Latest blog post: End of the chapter 5, and a short hiatus (2024-02-19)

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Shizamura (O Sarilho webcomic) (transfer from Disqus)

very easy to describe everything you don't know as "anomalous"

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Senior
Lord Eric (transfer from Disqus)

I wonder if that jar is human-built, or if it was taken from the ship and human stickers slapped on it.

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Darth_Biomech

It's a human one. Perhaps I went a little too far with the design. =D

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Lord Eric (transfer from Disqus)

There's an upper limit to how anomalous it can be, then, if you can store it in materials we can make (and transparent ones at that).

Is it just an unknown element or chemistry, or actual exotic matter?

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Darth_Biomech

Scientists are still on the fence about this one. It looks like it is made out of atoms, but it refuses to behave like atoms do.

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Lord Eric (transfer from Disqus)

Interesting. Our scientists, or their scientists?

Tangentially related, I had a ttrpg setting once where the deep lore was that fantastical metals like mythril and orichalcum did fall on the periodic table; they were particular isotopes of normal elements which attracted/manifested particles of magic, which radically changed their material properties.

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Stickman (transfer from Disqus)

Element Zero! The mass effect! And of course it’s magenta — the color that doesn’t physically exist and is our brain throwing an error.

Speaking of no analog on the periodic table. Scientists did spectrographic analysis on the suspected “dark matter ring” around a number of galaxies (you know, the theorized extra ring of invisible matter that allows galaxies to rotate at the speed they do, which is impossible with observed data). A scan of dozens of galaxies revealed spectral lines that are previously unknown! Exciting stuff.

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Randy_B (transfer from Disqus)

Dark matter is "dark" because it doesn't interact with electromagnetic energy. It doesn't absorb light (which would produce absorption lines in spectra) or emit light (which would produce emission lines in spectra). The spectrographic analysis of dark matter rings appears to be looking for photons (units of electromagnetic energy) that might be decay (annihilation, breakdown) products of dark matter, specifically high-energy gamma rays.

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Lord Eric (transfer from Disqus)

Nitpick: we think dark matter doesn't interact with electromagnetism. A few theories predict that it's just garden-variety dark.

Most of those still don't predict it to produce spectral lines, though, since they mostly talk about non-atomic, exotic forms of mass, like strangelets or tiny black holes.

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Lord Eric (transfer from Disqus)

collected samples of [a substance]

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Lord Eric (transfer from Disqus)

which [have] been only [theorized] to be possible

or if you prefer British spelling,
which [have] been only [theorised] to be possible

or even more alternately,
which [have] been only [theoretical or highly experimental]

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glenn (transfer from Disqus)

The Alien Technology he's talking about is a representation of their combined members knowledge so it exceeds that of each contributing race by some degree. And how much of that technology is secret even to the member race? Or too complex for many of the aliens to fully understand?

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Darth_Biomech
Or too complex for many of the aliens to fully understand?


Our earthly technology is already mostly too complex for non-specialists to know how it works. futuristic tech will be even worse.

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glenn (transfer from Disqus)

Yes. Exactly what I meant by that. "Everybody knows" what an integrated circuit is, but only a select few could make one for a specific purpose, or even use one without the associated hardware to just plug it in.

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Regular
Murphy (transfer from Disqus)

Ooh, this sounds like a fresh MacGuffin!
Makes me think of Elerium-115.

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Lord Eric (transfer from Disqus)

This is likely that "hephrene" that Zane mentioned detecting in Jupiter.

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glenn (transfer from Disqus)

They'll probably use whatever they can to push the feelings in the right direction.






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TRIVIA
If a spaceship accelerates at the same rate as it would in a free-fall under Earth's gravity (Otherwise known as "1G acceleration"), it can reach Jupiter from Earth in just under 6 days. It would need to flip in the middle of the travel, to start decelerating and enter the planet's orbit.