1389: "Surface Area"

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Istaro
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1389: "Surface Area"

Postby Istaro » Wed Jul 02, 2014 4:36 am UTC

Image

Title text: "This isn't an informational illustration; this is a thing I think we should do. First, we'll need a gigantic spool of thread. Next, we'll need some kind of ... hmm, time to head to Seattle."

Huh. I must admit this makes Mars colonization efforts seem a little less important (not that the eggs-basket argument doesn't still hold). I mean look, we've already got a plurality of the solar system's solid surface area right here.

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Khrushy
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Re: 1389: "Surface Area"

Postby Khrushy » Wed Jul 02, 2014 4:40 am UTC

It puts the lotion on the . . . . planet?

I'm surprised the area of "All Human Skin" is so large actually. We could probably cover Cuba with that.
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Re: 1389: "Surface Area"

Postby rhomboidal » Wed Jul 02, 2014 4:41 am UTC

I can't wait for the Risk version: "Attacking Asteroids from Kamchatka!"

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Re: 1389: "Surface Area"

Postby Klear » Wed Jul 02, 2014 4:56 am UTC

So... anybody still thinks Pluto should be a planet? =P

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Re: 1389: "Surface Area"

Postby Sheikh al-Majaneen » Wed Jul 02, 2014 5:20 am UTC

Reminds me of a Charles Stross story, Missile Gap.

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Re: 1389: "Surface Area"

Postby Envelope Generator » Wed Jul 02, 2014 5:41 am UTC

What's the Seattle reference?
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Re: 1389: "Surface Area"

Postby silverkitty » Wed Jul 02, 2014 5:42 am UTC

I was with him on the "this is something we should do" aside until I zoomed in and saw "all human skin". now I'm leery of the stitching-surfaces-together project if only because I'm somewhat attached to my skin.

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ManaUser
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Re: 1389: "Surface Area"

Postby ManaUser » Wed Jul 02, 2014 6:07 am UTC

Envelope Generator wrote:What's the Seattle reference?

Well, what do you need to sew space together aside from space thread?

The Space Needle.

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Pfhorrest
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Re: 1389: "Surface Area"

Postby Pfhorrest » Wed Jul 02, 2014 6:22 am UTC

TIL Europa is not much larger than Europe.

Istaro wrote:Huh. I must admit this makes Mars colonization efforts seem a little less important (not that the eggs-basket argument doesn't still hold). I mean look, we've already got a plurality of the solar system's solid surface area right here.

Someone remind me again why colonizing Venus is totally out of the question? Yeah it's got the runaway greenhouse thing but at least it has an atmosphere and the right gravity and such; since we'd need to reprocess the atmosphere of any planet we wanted to settle, why can't we do Venus?
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Re: 1389: "Surface Area"

Postby chenille » Wed Jul 02, 2014 6:39 am UTC

This is a beautiful illustration. I wonder what fills the little space next to Triton?

Pfhorrest wrote:Someone remind me again why colonizing Venus is totally out of the question? Yeah it's got the runaway greenhouse thing but at least it has an atmosphere and the right gravity and such; since we'd need to reprocess the atmosphere of any planet we wanted to settle, why can't we do Venus?

If you make it to another planet, you've learned to survive having too little atmosphere. Having way too much atmosphere at a temperature that will melt all your heat sinks is a bigger challenge.

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jalohones
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Re: 1389: "Surface Area"

Postby jalohones » Wed Jul 02, 2014 6:40 am UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:Someone remind me again why colonizing Venus is totally out of the question? Yeah it's got the runaway greenhouse thing but at least it has an atmosphere and the right gravity and such; since we'd need to reprocess the atmosphere of any planet we wanted to settle, why can't we do Venus?


Surface temperature hotter than Mercury, massive surface pressure, sulfuric acid clouds ...

We've got a couple of hurdles to overcome. Not saying it's not possible, just that we can't do it yet.

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Re: 1389: "Surface Area"

Postby the interweb » Wed Jul 02, 2014 6:48 am UTC

Venus's atmosphere is nearly a hundred times thicker than Earth's, and because it's 96% Carbon Dioxide, the planet has a massive greenhouse effect. Can you think of a way to get rid of most of a planet's atmosphere to reduce the temperature enough so water stays liquid? Then there's the other 4% of Venus's atmosphere which contains some really nasty gasses like Sulfur Dioxide, Carbon Monoxide, Hydrogen Chloride and Hydrogen Flouride. How do we get rid of them?

Mars has a huge amount of carbon dioxide frozen in the ground. Melt that with nuclear reactors to release it, this warms the planet and increases atmospheric pressure enough to allow liquid water on the surface of Mars. Then you add plants to turn CO2 to Oxygen. Easy

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Re: 1389: "Surface Area"

Postby sixteenluckyhats » Wed Jul 02, 2014 6:48 am UTC

Russia is suspiciously close in size to Eris, the dwarf planet named after the goddess of discord. Also Europa is very close (within 1.2%) to the size to Africa, I'm sure someone can make a good joke about that.

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Re: 1389: "Surface Area"

Postby pduthie » Wed Jul 02, 2014 7:18 am UTC

ManaUser wrote:Well, what do you need to sew space together aside from space thread?


For my money, the single best alt-text we've had in a long time.
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Re: 1389: "Surface Area"

Postby Patteroast » Wed Jul 02, 2014 7:28 am UTC

Awesome. As an obsessive planetary astronomy nerd, I love this. My only concern is whether the Kuiper Belt has been included... the official dwarf planets are surprisingly large on this, and there are about a dozen similarly sized ones that are not yet official, and then well over a hundred smaller objects. Unless they've simply been put in with the asteroids or comets.

As for Mars colonization, keep in mind that there aren't oceans covering 70% of its surface. For dry land area we end up about equal. And the atmospheric pressure on Venus would definitely be the hardest part to deal with there.

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Re: 1389: "Surface Area"

Postby Istaro » Wed Jul 02, 2014 7:45 am UTC

Patteroast wrote:As for Mars colonization, keep in mind that there aren't oceans covering 70% of its surface. For dry land area we end up about equal.


Ah, right, thanks.

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Re: 1389: "Surface Area"

Postby ...m... » Wed Jul 02, 2014 7:46 am UTC

...i'd expect sedna to at least warrant an island offshore...

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Re: 1389: "Surface Area"

Postby Djehutynakht » Wed Jul 02, 2014 8:12 am UTC

pduthie wrote:
ManaUser wrote:Well, what do you need to sew space together aside from space thread?


For my money, the single best alt-text we've had in a long time.



And I just realized we're creating the space thread, as it were.

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Re: 1389: "Surface Area"

Postby nigenet » Wed Jul 02, 2014 8:36 am UTC

Klear wrote:So... anybody still thinks Pluto should be a planet? =P

Well, it seems to have a larger solid surface area than Jupiter... ;-)
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Antonius
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Re: 1389: "Surface Area"

Postby Antonius » Wed Jul 02, 2014 8:43 am UTC

Given how these things go, I'd totally expect a follow up on Friday.

Same map.

Everything labelled Netherlands and New Netherlands…

( What If's No's 53 and 54, for reference. (Need to reach 5 posts before I can post links. :) )

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Re: 1389: "Surface Area"

Postby Neil_Boekend » Wed Jul 02, 2014 8:51 am UTC

Djehutynakht wrote:
pduthie wrote:
ManaUser wrote:Well, what do you need to sew space together aside from space thread?


For my money, the single best alt-text we've had in a long time.



And I just realized we're creating the space thread, as it were.

Dunno if it is enough. Since space and time are so related to each other we might get away with using the Time thread. That should give us enough.
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Re: 1389: "Surface Area"

Postby orthogon » Wed Jul 02, 2014 9:05 am UTC

Neil_Boekend wrote:
Djehutynakht wrote:
pduthie wrote:
ManaUser wrote:Well, what do you need to sew space together aside from space thread?


For my money, the single best alt-text we've had in a long time.



And I just realized we're creating the space thread, as it were.

Dunno if it is enough. Since space and time are so related to each other we might get away with using the Time thread. That should give us enough.

There's also the Frequency thread.
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Re: 1389: "Surface Area"

Postby tomandlu » Wed Jul 02, 2014 9:27 am UTC

Do Jupiter and Saturn have no solid surface at all (or am I just going blind)?
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Re: 1389: "Surface Area"

Postby SLi » Wed Jul 02, 2014 9:32 am UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:TIL Europa is not much larger than Europe.


That's right, because Europa is not at all larger than Europe.

Europa surface area is 3.09e7 km^2. Europe surface area is 10.2e7 km^2. Therefore Europe is larger by a factor of 3.29.

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Re: 1389: "Surface Area"

Postby petz » Wed Jul 02, 2014 9:33 am UTC

tomandlu wrote:Do Jupiter and Saturn have no solid surface at all (or am I just going blind)?


You could consider them solid surface planets with extremely big atmosheres. I wonder how big their core is.

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Re: 1389: "Surface Area"

Postby nicanor5 » Wed Jul 02, 2014 9:42 am UTC

I don't know if Randall reads this forum, but I want to tell him, I love this great illustration. Keep up the good work that keeps me waiting for Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

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Re: 1389: "Surface Area"

Postby Xenomortis » Wed Jul 02, 2014 10:01 am UTC

tomandlu wrote:Do Jupiter and Saturn have no solid surface at all (or am I just going blind)?

Basically, no.
As you descend into Jupiter's atmosphere (or the other gas giants), the pressure keeps increasing. After a while, the gas surrounding you starts becoming more and more liquid like (and eventually you might hit some exotic ices).
Image

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Re: 1389: "Surface Area"

Postby rocketsocks » Wed Jul 02, 2014 10:51 am UTC

Can we convince Randall to do a mini-kickstarter to make a poster version of this with the surfaces of all the other bodies filled in with details?

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Re: 1389: "Surface Area"

Postby eboyce » Wed Jul 02, 2014 10:54 am UTC

ManaUser wrote:
Envelope Generator wrote:What's the Seattle reference?

Well, what do you need to sew space together aside from space thread?

The Space Needle.


Initially I thought it was a reference to legalized marijuana - you'd have to be completely stoned to even think about sewing the solar system together. Randall probably meant the Space Needle thing.

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Re: 1389: "Surface Area"

Postby rhuagh » Wed Jul 02, 2014 11:07 am UTC

silverkitty wrote:I was with him on the "this is something we should do" aside until I zoomed in and saw "all human skin". now I'm leery of the stitching-surfaces-together project if only because I'm somewhat attached to my skin.


Only somewhat? Are you wearing one of those skinsuits? ;-)

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Re: 1389: "Surface Area"

Postby eboyce » Wed Jul 02, 2014 11:12 am UTC

chenille wrote:This is a beautiful illustration. I wonder what fills the little space next to Triton?


I'm guessing Nereid, the third largest moon of Neptune.

The map groups planetary bodies by type, so the unlabelled space should match Triton or the 1km+ asteroids. Since the named asteroids are on the other side of the generic asteroid area, I'm going with a match to Triton, Neptune's largest moon.

The unlabelled space is about half the size of Miranda, and the moon Nereid has about half the surface area of Miranda.

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Re: 1389: "Surface Area"

Postby Diadem » Wed Jul 02, 2014 11:20 am UTC

SLi wrote:
Pfhorrest wrote:TIL Europa is not much larger than Europe.


That's right, because Europa is not at all larger than Europe.

Europa surface area is 3.09e7 km^2. Europe surface area is 10.2e7 km^2. Therefore Europe is larger by a factor of 3.29.

Europe's surface areas is 1.02e7. You're off by a factor 10. Europa is bigger than Europe.

(Incidentally the Dutch word for Europe is Europa, making the above statement even more confusing in Dutch).
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Re: 1389: "Surface Area"

Postby Ool » Wed Jul 02, 2014 11:24 am UTC

Once we start building free orbiting rotating space stations their combined inhabitable surface area is going to dwarf anything the planets and moons could provide by many orders of magnitude.

I mean, the surface to volume ratio on Earth is 2,000,000m³ for every 1m² of surface area. Even if you needed 1,000 cubic meters for a single square meter inside a space station that would be vastly more efficient. And you wouldn't need that much.

Eventually a gigantic cloud of space stations is going to surround the Sun and dim it out, capable of containing many trillions and quadrillions of people. (Assuming we don't technologically evolve into something different altogether.) Then it's going to be the neighboring stars. Whenever I see science fiction such as Star Trek I'm amused by the lack of imagination in these shows about what a real future of space travel and space habitation would result in.

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Re: 1389: "Surface Area"

Postby ramblinjd » Wed Jul 02, 2014 11:45 am UTC

silverkitty wrote:I was with him on the "this is something we should do" aside until I zoomed in and saw "all human skin". now I'm leery of the stitching-surfaces-together project if only because I'm somewhat attached to my skin.


My thoughts exactly - I was hoping someone else was worried by that.

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Re: 1389: "Surface Area"

Postby Blackfoot » Wed Jul 02, 2014 11:55 am UTC

What is the extra space around the Earth land area? Can't be the oceans, as this is solid surface only.

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Re: 1389: "Surface Area"

Postby eran_rathan » Wed Jul 02, 2014 12:10 pm UTC

@Phorrest - Regarding Venus, the upper atmo is pretty habitable - its just a matter of figuring out how to stay up there all the time (breathable air mixes are a lifting gas in Venus's atmo, so that helps).

Or, if we were going that route, bombardment of Venus with large amounts of water-ice comets and seeding it with extremophiles could terraform it to habitability with moderate effort (though granted, more effort than it would take to terraform Mars).
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Re: 1389: "Surface Area"

Postby cellocgw » Wed Jul 02, 2014 12:56 pm UTC

Amazing -- is it the summer heat or what? A whole page of comments and not one about Yo Mama (let alone the surface area covered by Uranus)?

I would have liked to see the surface area of the chrono-synclastic infandibulum in there, but sadly that's somewhat less than solid :oops:
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Re: 1389: "Surface Area"

Postby Dyolf_Knip » Wed Jul 02, 2014 12:58 pm UTC

Istaro wrote:Huh. I must admit this makes Mars colonization efforts seem a little less important (not that the eggs-basket argument doesn't still hold). I mean look, we've already got a plurality of the solar system's solid surface area right here.


I don't really understand the appeal of planet colonization myself. You go through an incredible amount of trouble to hoist yourself and your vehicle out of a gravity well, move it umpteen millions of miles... and then promptly drop it down another one, into an environment you can exercise only minimal control over? Nuts to that. You want to colonize space, then colonize space.

Now, if you were to redo this with the surface area of the asteroids after you've gone and honeycombed them out (something not really feasible with higher gravity larger bodies), I doubt you'd even be able to see the rest of the planets on the map.

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Re: 1389: "Surface Area"

Postby Whizbang » Wed Jul 02, 2014 1:14 pm UTC

If we're cracking open and rolling out planets to stitch them together, we suddenly get a lot more material to make surface area with. I mean, all we need is the mantle, right? Let the inner stuff cool, peel off the outer layer, lay it next to the others, rinse and repeat until you're out of planet. Viola, oodles of land to explore and conquer.

Unless we're not laying it flat, but instead creating a new planet with all the solid material of the solar system, in which case the sides of this map don't line up.

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Re: 1389: "Surface Area"

Postby suso » Wed Jul 02, 2014 1:23 pm UTC

rocketsocks wrote:Can we convince Randall to do a mini-kickstarter to make a poster version of this with the surfaces of all the other bodies filled in with details?


Soon to be on the walls of science classes everywhere.
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