Eyeball Planets

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Offline ORtrail

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Eyeball Planets
« on: May 28, 2018, 02:02:23 PM »
I read this interesting article about eyeball planets being the easiest to spot from Earth (pun intended), as planets orbit closer to their sun are easier to find.  Once you have FTL ships, that won't really matter so much, but it does make you think there would be a list of probable eyeball planets that some would want to explore as soon as they could manage FTL. 

http://nautil.us/blog/forget-earth_likewell-first-find-aliens-on-eyeball-planets

The article also touches on what conditions would be like on such a planet ("the most romantic place in the Universe") and I came away understanding what colonists would be facing. 

Mapping the planet though?  If you have a copy of the old SPI Universe RPG, there are some nice World Log templates.  Or a blown up version of the Continent Map from the FTL: 2448 (TTS 2001) book would work.  It will make for an interesting looking planet no matter how you map it.  Of course, if you have a way you like to map planets and want to share, feel free to do so. 

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Offline Kedamono

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Re: Eyeball Planets
« Reply #1 on: May 28, 2018, 05:46:45 PM »
There's a lot of speculation of what a tidally locked world would look like. They range from these "eye-ball" planets to something that looks more normal, just frozen on one side. Frenner II is one of those that has large oceans, plate tectonics, and good circulation. Yes, CO2 probably freezes on the midnight side, but not for long.

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Offline ORtrail

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Re: Eyeball Planets
« Reply #2 on: May 31, 2018, 11:27:12 AM »
An eyeball planet would seem perfect for solar power, as dependable as you could get really.  I doubt cloud cover survives near the substellar point, so you set up a bunch of salt solar energy farms.  The construction work would be dangerous and someone has to maintain it (maybe a couple humans and robot workers) plus bring in equipment/materials/food/water/medicine as needed. 

Maybe you could have a solar parasite infestation?  A crew gets sent in to kill off the pests as they are absorbing too much of the energy, or grow huge solar wings that could eventually block the sunlight (like algae in water). 

The extra energy is sold off in crystal batteries, each one capable of powering a small colony for a year or so.  Contracts have been signed, demand is high, and management will not accept any excuses for missed production numbers.   

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Offline Kedamono

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Re: Eyeball Planets
« Reply #3 on: June 28, 2018, 07:08:49 PM »
There's an interesting article on Red Dwarf stars and their planets.
https://www.tor.com/2018/06/25/how-scifi-can-solve-the-problem-of-red-dwarf-stars/

Seems that it's possible for a planet to have a 3:2 resonant orbit around it's star, meaning it doesn't have a permanent night side or day side.

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Offline ORtrail

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Re: Eyeball Planets
« Reply #4 on: June 29, 2018, 04:46:06 PM »
I like the idea of  a double planet orbiting a red dwarf, even if that would be rare (like 1 in a million solar systems still gets you 400,000 double planet systems). 

A partially terraformed planet would be cool too. Maybe the ancient aliens installed an artificial magnetic field and a cloud of orbital mirrors to block light at times on the sunny side and create a day period on the back side of the planet.  It would be a sweet find for some colonists, but then things start to break down, or the original aliens return.  Or both.  Or an automated work crew shows up for a routine inspection and maintenance call.