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bear by san

March 2017

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phil ochs troubador

My dad, stwish, is looking for worldbuilding/orbital mechanics/astrophysics help for an SF novel and is willing to barter home-made musical instruments for scientist time.

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Shoot. Now I wish I'd kept contact with an acquaintance who's (truly) a rocket scientist. She likely would have jumped on this.
Sending it on to my father (who has a PhD in astronomy, and taught it for years) and brother (who has a chance of convincing him to look at it).
Alas, unable to help with this (Although if anybody ever needs medieval/early modern European worldbuilding, I'll be over in the corner poking at rude Protestant woodcuts and even ruder poetry about the Duke of Buckingham.....)

*reads "an SF novel" and has a) confusion until realizing it should be read aloud as "an ess-eff novel", b) aural flashbackery to the "then shall the lame man leap as an hart" bit from Handel's "Messiah"*
Ooh! ::is a planetary scientist grad student::
... Small world.

I'm part of an 'Ask an Astronomer' site, and I just got an email that looked a lot like this in my weekly batch. The questions themselves looked familiar, and judging from the email address and your dad's domain name, I think it might be from him. So, I was already going to help, it seems.
And now you can get a bribe... Thanks.. small world
woot!
I might have to wait until Monday, when I can check some of my notes in office -- I haven't done planetary atmospheres in a while.
there is a chance for some small money, and, of course credit if i ever get published.. (cue hollow laughter)
My friend steuard is a physicist (PhD in string theory from UChi), and he's helped me out with some physics stuff, unrelated to string theory, even. (My physics-fu is weak.)

Also, little_details is full of people who know a lot of random stuff.
Alas! I do not know Joe. (And being a Yankee, am hesitant to volunteer people I do know, which is why I figured an open call was safest.)
Aha!
I would be affeared.
He's also a teeny tiny bit awe-inspiring, and we may be a little abashed before his greatness.

I'm just saying.
I will write later. I did buy "Forever War" at one time
Email away, although maybe those of us offering help should be joining forces (everyone else posted while I was writing :) )
He might like to get in touch with towerofchaos. Say I sent him -- toc is a good friend and is very helpful with such things.
What i need is some way to have a few billion km2 of atmosphere, as deep as possible with earth human tolerable condtions at the top and unknown "here be dragons" below, no solid land in sight. the rest is negotiable. Yes, i am trying to out-Ringworld Ringworld ... with dragons. Sentient jelly fish. Aware floating reefs.. Carl Sagan had a little bit about Jovian life, that has stayed with me for all these years.. Jellyfish the size of Alaska or something.
If I knew anything about astrophysics, I'd jump right in -- those are BEAUTIFUL instruments!

Alas, the only reason I passed my Physics of Music class was a steady infusion of extra credit.
My husband is a professor of theoretical astrophysics and works on the NASA Astrobiology institute grant at our university.

I read your post and he said, "YES!!"

great.. I have one response, the hard part is an oxygen atmosphere. So i guess my planet would have to be a failed star of at least one solar mass that lost 75% of its light elements somehow.

That would be big enough.

But that would mean that it would get hotter as one went down towards the core.

I think that's doable, our hero would not have to go too far down to have a huge volume to play around in.

I guess i need to reread "The Smoke Ring" to see how Niven explains an oxygen atmosphere. I think that was a weak point..

But people can breath heliox helium and oxygen. If i had a critter that ate methane and pooped asphalt...;-)...