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brianok
2008-Aug-29, 02:28 PM
Let us suppose intelligent life evolved on a planet that was heavily clouded

They would probably be very slow at beginning space exploration: Perhaps never at all!

Never seeing stars in the sky nor perhaps even their sun.

Paul Beardsley
2008-Aug-29, 03:04 PM
I remember reading a John Gribbin book in which he claimed that an intelligent species living in those conditions could deduce the existence of the sun even if they couldn’t see it.

I love speculations about life on worlds with crucial differences from our own.

timb
2008-Aug-30, 03:47 AM
I remember reading a John Gribbin book in which he claimed that an intelligent species living in those conditions could deduce the existence of the sun even if they couldn’t see it.


once they had built aircraft that flew above the cloud layer it wouldn't be difficult to deduce. :-)

doma
2008-Aug-30, 04:06 AM
In the same train of thought, there are also stars within dark nebula / dust clouds. Perhaps they would only see their star and a few others. Without being able to see the other galaxies out there they would never conclude the universe was expanding.

Some wavelenghts would penetrate the dust ... and they would become aware of other stars beyond the ink blot, but perhaps not other galaxies.

Drunk Vegan
2008-Aug-30, 09:52 PM
From what I understand nebula are only impressive from a distance - if you were actually inside of one in a spaceship or on a planet you would not realize there was a nebula there, because it's just gas spread across billions of kilometers.

What about planets inside one of the universe's large "voids" that extend millions of light years in every direction with no galaxies?

Astronomy would not develop as a field until there were telescopes sensitive enough to detect galaxies at that distance - but why would they build telescopes like that when the evidence would suggest there was nothing that far away to be seen? The only objects visible would be their star and perhaps a moon.

And there would be no interest in space travel because stars are so few and far between in the local area as to make space travel impossible.