.

    And, this why spacecraft, must be insulated to maintain a relatively warm temperature for their systems, yet have radiators to expel excess heat away from those very systems. To moderate these temperature extremes further, spacecraft are often slowly rotate so that no one side faces the Sun for a long period of time. It is also why the Apollo lunar landings – to give the most famous example - were timed so that their stays on the Moon were done when the Sun was not directly overhead the landing site.***

    As for the instant freezing……..after a minute or so of unprotected exposure to the vacuum of space you would have other problems 😊. In short, your body’s natural ability to maintain a constant temperatures and pressures would be overwhelmed and you would “freeze” at the same time as your blood boiled away.



    ** Due to tests conducted in the 1960’s, we know that a human body could survive a (very) short exposure to a total vacuum. Hence the “emergency airlock” scene in “2OO1” is fairly accurate except that Dave Bowman should have been batting his eyes - not closing them shut.

    *** Having the Sun provide just enough “shadow” to expose potential obstacles in landing was another limiting factor.
  • DarthDimiDarthDimi Behind you!Moderator
    edited January 2022 Posts: 23,523
    Dwayne wrote: »


    The sort answer (as @Thunderfinger and @Qbranch have stated) is it “depends” on where you are at in space – and your position.

    As the above video states – while the “baseline” temperature of space is very cold, since space is a vacuum, the idea of temperature is really only meaningful if you are an object placed in space.

    For example, an object close by the Sun and facing it would be very hot, but the non-Sun facing side of that same object would be very cold. And the closer you are to the Sun the more extreme this difference is. Solar exploring spacecraft (“Parker”), therefore, face a very different thermal environment than a something like the “New Horizons” probe exploring Pluto. This is a result of space being a vacuum where heat is transferred via radiation instead of conduction.

    And, this why spacecraft, must be insulated to maintain a relatively warm temperature for their systems, yet have radiators to expel excess heat away from those very systems. To moderate these temperature extremes further, spacecraft are often slowly rotate so that no one side faces the Sun for a long period of time. It is also why the Apollo lunar landings – to give the most famous example - were timed so that their stays on the Moon were done when the Sun was not directly overhead the landing site.***

    As for the instant freezing……..after a minute or so of unprotected exposure to the vacuum of space you would have other problems 😊. In short, your body’s natural ability to maintain a constant temperatures and pressures would be overwhelmed and you would “freeze” at the same time as your blood boiled away.



    ** Due to tests conducted in the 1960’s, we know that a human body could survive a (very) short exposure to a total vacuum. Hence the “emergency airlock” scene in “2OO1” is fairly accurate except that Dave Bowman should have been batting his eyes - not closing them shut.

    *** Having the Sun provide just enough “shadow” to expose potential obstacles in landing was another limiting factor.

    You make some interesting points.

    A typical flaw in reasoning is that Mercury, being closest to the Sun, must therefore also be the hottest planet in our solar system. The average temperature on Venus is much higher, however, simply because Venus has a dense atmosphere which itself is the result of a runaway greenhouse effect. Mercury's dark side is chill as hell, and in the absence of an atmosphere, it cannot keep nor evenly disperse its heat across the planet the way Venus and Earth can.

    Living on the Moon would be interesting too. If you were to stay in one place, you'd fry to death during one period, and freeze to death during another, if unprotected that is. Still, I'd rather enjoy living on the Moon underneath one gigantic "smart" dome that controls the conditions to my standards. ;-) In all seriousness, I'd prefer the Moon over Mars, or at least I think I would. It all depends on whether or not I have a cozy home dome all to myself and be able to carve out living space "underground". ;-)
  • DwayneDwayne New York City
    Posts: 2,617
    @DarthDimi : The Moon or Mars?

    This sounds like some of the space policy debates that I have sat-in on over the years. And if you think the ending of NTTD got people all riled up, you haven’t seen anything!!!
    For eventual settlement, Mars has the Moon beat (or so it seems at the moment).
    1. With Mars, you have a near Earth like day/night cycle (25 hours as opposed to 24), while with the Moon you would have to put up with a 28-day cycle.
    2. With Mars’ you would have a more Earth like 1/3 gravity as opposed to The Moon’s 1/6 g.
    3. Mars’ atmosphere – while thin – also helps to moderate temperature extremes. There are actually places on the surface where it can get to a nice warm 70 degrees (just don’t remove your spacesuit)! With the Moon’s temperature extremes during the day, any exploration outside would have to be well timed.

    That said, the toxicity of Martian soil is still somewhat of an unknown. This is a critical issue, since based on the accounts of the Apollo astronauts, lunar soil sticks to everything and can be quite painful to breath in (think coal mine). Is the Martian soil the same? And if microbial life is discovered on Mars, that will raise a host of “forward contamination” issues for any explorers (i.e., Earth based bacteria being transported to and then thriving on Mars).

    How about Venus instead? I’m told the inhabitants all look like this…..:D
    voyage-to-the-planet-of-prehistoric-women.jpg

    ….oh wait, I’m now being told that the surface of Venus really looks like this.
    hpdqtm0d3kn31.jpg
  • DarthDimiDarthDimi Behind you!Moderator
    Posts: 23,523
    Well, I was talking about personal retirement. 😉 Building settlements on Mars is the more useful operation, evidently. The Moon could function as a place from where to launch space craft. Its low escape velocity is most valuable.
  • ThunderfingerThunderfinger Das Boot Hill
    Posts: 45,489
  • ThunderfingerThunderfinger Das Boot Hill
    Posts: 45,489
  • DarthDimiDarthDimi Behind you!Moderator
    Posts: 23,523
    The recent photo of our galaxy's black hole made me cry today. Beautiful.
  • DwayneDwayne New York City
    Posts: 2,617
    @DarthDimi I still remember the huge excitement when the first ever photo of a black hole was released back in 2019. My understanding, is that while this black hole is much closer to home, it is also significantly smaller. Thus, harder to image.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2022/05/12/science/black-hole-photo.html
    12blackhole-new-superJumbo-v3.jpg?quality=75&auto=webp
    So that is where my missing socks are!!! :))
  • ThunderfingerThunderfinger Das Boot Hill
    Posts: 45,489
  • RichardTheBruceRichardTheBruce I'm motivated by my Duty.
    Posts: 12,978
    If you can't trust a Swiss banker's implanted chip, what's the world come to.
  • ThunderfingerThunderfinger Das Boot Hill
    Posts: 45,489
  • ThunderfingerThunderfinger Das Boot Hill
    Posts: 45,489
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