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View Diary: The Most Misunderstood Concepts in Space Science (413 comments)

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  •  We can retcon that the windows were (16+ / 0-)

    actually computer screens that greatly magnified things for aesthetic value.  Although they never showed anyone giving commands to the windows - they were probably fixed on certain settings because they had to be shared among everyone.

    Actually, there was an episode of Voyager that had some of the best depictions of real space I've ever seen in a Trek series: Night (S05E01).  They played it as a gimmick, like the ship is in a particularly empty region of space, and it's driving them nuts that they see nothing but black out the windows.  Except that's a lot more like real space than the blue and purple cloud space that gets shown on TV so often.

    Pour yourself into the future.

    by Troubadour on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 05:16:27 PM PST

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    •  I remember that episode! Excellent diary BTW, (8+ / 0-)

      and truly appreciate the understandable explanations behind all you shared.

      Father Time remains undefeated.

      by jwinIL14 on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 05:33:20 PM PST

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    •  Actually, not being a trekkie ... (13+ / 0-)

      ... I always assumed the screen on the bridge was an enhanced computer simulation of whatever was going on within X number of light years of the ship. Otherwise, how would they manage to change viewing angles and magnification instantaneously, as often happened in the show?

      Stands to reason, then, that all the windows on the ship were similar simulations coordinated by the computer to keep the ship's inhabitants from going batty after years of cruising around in blackness.


      "God is an ever-receding pocket of scientific ignorance" - Neil deGrasse Tyson

      by dzog on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 05:43:05 PM PST

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    •  Or maybe the window material acts as an atmosphere (5+ / 0-)

      enhancer. So to speak. The stars we see are not magnified but we see the light from them illuminating our atmosphere.  

      It must be that transparent aluminum they developed.

    •  The series Firefly was actually really good (9+ / 0-)

      about the silence of vacuum. They made a point of it. And they even had a bit in one episode where they had to rig a suit for a gun so there would be oxygen to fire bullets.

      OTOH, their propulsion, ship's gravity, the ships going back & forth from space to atmosphere and terraforming were total nonsense. But it was fun. ;-)

      And thanks so much for explaining #4, I was messing that up. :-)

      Information is abundant, wisdom is scarce. The Druid

      by FarWestGirl on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 07:37:21 PM PST

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      •  Oxygen to fire a gun. (6+ / 0-)

        The propellant in a say pistol cartridge is gunpowder or its modern day equivalent.  It does not need an atmosphere to burn as it is an exothermic chemical reaction that produces an expanding gas, forcing the bullet along the barrel.  It burns because there is a fuel and oxidant present in the cartridge.  This is also why on the program Mythbusters they were able to fire several types of firearms, including a 9mm pistol and a rifle with the weapon completely submerged.  

        Funnily enough the spacesuited pistol was wrong, but in Serenity, the mounting of I think a 40mm cannon on top of the ship, outside, fired by a spacesuited crewmember was in fact perfectly correct. Provided some form of heating was arranged to prevent lubricants and hydraulic fluids involved in the proper functioning of the weapon from freezing.

        Viewscreens on the Enterprise and Voyager were just that.  Screens that displayed an enhanced image of what was outside.  Direct vision ports such as 10-Forward would be useful/interesting whilst in orbit around planets.  Voyager in particular tried at least in part to steer a course between reality and dramatic licence, ships dodging about were generally in the debris fields of Borg or other ships that had been destroyed, or travelling through the rings of gas giants to produce the foreign object density required for dramatic effect.  And the featureless inky blackness of space would make for terrible T.V. entertainment.

        In all of the world's problems religion has never been the solution

        by Tailgunner30uk on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 01:27:45 AM PST

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