Hot answers tagged

89

Let's figure out how much time dilation they might have experienced. To begin with, we need the mass of the black hole. Generously assuming it's Sagittarius A* and not some other (most likely smaller) black hole, we have about 4 million solar masses to play with. That gives us a Schwarzschild radius of about 10 million kilometers. This is the radius of ...


68

Star Trek does not represent nebulae at all accurately. Real nebulae are nowhere near that dense - they'd constitute a hard vacuum by our standards. They're also big, typically hundreds of light-years across. As far as I know, there's no canon reason why any of the scenes in Star Wars couldn't have been set near planets that are located inside a nebula, ...


65

This is explained in the novel 2010: Odyssey Two. Jupiter's mass hasn't changed. It follows that there's no need to reconfigure the solar system to accommodate it: Do you have any idea what happened?’ ‘Only that Jupiter’s turned into a sun.’ ‘I always thought it was much too small for that. Didn’t someone once call Jupiter “the sun that failed”?’ ‘...


53

That would be "Nightfall" by Isaac Asimov (publication history). Their planet has multiple suns, and because of the complex interactions between them, they've only recently discovered the "Theory of Universal Gravitation". Since then, they've been able to calculate that an eclipse occurs every two thousand and forty-nine years. That is the only time when it ...


51

They can. Firefly and Serenity DVDs are on the ISS I don't know if they have actually been watched by people living on the ISS, but those photos are legit. The pictured astronaut, Steve Swanson, brought the DVDs with him to the ISS in June 2007 and they were added to the ISS library when he left. As for the story behind the pictures, there were some ...


49

1930: The Black Star Passes, a novella by John W. Campbell, Jr. in his Arcot, Morey and Wade series, first published in Amazing Stories Quarterly, Fall 1930, available at the Internet Archive. (The Project Gutenberg etext of The Black Star Passes is useless for our purposes, as it was transcribed from the 1965 Ace edition, which is not identical with the ...


40

This could be the novel, Revelation Space, by Alastair Reynolds, published in 2000. It features a disease called the "Melding Plague" which causes nano-machines to go haywire. Many humans use nano-machines to augment themselves, and the Melding Plague causes them to be fused with their augments and then other nearby technology. The captain you mention could ...


36

This is almost certainly Yoko Tsuno, a franco-belgian comic series that features a young female electronics engineer from Japan. A Google image search shows many comic covers that I think match your description. Yoko Tsuno first meets Vic and Pol when they catch her trying to break into a laboratory in Le Trio de l'étrange. The moment the men confront her,...


36

This sounds a lot like Sucker Bait, a short story by Isaac Asimov. It deals with a scientific expedition to colonize a world called "Junior" - a previous attempt to colonize the planet had mysteriously failed. As you remember, the scientists were tightly specialized and did not share their findings. One member of the crew was not a scientist, but instead ...


35

I meant to suggest that Ilmatar has been visited before, presumably by some spacefaring civilization unknown to either humans or Sholen. But if the story you make up in your head is better than mine, then go with that one!


35

"The Reality Dysfunction" by Peter F. Hamilton. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Reality_Dysfunction The alive spaceships match the Edenists and their living starships "voidhawks". Most of your other details match too. Edit: TRD was the first book of the "Night's Dawn" trilogy.


34

This is Iain M Banks' short story Descendant, published in his collection The State of the Art.


31

OK, enough with the comments, let's forge an answer. ;-) Quill's nature and equipment left aside, the vacuum of space is not as immediately lethal as you might expect. You will not "explode". However, you will experience (severe) swelling. You will not be shock-frosted, like you would when diving into a pool of liquid nitrogen. The vacuum itself acts as an ...


31

This corresponds to both Gateway (La Grande Porte in French), by Frederik Pohl (1977, winner of the Hugo and Nebula awards, as well as its first sequel, Beyond the Blue Event Horizon (1980). These are the first two books of Pohl's longer Heechee Saga. You say that you only read the first book, so it may be that the French edition you read had some ...


30

That sounds like The Stars My Destination by Alfred Bester (1956): "man lives in space for months/years, ignored by the company he worked for and never rescued." [Foyle] is marooned in space when the ship is attacked and he alone survives. After six months of waiting for rescue, a passing spaceship, the Vorga, also owned by the powerful Presteign ...


30

Most of the shots within Star Wars are taken next to planets. Whereas far more action within Star Trek happens in deep space. Nebulas do not tend to appear next to planets, or within planetary systems, they do happen in deep space however. It is merely due to the settings. Star Wars has a higher percentage of asteroid fields due to this same planetary ...


27

I meant catastrophic in the sense that the orbits would be thrown into chaos. Everything would want to orbit both the sun and the new star No, they wouldn't. Planets orbit a star because the star is much bigger, not because it is a star. Replace our sun with 2^30 kg of caramel pudding and absolutely nothing will change (other than getting colder). Jupiter ...


26

This very definitely sounds like an adaptation of the Ray Bradbury story The Third Expedition (also published as Mars Is Heaven) from The Martian Chronicles. However I was unable to find a matching movie in IMDB.


26

This is Off Armageddon Reef by David Weber, first book of the Safehold series. Humanity pushed its way to the stars - and encountered the Gbaba, a ruthless alien race that nearly wiped us out. Earth and her colonies are now smoldering ruins, and the few survivors have fled to distant, Earth-like Safehold, to try to rebuild. But the Gbaba can ...


26

The reason why your map makes it look like the Federation is split in two is because you're viewing a single slice of a three dimensional object. Although the charts seen in the Star Trek EU are notoriously inconsistent, the large map below (from "Star Trek Maps") should give you an indication of what the region looks like on the same scale, but seen from a ...


26

Strikebreaker by Isaac Asimov The world in question is Elsevere, an extrasolar planetoid a hundred miles in diameter which is home to an insular, idiosyncratic human colony of thirty thousand people, who have inhabited the planet in all three dimensions. A rigid caste system has developed, with each occupation being confined to a particular set of ...


26

Sucker Bait by Isaac Asimov. I read it the anthology The Martian Way and other stories, but it has been widely collected. As you say a team are exploring a planet that seems too perfect to be true. The boy, Mark Annuncio, discovers that it is contaminated with beryllium dust and this destroys human lungs dooming the explorers. The penultimate chapter ends ...


25

This is Factoring Humanity by Robert J. Sawyer, published in 1998. Goodreads description: In the near future, a signal is detected coming from the Alpha Centauri system. Mysterious, unintelligible data streams in for ten years. Heather Davis, a professor in the University of Toronto psychology department, has devoted her career to deciphering the message....


24

I will confine my answer to Star Wars, as you are using that tag, and the question would be too broad if applied to Science Fiction at large. Ships in Star Wars are not firing actual lasers, they are firing blasters: Lucasfilm defines the blaster as "ranged energized particle weaponry". This indicates that a blaster is emitting physical matter. Turning ...


24

Just to outline the current canon uses Disney canon: Rebels: Season 2: Ep 12 - Legends of the Lasat depicts an impenetrable space cloud / nebula Pictured here: Clone Wars: Season 1: Ep 3 - Shadow of Malevolence depicts the Kalidda Nebula Pictured here: Tarkin (novel) Tarkin recalls a lesson taught to him when he was a young man You make use of ...


24

Why doesn't the modern navy make more of its ships amphibious? @Varlock hit the nail on the head. Making a ship amphibious isn't just a matter of putting wheels on it. It also must be able to not collapse under its own weight when on land. Large ships are basically cradled by the water and risk structural damage if put on land, especially fully loaded. ...


23

Could this be the low-budget B-movie "Star Wars"? In a scene near the start, several people on a spaceship are attacked by a large cyborg. Several of the crew then use an escape pod.


23

This is likely The Status Civilization by Robert Sheckley (Wikipedia link) On first arriving our hero learns of his initial status in a lecture delivered to the whole group (emphasis added): "The first thing you new men should understand," the Quaestor said, "is just exactly what you are. That's very important. And I'll tell you what you are. You're ...


22

Could this be The Starlost? The series first aired in 1973, written by none other than Harlan Ellison and produced in Canada. The show was plagued by production issues throughout development, including the total failure of a newly devised filming technique 'magicam'. I'm currently struggling to find whether it was repeated much in the 80s, but this sounds ...


21

TL;DR: Yes, spacesuits - also known as environment suits, enviro-suits, pressure suits, vac suits, vacc suits, and EVA suits - appear in some Star Wars media; they seem to be more common in Legends than Canon. Some characters' normal gear can serve as a spacesuit for a short time - e.g., Vader's suit in the novel The Journey to The Force Awakens: ...


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