1. retardis

    retardis Member

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    Making navigation of blackholes possible

    Discussion in 'Science Fiction' started by retardis, May 3, 2021.

    It's really tempting to write about navigating black-holes and other space entities but there are numerous obstacles and those of black-holes are pretty obvious...
    For example, even if you don't get sucked in, you wouldn't be able to stay still on the horizon line because of the rotation speed and that's just one of many problems.
    If I write about a character doing this, they're definitely not coming back, so at this point I'm mostly concerned about the navigatiom experience.
    Do you avoid writing about these things entirely or find ways around it?
     
  2. NigeTheHat

    NigeTheHat Contributor Contributor

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    Personally I'd lean into it. If navigating by black holes is an option then your world probably already has a ton of stuff that is, as far as we know, impossible - so what's the harm in making up another bit of tech to make this work?
     
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  3. retardis

    retardis Member

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    That's the problem! Making up the tech. I need to somehow explain why the people who are close enough to the black-hole not getting sucked in without giving a lousy explanation. But again I know it is science FICTION, but sometimes it is hard to give a convincing explanation phenomena like this.
     
  4. John McNeil

    John McNeil Active Member

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    I have read loads of fantasy stories where people avoid whirlpools on their wooden ships. To get too close in that level of tech is not dissimilar to spaceships and blackholes (albeit in 3D). You either steer clear or you are taught the safe routes. The teachers are the ones that managed to plot safe routes, the ones that didn't... they don't teach anybody anything.
     
  5. Xoic

    Xoic Prognosticator of Arcana Ridiculosum Contributor Blogerator

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    Yo'u don't need to actually invent the technology before you can write it. If you figured it out to that level it wouldn't be science fiction, just science. How many stories have used wormhole portals already? I've read many.

    Just come up with the name of the technology and maybe a super-brief blurb explanation like "The completely unprecedented Ivanov Drive opened the universe to anyone who could afford to build one or buy one."

    I mean, when a family takes an outing in the country in a book you're reading, do you expect a technical description of the internal combustion engine? Maybe it's a patented trade secret, or just beyond the comprehension of anyone without a dozen physics doctorates.
     
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  6. retardis

    retardis Member

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    Honestly, you're absolutely right. I could get a bit obsessive trying to write about things like that.
     
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  7. Homer Potvin

    Homer Potvin A tombstone hand and a graveyard mind Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Kind of depends on WHY they would want to get close to a black hole in the first place. A black hole performs like any other stellar object of comparable mass. It doesn't "suck" things in any more than a star does, and in fact, you can get much closer to a black hole than you can a star because it's not a giant ball of nuclear fused plasma cooking everything before it can get close (though the radiation jets and any accretive matter streams from a black hole would probably fuck your day up if you passed through them). So as a reader I would want to know why the characters would feel the need to navigate close enough to the destructive powers of a black hole when they could likely accomplish the same navigational boost by staying far enough away.
     
  8. Thundair

    Thundair Contributor Contributor

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    I struggle with the Model A theory of space travel. That is traveling around in a tin can. That being said, if you can believe it can be done, then be the first to do it, and let the rest catch up. Meanwhile, I'll wait for the story that changes your being into an energy burst where you can go anywhere you want.
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2021
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  9. Xoic

    Xoic Prognosticator of Arcana Ridiculosum Contributor Blogerator

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    That sounds like portals (one method, another being standard teleportation devices). One method of portal transport is the wormhole, which is essentially a black hole connected to another one. This is based on theories of how black holes might actually work. But of course, if black holes are the only portals available, then you have to get yourself to one first, hence tin cans in space.
     
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  10. Robert Musil

    Robert Musil Comparativist Contributor

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    Unless you can build an artificial one in situ!
     
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  11. Xoic

    Xoic Prognosticator of Arcana Ridiculosum Contributor Blogerator

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    Well that's what I meant by building a teleportation machine.
     
  12. Naomasa298

    Naomasa298 HP: 10/190 Status: Confused Contributor

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    Some sort of Infinite Improbability Drive.
     
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  13. Xoic

    Xoic Prognosticator of Arcana Ridiculosum Contributor Blogerator

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    AKA an infinitely improbable drive.
     
  14. Maka

    Maka Member

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    I’m a sucker for details, so personally I try to get as much information as possible, but I also try to keep in mind what my perspective characters would know at the time. If I’m writing a spaceship engineer on a ship, they’ll probably know most of what’s going on. I don’t mind looking up things like the escape velocity before an event horizon but only if I felt I could use it in my writing somewhere.
    If I definitely can’t find a realistic way around it, I’d try to imagine what would be realistic for the story itself. If your story has a device called, like, “Infinity Drive” that allows the characters to jump through wormholes, I’d be okay reading about a character using it to, say, punch their way out of a black hole or something. I think it all depends on what’d be realistic in your universe.
     
  15. Homer Potvin

    Homer Potvin A tombstone hand and a graveyard mind Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Well the escape velocity AT the event horizon is the speed of light by definition. Then all you have to do is use the inverse square law to calculate any distance away from it, which, of course, will be dependent on the mass of the black hole itself. IIRC the cutoff that determines whether the collapsed core will yield a black hole or a neutron star is 1.4 stellar mass (masses?).

    Cosmology kicks ass!
     
  16. Maka

    Maka Member

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    One source says 25 solar masses, another says 3.2, gotta love the internet in all it’s consistent information, haha. But I agree, cosmology kicks ass
     
  17. Homer Potvin

    Homer Potvin A tombstone hand and a graveyard mind Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I think it's in the 25 range for the original mass of the star. The 1.4 refers to what remains of the core after the iron flash and big boomy explosion of the outer layers. Pulling this all from memory from my astronomy textbooks in college. I still buy the new editions when they come out. They're like $200... definitely the most expensive books in my collection. But soooo worth it. Every few years they completely redefine the age, size, and rate of expansion of the universe. And the chapter on exoplanets doubles in length as they collect more data.

    Super. Duper. Cool.
     
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  18. Robert Musil

    Robert Musil Comparativist Contributor

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    I love all this stuff too, but this line made me think of the XKCD about how different branches of science/technology approximate values. Might explain it a bit...

    upload_2021-5-24_10-5-18.png
     
  19. Homer Potvin

    Homer Potvin A tombstone hand and a graveyard mind Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Yeah, imagine one set of assumptions with a 40% margin for error building into another set of assumptions with a 40% margin for error leading into a third set of assumptions....
     
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  20. Stephen1974

    Stephen1974 Active Member

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    Maybe im being a bit slow here but isn't everyone missing the obvious answer here. Gravity.

    If you can have tech that negates the effects of gravity then why wouldn't you be able to navigate a blackhole? ok, its one thing to hover above the ground, another to break the pull of the earth, and a blackholes gravity is extreme, but the thoery must be sound. Negate the negative impact of gravity on your ship.
     
  21. MetalGrave

    MetalGrave Member

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    Why not navigate it by using basic gravity slingshots.
     
  22. Naomasa298

    Naomasa298 HP: 10/190 Status: Confused Contributor

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    Remember, In Space, Time And Dimensions are Relative.

    Seriously though, I would be bored to tears with technobabble explaining how future-tech works. It's entertainment, not an astrophysics text book.
     
  23. Homer Potvin

    Homer Potvin A tombstone hand and a graveyard mind Staff Supporter Contributor

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    And having read some astrophysics textbooks (the entry level kind), I can say that the parts I understand are the highest level of awesome possible. But the other 60%? Oh, jeez... Homer dumb like rock.
     
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  24. Seven Crowns

    Seven Crowns Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor Contest Winner 2022

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    If you were able to fold your ship into another dimension, couldn't you move the event horizon? Relatively speaking. As I understand it, gravitational forces change in higher dimensions. In our dimension, they change by inverse squares. If two objects are moved twice as close (half the distance, I should say), the gravitational pull between them squares. In the fourth dimension, they follow cubes. In the fifth, quartics. And so on. So, 9 times greater and 16 times greater grav pulls, respectively. But if you had a sci-fi method to lower your dimension, I believe the gravity becomes logarithmic? (haha, don't quote me on that.) There's lots of papers on it because physicists like exploring that abstraction to understand gravity better in the real world.

    Anyway, if you had a method that somehow reduced your dimension, you could slip by the event horizon. You would effectively push it behind you. That's where you do your sci-fi handwaving. ("Engineering here. The tachyon hypersphere is stable. Our field is reduced to two relative dimensions." Captain: "Engage!")
     
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  25. MartinM

    MartinM Banned

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    It’s a hard call, for me a blackhole is something that collapses mass and spues out energy. No tunnel or pathway to somewhere else just a trash compactor.

    Imagine our universe as a bubble and next to it another bubble. If you could drop out of our universe into another bubble. Move along and then drop back into our universe. You might reappear many light years away from your initial position. The second bubble, younger may mean a mile travelled here would equate to a thousand miles covered within the older universe.

    This use of inflation and theoretical physics makes much more sense than trying to break the speed of light. Blackholes are gravity wells and that’s it. Travel between inter-dimensional universes makes much more sense.


    MartinM.
     

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