Loading Notifications...

Pandora's Star comes true

Please Register as a New User in order to reply to this topic.
 wercat 22:08 Tue

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-53235909

worrying if it were for the same reason as the story ...

Report
 greg_may_ 08:52 Wed
In reply to wercat:

What an excellent book that was. Must re-read that. 

Report
 Lankyman 09:02 Wed
In reply to wercat:

I haven't read sci-fi for many years but it may be the original source of an idea floating around in my head that could be an explanation? That is that the star has been enclosed completely by an artificial shell, presumably to harvest the virtually limitless energy available. Obviously, it would take a much greater degree of technology than we are capable of. We need to take steps now to counter the obvious threat that this implies. 75 million light years isn't that far away in the grand scheme of things.

Report
 Tom V 09:15 Wed
In reply to Lankyman:

More likely that some space gypsies have stolen it and weighed it in.

Report
 Lankyman 11:24 Wed
In reply to Tom V:

> More likely that some space gypsies have stolen it and weighed it in.


That's a very species-ist slur! I shall report you to the Federation just in case there happen to be any flamenco strumming earring-bedecked space farers out there.

Report
In reply to wercat:

that's no blue straggler...

Report
 Ridge 13:15 Wed
In reply to Lankyman

> I haven't read sci-fi for many years but it may be the original source of an idea floating around in my head that could be an explanation? That is that the star has been enclosed completely by an artificial shell, presumably to harvest the virtually limitless energy available. 

Dyson spheres?

Report
 Tom V 13:31 Wed
In reply to Lankyman:

From your description I think we're talking about a different species altogether,

Report
In reply to wercat:

Can you please explain the Pandora reference for the benefit of thickies like me?

Report
 wercat 16:24 Wed
In reply to graeme jackson:

A story by Peter F Hamilton in which the first human knowledge of a solar system in which lives a terrifying single entity distributed among many bodies and which cannot tolerate the idea of sharing the cosmos with any other living thing (which is why it is the sole survivor of its own species) comes with astronomers seing the star disappear from many light years away.

The results are devastating to say the least.

I liked it because of all the references to Rutland towns and villages.  One of his books "A Quantum murder" is set in Launde Abbey where I spent a weekend in a confirmation retreat when I was 13 or so.

Post edited at 16:27
Report
In reply to wercat:

> A story by Peter F Hamilton

Does it feature a passage of badly written fantasy sex involving a ludicrously beautiful human woman? I heard that that is a signature of Hamilton....

Report
 Le Sapeur 18:01 Wed
In reply to Blue Straggler:

Someone's been telling you porkies.

Report
In reply to Le Sapeur:

> Someone's been telling you porkies.

I was handed one of his books to have a quick look at once, I forget which one. Within 4 minutes I'd located the "badly written sex" bit without having been told (rightly or wrongly) whether it was a "thing". The book just looked like it would have some. 

(it took us less than a minute, by the way, to find the bad sex passage in Tom Conti's novel)

Report
 Lankyman 23:04 Wed
In reply to Ridge:

> In reply to Lankyman

> Dyson spheres?


Aren't they vacuum cleaners?

Report
In reply to Lankyman:

> Aren't they vacuum cleaners?

That’s a Dyson cylinder not a Dyson sphere.

Report
In reply to Ridge:

> Dyson spheres?

Unlikely.  Such a megastructure uses the solar light it catches, it doesn’t destroy it.  After it’s used it it has to get rid of it; almost certainly as rejected waste heat.  Ergo it must radiate the same energy that it receives from the star [*].  As the surface area of the Dyson sphere is much larger than that of that of the star, the surface will be much cooler and will largely radiate in the infra red leaving a very clear (to a telescope) signature that screams “I’m a Dyson sphere”.

[*] some small fraction of the energy may be converted to mass instead of ultimately becoming waste heat, depending on what they’re doing with it.

Report
 d_b 23:31 Wed
In reply to wintertree:

Nicoll Dyson beams are the way to go. Why bother to build something that size if you can't use it as a long range solar barbecue?

Report
In reply to d_b:

As an inversion system any sort of laser is strictly limited to a maximum efficiency of 50%.

I suppose you could capture the waste heat with a bigger Dyson sphere and turn 50% (max) of that to a laser and so on.  But each time your thermal radiation is getting colder and longer wavelength putting a bigger gap between it and your laser, that’s not going to help efficiency...

Report
 d_b 23:44 Wed
In reply to wintertree:

I believe the original Dyson sphere concept was more of an amorphous cloud of satellites that ended up capturing all the energy rather than any kind of rigid structure. Extra layers are easy.

The solid type scratches the SF readers big dumb object itch and looks better on TV though.

Similarly I think the n-d beam concept was more a giant phased array emitter distributed among millions of sats but again a giant laser looks better.

Post edited at 23:47
Report
In reply to d_b:

Phased array or not you’re stuck at theoretical max efficiency of 50%.  Waste heat abounds.

Report
 Ridge 06:30 Thu
In reply to wintertree:

> Waste heat abounds.

Would 125mm of Kingspan over each sphere help?

Post edited at 06:31
Report
 d_b 07:20 Thu
In reply to wintertree:

I don't disagree with that part. We should be able to spot them easily enough if they exist. 

Report
 d_b 07:47 Thu
In reply to Ridge:

One of the things I did during lockdown is play too much Stellaris. Thy Dyson spheres in that do look suspiciously like footballs made of kingspan.

Report
In reply to Ridge:

> Would 125mm of Kingspan over each sphere help?

Let’s just say the polyeurothane foam business would go out on a high...

Report
 wercat 13:39 Thu
In reply to Blue Straggler:

yes, lots of rather verbose prose describing the worlds of the Commonwealth and lots of bad sex with strange views on male female attitudes to each other.

Still like the story though and the space opera

Report
 d_b 21:49 Thu
In reply to wercat:

Does it have an absurdly drawn out deus ex machina ending? I swore off Peter F Hamilton after having my time wasted by the nights dawn books. Managed to force myself to the end but 50 pages of plot threads I had forgotten about 2 volumes ago being resolved by magic was too much. Never again!

Report
 d_b 17:44 Fri

Please Register as a New User in order to reply to this topic.