I am working on a roleplaying campaign guide set inside a Dyson Sphere. It's a solid shell around a star like our own and is 300 million kilometers across centered on the star. The atmosphere hugs the inside of the shell and is several thousand kilometers thick.
I am really trying to wrap my head around what the average person standing on the inside surface would see if he looked up. Anywhere he stands the star is as bright as our own but there is a night period when the light from the star dims down to about the brightness of our full moon.
I can't quite figure out how the atmosphere would affect looking across to a distant point elsewhere on the shell surface. I get as far as imagining the surface sweeping away and up in all directions and that the sun would block your sight looking straight up and around its blazing orb.
I hope this question isn't too off-the-wall, it's about as hard to describe as it is to imagine.
To Mark Beadles, thanks for the comment, but since I designed this one, I set it so there is a constant 1G gravitational force pulling people to the inside surface of the dyson. The gravity stays constant all the way out to the outer layer of the sphere, there are 5 or 6 "layers" that make up the sphere itself. The gravity extends up to about 40,000 km above the inside surface.
Dungarth, to put it simply, living on the outside of a planet or sphere is stupid. If it's "designed" intelligently, all your protection from stuff like asteroids, gamma bursts, supernovae, etc, is in putting a tough barrier between yourself and the cold harsh universe. Of course, a LONG time has passed since people started moving in, and advanced as it is, strange things can happen over time to even the best machines.
So for those nice enough to drop comments on me, the sphere I am envisioning in is designed using tech that we haven't come up with yet. It compensates for many of the weaknesses seen in a solid shell in order to provide a safe living envronment for its residents, for whatever alien agenda the builders were following.