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greenfeather
2006-Aug-16, 11:36 PM
I just finished re-reading Arthur C. Clarke's 2010--an old favorite of mine. If anyone else has read it, I'd like to mention a few questions. First... and this bothered me even back when I read it the first time... if you could make Jupiter into a sun... wouldn't that have major effects on Earth's climate?

Also...the Black Monoliths are trying to save Europan life by making Jupiter into a sun. Pretty dumb if you ask me. All the Jupiter life is instantly exterminated, for one thing. How did these aliens decide that Europa was worth saving, and Jupiter wasn't? Also...I don't think their scheme would work, because if Europa has no atmosphere, its thick ice is the only thing standing between the ocean and hard vacuum. Once the ice starts melting, isn't the ocean going to boil off into space?

If the warming process takes millions/billions of years, would the oxygen in the ice form an atmosphere on Europa? Or is Europa too small to hold an atmosphere?

But it doesn't take billions of years in this book: Jupiter becomes a sun in a few minutes. So the melting of Europa's ice will be catastrophically quick. Those monoliths are pretty clumsy about their astro-engineering if you ask me. Wouldn't it be simpler to just move Europa into a warmer orbit? like right near Earth for instance?

How would you move a planet?

What would be the ramifications of sticking a planet next to Earth (well, not too near or the gravity would suck the 2 planets into each other.)

WaxRubiks
2006-Aug-16, 11:41 PM
I would have though that if you could get Jupiter to ignite it would just go out again if it wasn't for the monoliths.

greenfeather
2006-Aug-17, 11:42 AM
I would have though that if you could get Jupiter to ignite it would just go out again if it wasn't for the monoliths.

I think the monoliths converted Jupiter's gases into heavier elements, causing them to compress/implode the core.

Sleepy
2006-Aug-17, 03:50 PM
First... and this bothered me even back when I read it the first time... if you could make Jupiter into a sun... wouldn't that have major effects on Earth's climate?Youve got two variables: How much energy does the new sun output. And the changing distance between Jupitor and Earth (4 - 6AU)

The first is too much of an unknown cos of the application of handwavium (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Handwaving) physics. But if the new star outputs as much energy as the sun then earth would receive an extra 6% of energy at perijove however as Jupiter is ~1000 times less massive than the sun just how much energy would it put out if turned into a star?


What would be the ramifications of sticking a planet next to Earth (well, not too near or the gravity would suck the 2 planets into each other.)You could place it in one of the stable Lagrange (http://map.gsfc.nasa.gov/m_mm/ob_techorbit1.html) points L4 or L5

The Shade
2006-Aug-17, 04:52 PM
Also...the Black Monoliths are trying to save Europan life by making Jupiter into a sun. Pretty dumb if you ask me. All the Jupiter life is instantly exterminated, for one thing. How did these aliens decide that Europa was worth saving, and Jupiter wasn't?


The Monolith/Aliens sent the Dave Bowman Energy Being to both Jupiter & Europa in order to gauge his opinion of the evolutionary potential for intelligent development of both worlds' life. In Dave's opinion, the Jupiter gas cloud life forms were found to be an evolutionary dead end, while the Eupopan life forms showed much more potential. As one of the Monolith's functions is to give life a push in the right direction for intelligent development, it was therefore decided to sacrifice the Jupiter life forms so that Europan life could further develop & evolve.

Ilya
2006-Aug-17, 08:19 PM
Youve got two variables: How much energy does the new sun output. And the changing distance between Jupitor and Earth (4 - 6AU)

The first is too much of an unknown cos of the application of handwavium (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Handwaving) physics. But if the new star outputs as much energy as the sun then earth would receive an extra 6% of energy at perijove however as Jupiter is ~1000 times less massive than the sun just how much energy would it put out if turned into a star?

After Jupiter/Lucifer ignites, Europa gets about the same amount of heat Earth gets from the Sun. Europa is not much farther from Lucifer than Moon is from Earth. Hence Lucifer's energy output is MANY times smaller than Sun's. In Earth's sky it would be a blindingly bright star, but not enough to affect climate in any way.

Sleepy
2006-Aug-17, 08:28 PM
Well going by Ilyas post Lucifer would raise the energy reaching Earth by less than 0.00005% equivalent to an extra 0.00006 W/m2

greenfeather
2006-Aug-18, 01:57 AM
The Monolith/Aliens sent the Dave Bowman Energy Being to both Jupiter & Europa in order to gauge his opinion of the evolutionary potential for intelligent development of both worlds' life. In Dave's opinion, the Jupiter gas cloud life forms were found to be an evolutionary dead end, while the Eupopan life forms showed much more potential. As one of the Monolith's functions is to give life a push in the right direction for intelligent development, it was therefore decided to sacrifice the Jupiter life forms so that Europan life could further develop & evolve.

Yeah, I picked that up, but I wonder why Jupiter didn't rate while Europa did. In my opinion Jupiter has way more potential. It's much larger, has more varied sorts of "terrain" and it is a self sustaining world which can keep on going for billions of years all by itself without the interference of any meddling cosmic babysitters!

My understanding was that according to this novel, Europa was cooling off, that was why it was a "dead end". But what I'm reading about Europa now, doesn't say anything about it cooling off. It seems to imply that Europa can get along just fine with the internal heat from Jupiter's tidal forces. (mainly what I'm reading is LONELY PLANETS.)

greenfeather
2006-Aug-18, 01:58 AM
Well going by Ilyas post Lucifer would raise the energy reaching Earth by less than 0.001% equivalent to an extra 0.001 W/m2

Would "Lucifer" have any effect on Mars?

Maksutov
2006-Aug-18, 08:18 AM
Actually, Clarke's novel was an accurate prediction of what happened when Galileo plunged into Jupiter. The plutonium oxide in the RTGs set off a reaction in the planet's hydrogen atmosphere and it's now a star.

The only reason we don't know this is that it was covered up first by the Galileo probe, and then finally by a semi-opaque screen deployed by Cassini as it went by Jupiter, soon to be captured by the variable G of the Saturnian system.

BTW, the molten pieces falling off the Leonov's airbags in the movie aren't due to the model being in a 1 G gravitational field. Instead it's the effect of the Cassini screen deflecting and accelerating their paths from a normal trajectory.

Sleepy
2006-Aug-18, 09:31 AM
Would "Lucifer" have any effect on Mars?Nope. Lucifer would supply an extra 0.00007 W/m2 at closest approach on top of what it receives from the sun of 0.57 W/m2

MG1962A
2006-Aug-18, 10:15 AM
BTW, the molten pieces falling off the Leonov's airbags in the movie aren't due to the model being in a 1 G gravitational field. Instead it's the effect of the Cassini screen deflecting and accelerating their paths from a normal trajectory.


Excellent...Glad I wasn't the only one who noticed that

Disinfo Agent
2006-Aug-19, 12:55 PM
Also...the Black Monoliths are trying to save Europan life by making Jupiter into a sun. Pretty dumb if you ask me. All the Jupiter life is instantly exterminated, for one thing.Not dumb, but a tough choice to make.


Also...I don't think their scheme would work, because if Europa has no atmosphere, its thick ice is the only thing standing between the ocean and hard vacuum. Once the ice starts melting, isn't the ocean going to boil off into space?Some of it would, but much would melt and turn into an atmosphere.


But it doesn't take billions of years in this book: Jupiter becomes a sun in a few minutes. So the melting of Europa's ice will be catastrophically quick. Those monoliths are pretty clumsy about their astro-engineering if you ask me. Wouldn't it be simpler to just move Europa into a warmer orbit? like right near Earth for instance?I can see one problem with that: Europa does not have a magnetic field as powerful as Earth's to protect it from solar radiation. Besides, there could be technological limitations. Who says the monolith could move a whole planet?


Yeah, I picked that up, but I wonder why Jupiter didn't rate while Europa did.That is explained in the novel.


In my opinion Jupiter has way more potential. It's much larger, has more varied sorts of "terrain" and it is a self sustaining world which can keep on going for billions of years all by itself without the interference of any meddling cosmic babysitters!What kind of "terrain" are you talking about?


My understanding was that according to this novel, Europa was cooling off, that was why it was a "dead end".No, it was a dead end because its life was forever trapped under the ice. They would never be able to build steam engines, or planes, or rockets, and travel to the stars.

WaxRubiks
2006-Aug-19, 01:17 PM
I still think that the jupiter fusion reaction would stop pretty quickely, I mean Jupiter is tiny compared to the Sun.

Roy Batty
2006-Aug-20, 03:43 PM
Many stars are tinier than our sun. I'd expect the 'magic' monolith technology to be capable of bypassing the Hertzsprung-Russell main sequence :)

Romanus
2006-Aug-20, 04:17 PM
I haven't read the book in a while, nor have I read "3001" yet. But I'll answer two of your questions based on what I've gleaned from the "main" trilogy.

1.) Yes, the creation of Lucifer destroyed Jupiter's own life. The aliens responsible saw it as a justified sacrifice for the more advanced life on Europa. "Bowman" mentions this in "2061", when he wonders aloud if being less advanced was reason enough for destroying the Jovians.

2.) Lucifer would indeed vaporize most of Europa's ice, which the moon would have a hard time holding on to. Again, in 2061 the Europan atmosphere has no free oxygen, and the characters have to walk around on it with oxygen masks.

Kesh
2006-Aug-21, 01:33 PM
Yeah, I picked that up, but I wonder why Jupiter didn't rate while Europa did. In my opinion Jupiter has way more potential. It's much larger, has more varied sorts of "terrain" and it is a self sustaining world which can keep on going for billions of years all by itself without the interference of any meddling cosmic babysitters!

The trouble was that there is no solid surface on Jupiter.* That limits the manner in which those creatures can evolve in a stable manner. There was plenty of opportunity for evolution, but virtually no opportunity for intelligent life developing there.

On the other hand, with a push from Jupiter/Lucifer, there was a chance the life on Europa could reach a stage where tool use could lead to intelligence. Therefore, it was a better choice for the Monolith to destroy the life on Jupiter in order to advance the life on Europa.

* Not counting the core, where pressure was too high for any of the life forms to survive.

Certassar
2006-Aug-21, 03:54 PM
How would you move a planet?

In "A World out of Time" Larry Niven moves planets around in the solar system by pulling them gravitationally, using Neptune (IIRC). He placed some sort of rocket motor burning atmosphere gasses on Neptune, making it somewhat movable.

I don't know if it's possible, but it's worth a try. We could start by moving Venus a bit away from the Sun, and Mars a bit closer. Might make them more hospitable.

greenfeather
2006-Aug-22, 12:50 AM
In "A World out of Time" Larry Niven moves planets around in the solar system by pulling them gravitationally, using Neptune (IIRC). He placed some sort of rocket motor burning atmosphere gasses on Neptune, making it somewhat movable.

I don't know if it's possible, but it's worth a try. We could start by moving Venus a bit away from the Sun, and Mars a bit closer. Might make them more hospitable.

Well that was my thought about Europa... the Monoliths and their creator(s) seemed so mysterious and far beyond our understanding, that they were almost "magical". If they could make a gas giant into a star, I figure they could tow a planet toward the habitable zone.

Of course, they'd have to get thru that asteroid belt first.

greenfeather
2006-Aug-22, 02:39 AM
I haven't read the book in a while, nor have I read "3001" yet. But I'll answer two of your questions based on what I've gleaned from the "main" trilogy.

1.) Yes, the creation of Lucifer destroyed Jupiter's own life. The aliens responsible saw it as a justified sacrifice for the more advanced life on Europa. "Bowman" mentions this in "2061", when he wonders aloud if being less advanced was reason enough for destroying the Jovians.

2.) Lucifer would indeed vaporize most of Europa's ice, which the moon would have a hard time holding on to. Again, in 2061 the Europan atmosphere has no free oxygen, and the characters have to walk around on it with oxygen masks.


I've got 2061 ordered from Amazon (ahh, good old Amazon used books for 1 cent a piece, it is enabling me to re-build my SF library!!). Can't wait!

I forget if either planet actually had anything intelligent. If not, it's interesting to speculate how one ecosystem could have more potential than another. It was water-based creatures vs. atmospheric ones.

I do notice a sort of "fire chauvinism". As if developing fire, steam etc. are the only manifestations of intelligence.

If the ice boils off into space, what sort of atmosphere is Europa left with? Especially if Europa is smaller than Mars.

Or should I just wait till 2061 arrives in the mail to get all the answers....

publiusr
2006-Aug-24, 09:07 PM
I just love the ships
http://www.worldof2001.com

What the sleeper-ship should have looked like:
http://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/19770085619_1977085619.pdf

See pages 59 62-66, 79 (pdf pages that is)

Ronald Brak
2006-Aug-27, 04:01 AM
Stupid monolith. Why not just make a giant habitat out of a large asteroid and put Europan life in that? A lot easier than turning Jupiter into a star. Obviously the monolith wasn't good at cost/benefit analysis.

Chuck
2006-Aug-27, 04:51 AM
Maybe Walmart was running a special on monoliths that week.

Roy Batty
2006-Aug-27, 03:11 PM
Why did it have to kill off the Jovians to save the Europans?
Because it was a mono-life! :razz::shifty:

DaveC426913
2006-Aug-28, 01:14 AM
I do notice a sort of "fire chauvinism". As if developing fire, steam etc. are the only manifestations of intelligence.
Fire is seen as a major sign of intelligence because it frees its masters from having to be content with "found" materials. Fire is the beginning of a process of making stronger, lighter materials than nature can provide, and the beginning of a form of engineering beyond the mere shaping and moving of blocks of stone. There's no turning back.

greenfeather
2006-Aug-28, 10:15 AM
Why did it have to kill off the Jovians to save the Europans?
Because it was a mono-life! :razz::shifty:

How many monoliths does it take to change a lightbulb?

None... they'll just squish it till it turns into a mini-sun!

greenfeather
2006-Aug-28, 10:19 AM
Fire is seen as a major sign of intelligence because it frees its masters from having to be content with "found" materials. Fire is the beginning of a process of making stronger, lighter materials than nature can provide, and the beginning of a form of engineering beyond the mere shaping and moving of blocks of stone. There's no turning back.

Well yeah, but of course you have to have just the right mix of oxygen for fire... right?

I often wonder, just as a SF concept, what other sorts of things intelligent beings could do on worlds that didn't have that mix, or where fire wasn't possible for other reasons.

I like to think about an intelligence that could simply direct how its cells were going to divide and maybe otherwise consciously direct its growth and development. Beings like this might be shape changers or be able to control the formation of matter, which would be engineering of a different type.

I think in WEST OF EDEN, there were intelligent dinosaurs that could do this?

greenfeather
2006-Aug-29, 02:13 AM
Stupid monolith. Why not just make a giant habitat out of a large asteroid and put Europan life in that? A lot easier than turning Jupiter into a star. Obviously the monolith wasn't good at cost/benefit analysis.

And here's another question... what happened to Jupiter's gravity when it was turned into Lucifer? Could it still hold onto it's 63 or so moons? Which worlds was the Monolith talking about when it said "all these worlds are yours"? Maybe only Callisto and ganymede?

Doodler
2006-Aug-29, 10:01 PM
And here's another question... what happened to Jupiter's gravity when it was turned into Lucifer? Could it still hold onto it's 63 or so moons? Which worlds was the Monolith talking about when it said "all these worlds are yours"? Maybe only Callisto and ganymede?


Its mass never changes, its only compressed into a denser form. A 1 solar mass black hole in the center of this star system would have the exact same gravitational properties at planetary distances as the Sun.

Gravitational force is calculated from an object's center of mass, not its surface.

As far as how long it would last, I keep thinking back to the red dwarves, and their multitrillion year lifespans, despite their puny size, and wonder if Jupiter, being artificially triggered, would be able to maintain a lower level of energy conversion comparable to a red dwarf.

greenfeather
2006-Sep-08, 12:14 AM
How many monoliths does it take to change a lightbulb?

None... they'll just squish it till it turns into a mini-sun!

So I finally read 2061. I loved the sections about Europan life (bascially the reason I read it) but I was disappointed that the monolith didn't do anything when the humans trespassed against its big command (hands off Europa). Then the epilogue hints aht the friggin' thing is running out of power, broken or otherwise non-functional. Wait a sec--- objects that can turn planets into suns... just stopped working???? What the????

Disinfo Agent
2006-Sep-08, 12:03 PM
Yes, the first two books in the series are the best by far, I'm afraid (although 2061 still has some nice bits).

AstroSmurf
2006-Sep-08, 04:12 PM
How many monoliths does it take to change a lightbulb?
Depends on what you want them to change it into...

Ronald Brak
2006-Sep-08, 04:35 PM
Q. How many Dave Bowmans does it take to change a lightbulb?

A. None. He doesn't have to change it because, my god, it's full of stars.

Ronald Brak
2006-Sep-08, 04:45 PM
Q. How many Europans does it take to change a lightbulb?

A. None. That's the Monolith's job.


Q. Can HAL change a lightbulb?

A. No, because he burnt out the lightbulbs that were in storage, threw one into space and locked another in a pod without a spacehelmet.


Q. Can Arthur C. Clarke change a lightbulb?

A. Yes, but when you get to his age you really hope that a blown lightbulb is the reason why everything suddenly went dark.


Q. Why did the Monolith smash a lightbulb?

A. To give flurescent tubes a chance to evolve.


Q. How many giant space fetuses does it take to change a lightbulb?

A. I don't know, but soon after you see it the lights in the theatre come on.

Disinfo Agent
2006-Sep-08, 06:41 PM
:D You are wicked!

greenfeather
2006-Sep-09, 01:28 AM
Yes, the first two books in the series are the best by far, I'm afraid (although 2061 still has some nice bits).

How about 3001? Reviewers on Amazon trashed it, but I'm not looking for great literature & characterization, I just want to know what the monolith is up to.

greenfeather
2006-Sep-09, 01:29 AM
Q. How many Europans does it take to change a lightbulb?


Europans don't change lightbulbs... they lunge at them and eat them, because they are phototropic!

Disinfo Agent
2006-Sep-09, 11:28 AM
How about 3001? Reviewers on Amazon trashed it, but I'm not looking for great literature & characterization, I just want to know what the monolith is up to.I have my own opinion, which is not positive (I think it's the worst book in the series), but take this with a grain of salt. One thing I learnt from reading reader reviews online was that there are people with all sorts of different tastes. Some like 2001 the best, for others 2010 is the best, but, yes, there are also people whose favorite was 2061, and others who prefer 3001. I can't guess what will work for you. :)

Still, this remark of yours:


Then the epilogue hints aht the friggin' thing is running out of power, broken or otherwise non-functional. Wait a sec--- objects that can turn planets into suns... just stopped working???? What the????makes me think that 3001 may not be your cup of tea.

greenfeather
2006-Sep-10, 04:06 AM
I have my own opinion, which is not positive (I think it's the worst book in the series), but take this with a grain of salt. One thing I learnt from reading reader reviews online was that there are people with all sorts of different tastes. Some like 2001 the best, for others 2010 is the best, but, yes, there are also people whose favorite was 2061, and others who prefer 3001. I can't guess what will work for you. :)

Still, this remark of yours:

makes me think that 3001 may not be your cup of tea.

No, if it doesn't resolve the main premise of the series (that a super advanced intelligence is guiding evolution in the universe) then I won't like it. I'm not really all that interested in Dave Bowman & the other characters. I really don't read hard SF for the characterization. It's the ideas I'm interested in.

Disinfo Agent
2006-Sep-11, 02:04 PM
Did you ever read Frederik Pohl's "Gateway" series? It's got many similarities to Clarke's Odyssey tetralogy, but you get to meet the aliens... ;)

greenfeather
2006-Sep-11, 11:13 PM
Did you ever read Frederik Pohl's "Gateway" series? It's got many similarities to Clarke's Odyssey tetralogy, but you get to meet the aliens... ;)

Tell me a bit more & I'll look for it! I need to get up to speed on the best "somewhat hard" SF. (the kind with believable, interesting alien biology and not so much cornball Galactic Empire opera.)

Disinfo Agent
2006-Sep-12, 11:54 AM
On second thoughts, you might want to read Clarke's Rendezvous with Rama first, if you haven't already. The plot is simple: an alien spacecraft enters the solar system for the first time. It's great.

The Shade
2006-Sep-12, 09:44 PM
I'll echo Disinfo's recommendation, but skip the sequels. Let your own imagination dictate what the sequels should be.

greenfeather
2006-Sep-13, 11:08 AM
On second thoughts, you might want to read Clarke's Rendezvous with Rama first, if you haven't already. The plot is simple: an alien spacecraft enters the solar system for the first time. It's great.

I did read that, so long ago I forget what happened! But it seems a lot of alien fiction doesn't know what to do about really advanced aliens, so it makes them into "gods". Or else they've vanished the scene, also like "God".

I am reading Jack McDevitt's ENGINES OF GOD as an example. It is very hard to get into because he jumps from one disconnected scene to another. I am noticing in hard SF that there is a big gap between theme and writing ability.

Disinfo Agent
2006-Sep-13, 09:09 PM
Did you ever read Frederik Pohl's "Gateway" series? It's got many similarities to Clarke's Odyssey tetralogy, but you get to meet the aliens... ;)"Gateway" starts with a very similar premise to "Rendezvous with Rama", but adds a twist to it: the alien artifact contains spaceships which mankind uses to explore the galaxy. And the aliens are not gods... ;)

vorblesnak
2006-Sep-13, 11:13 PM
How about 3001? Reviewers on Amazon trashed it, but I'm not looking for great literature & characterization, I just want to know what the monolith is up to.

I found 3001 at a used book shop and bought it, having read the other three. I found it to be weak. No spoilers from me unless you want them but Bowman suggests the real power is a whole nuther reality beyond the monolith and that there is something beyond that. Bowman apologises for Jupiter, says it was a mistake.

Lucy is here!

David Davis
Toledo, OR 97391