0975: "Occulting Telescope"

This forum is for the individual discussion thread that goes with each new comic.

Moderators: Magistrates, Prelates, Moderators General

0975: "Occulting Telescope"

Postby Aleksander » Wed Nov 09, 2011 8:09 am UTC

Image
http://xkcd.com/975/

Alt Text: Type II Kardashev civilizations eventually completely enclose their planetary system in a Dyson sphere because space is way too big to look at all the time.

I kind of like the stars though :'o
Aleksander
 
Posts: 13
Joined: Wed Aug 04, 2010 1:57 am UTC

Re: 0975: "Occulting Telescope"

Postby Pfhorrest » Wed Nov 09, 2011 8:11 am UTC

Silence will fall when construction of the occulting telescope is completed.

Or at least it will look like it has from here, which is good enough.

For now.
Forrest Cameranesi, Geek of All Trades
"I am Sam. Sam I am. I do not like trolls, flames, or spam."
The Codex Quaerendae (my philosophy) - The Chronicles of Quelouva (my fiction)
User avatar
Pfhorrest
 
Posts: 2466
Joined: Fri Oct 30, 2009 6:11 am UTC

Re: 0975: "Occulting Telescope"

Postby Diadem » Wed Nov 09, 2011 9:06 am UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:Silence will fall when construction of the occulting telescope is completed.

You just completed this comic. I award you 1 (one) internets.

Too many stars is a matter of perspective. Come live in The Netherlands for a bit. We only have a few hundred, tops, compared to the several thousand other parts of the world get.
It's one of those irregular verbs, isn't it? I have an independent mind, you are an eccentric, he is round the twist
- Bernard Woolley in Yes, Prime Minister
User avatar
Diadem
 
Posts: 4978
Joined: Wed Jun 11, 2008 11:03 am UTC
Location: The Netherlands

Re: 0975: "Occulting Telescope"

Postby Tova » Wed Nov 09, 2011 9:43 am UTC

What is this I don't even

again
Tova
 
Posts: 64
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 3:44 am UTC

Re: 0975: "Occulting Telescope"

Postby madjo » Wed Nov 09, 2011 9:52 am UTC

@Diadem, yeah, but at least we don't have stars like Kim Kardashian.
:)

You are carrying:
- a slightly paranoid Android
- two left feet (not my own)
- a still unfed and very hungry hippo
- broadsword of +5 ridiculousness stained with the blood of the undead souls
- a stetson Resistol, cuz stetson Resistols are cool.
User avatar
madjo
 
Posts: 208
Joined: Fri Jul 27, 2007 7:07 am UTC
Location: Dutch-land

Re: 0975: "Occulting Telescope"

Postby floreal » Wed Nov 09, 2011 9:55 am UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:Silence will fall when construction of the occulting telescope is completed.

Or at least it will look like it has from here, which is good enough.

For now.


this made my day xD
floreal
 
Posts: 24
Joined: Mon Dec 28, 2009 7:02 pm UTC

Re: 0975: "Occulting Telescope"

Postby UniqueScreenname » Wed Nov 09, 2011 10:05 am UTC

He must live in the country. In the next 15 years I bet people that have lived their entire lives in a big city will not even know stars exist.
PolakoVoador wrote:Pizza is never a question, pizza is always the answer.
poxic wrote:When we're stuck, flailing, and afraid, that's usually when we're running into the limitations of our old ways of doing things. Something new is being born. Stick around and find out what it is.
User avatar
UniqueScreenname
Something something Purple. Stop asking.
 
Posts: 1419
Joined: Mon Oct 24, 2011 8:11 pm UTC
Location: The Restaurant at the End of the Universe

Re: 0975: "Occulting Telescope"

Postby The Moomin » Wed Nov 09, 2011 10:29 am UTC

Is it called a Dyson sphere because you construct it in a vacuum?

Edit: Also, if you block all the stars, how will the rain get in? We'll dehydrate. This is a bad idea.
User avatar
The Moomin
 
Posts: 198
Joined: Wed Oct 13, 2010 6:59 am UTC
Location: Yorkshire

Re: 0975: "Occulting Telescope"

Postby larsh » Wed Nov 09, 2011 10:33 am UTC

I don't get it ... why is it funny that the scientist is freaked out by the number of stars? why does somebody else agree with him? ...
larsh
 
Posts: 21
Joined: Wed Jul 11, 2007 8:34 pm UTC

Re: 0975: "Occulting Telescope"

Postby justasecond » Wed Nov 09, 2011 10:35 am UTC

The universe?
-"It'll have to go"
justasecond
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Dec 15, 2010 10:54 am UTC

Re: 0975: "Occulting Telescope"

Postby UniqueScreenname » Wed Nov 09, 2011 10:50 am UTC

larsh wrote:I don't get it ... why is it funny that the scientist is freaked out by the number of stars? why does somebody else agree with him? ...


In Dracula voice: There are more stars than there are grains of sand on earth. And stars are actually gigantic balls of fire that when destroyed can create bigger balls of fire or black holes, sucking in all energy around them. MWAHAHAHA!!!!!!

Spoiler:
I feel like that could be from Sesame Street's The Count's brother or something. lol
PolakoVoador wrote:Pizza is never a question, pizza is always the answer.
poxic wrote:When we're stuck, flailing, and afraid, that's usually when we're running into the limitations of our old ways of doing things. Something new is being born. Stick around and find out what it is.
User avatar
UniqueScreenname
Something something Purple. Stop asking.
 
Posts: 1419
Joined: Mon Oct 24, 2011 8:11 pm UTC
Location: The Restaurant at the End of the Universe

Re: 0975: "Occulting Telescope"

Postby Sockmonkey » Wed Nov 09, 2011 11:14 am UTC

Shouldn't it be "occluding" telecope?
Also, you don't bother with dyson spheres. You break up the star and use the hydrogen to fuel the fusion reactors in your habitats.
User avatar
Sockmonkey
 
Posts: 1207
Joined: Thu Jul 24, 2008 11:30 pm UTC

Re: 0975: "Occulting Telescope"

Postby Steroid » Wed Nov 09, 2011 11:18 am UTC

Once the stars are covered, psychic vibrations and ghosts can come through. . . because they're the occult.
Steroid
 
Posts: 549
Joined: Wed Mar 26, 2008 10:50 am UTC

Re: 0975: "Occulting Telescope"

Postby simvalue » Wed Nov 09, 2011 11:25 am UTC

Edit: Also, if you block all the stars, how will the rain get in? We'll dehydrate. This is a bad idea.

What... what?! Rain comes from the universe now?
simvalue
 
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Nov 09, 2011 11:23 am UTC

Re: 0975: "Occulting Telescope"

Postby Zanthra » Wed Nov 09, 2011 11:37 am UTC

justasecond wrote:The universe?
-"It'll have to go"


;( You beat me to it.
Zanthra
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Jun 27, 2010 11:00 pm UTC

Re: 0975: "Occulting Telescope"

Postby el_monty » Wed Nov 09, 2011 12:02 pm UTC

justasecond wrote:The universe?
-"It'll have to go"


Beat me too
I was actually expecting a reference to Krikkit in the mouseover text and was surprised it didn't. Too obvious?
el_monty
 
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Nov 09, 2011 11:48 am UTC

Re: 0975: "Occulting Telescope"

Postby Patashu » Wed Nov 09, 2011 12:55 pm UTC

larsh wrote:I don't get it ... why is it funny that the scientist is freaked out by the number of stars? why does somebody else agree with him? ...

It's funny because your expectations of them being astronomers (who LOVE looking at stars) is subverted.
User avatar
Patashu
Answerful Bignitude
 
Posts: 377
Joined: Mon Mar 12, 2007 8:54 am UTC

Re: 0975: "Occulting Telescope"

Postby Arancaytar » Wed Nov 09, 2011 1:00 pm UTC

Reminds me both of Asimov's Nightfall and, of course, of Krikkit.
"You cannot dual-wield the sharks. One is enough." -Our DM.
Image
User avatar
Arancaytar
 
Posts: 1632
Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2007 12:54 am UTC
Location: 50.099432 degrees north, 8.572756 degrees east.

Re: 0975: "Occulting Telescope"

Postby userxp » Wed Nov 09, 2011 1:02 pm UTC

Wait, so how will the disc manage to cover the entire Earth? Because otherwise, nobody will really notice anything, even the astronomers in charge of looking at the black screens will still be able to see them as soon as they go outside.

And will the disc cover only one star at a time, or will it progressively cover new stars without losing the already covered ones? Because if it does, it will just get closer and closer to the telescope until it is essentially a lid, and if it doesn't, then it's just one star less, so what's the point?

I believe with probability ~ 25% that I missed at least 20% of the joke.
userxp
 
Posts: 436
Joined: Thu Jul 09, 2009 12:40 pm UTC

Re: 0975: "Occulting Telescope"

Postby jonadab » Wed Nov 09, 2011 1:13 pm UTC

A really advanced civilization would leave a handful of "position-marker" stars (just enough to allow travelers to get their bearings) and convert the rest into raw materials for manufacturing more desirable items, such as recreational products.
User avatar
jonadab
 
Posts: 79
Joined: Fri Oct 08, 2010 11:31 am UTC
Location: Ohio

Re: 0975: "Occulting Telescope"

Postby cburke » Wed Nov 09, 2011 1:19 pm UTC

Arancaytar wrote:Reminds me both of Asimov's Nightfall and, of course, of Krikkit.


Ditto. Came here to say that. Finally got to read the original Nightfall. Not as good as I imagined it would be, but better than the longer adapted novel.
cburke
 
Posts: 28
Joined: Fri Jun 27, 2008 3:58 pm UTC

Re: 0975: "Occulting Telescope"

Postby dhruvfire » Wed Nov 09, 2011 1:26 pm UTC

cburke wrote:
Arancaytar wrote:Reminds me both of Asimov's Nightfall and, of course, of Krikkit.


Ditto. Came here to say that. Finally got to read the original Nightfall. Not as good as I imagined it would be, but better than the longer adapted novel.


The novel, I thought, focused a little too much on the aftermath of nightfall than the spectacle itself. That said, I really enjoyed it. There's just something about the idea that phenomena that we live with and see on a daily (or nightly) basis can drive entire civilizations insane with perspective.
dhruvfire
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Mar 28, 2010 4:16 am UTC

Re: 0975: "Occulting Telescope"

Postby Brace » Wed Nov 09, 2011 2:02 pm UTC

If he wanted to get rid of stars he should have just put Mario on the job. That guy's a hoarder.
"The future is the only kind of property that the masters willingly concede to the slaves" - Albert Camus
User avatar
Brace
 
Posts: 1168
Joined: Wed Jul 15, 2009 5:40 am UTC
Location: Denver, Co

Re: 0975: "Occulting Telescope"

Postby Angua » Wed Nov 09, 2011 2:05 pm UTC

Sockmonkey wrote:Shouldn't it be "occluding" telecope?


oc·cult·ed, oc·cult·ing, oc·cults
v.tr.
1. To conceal or cause to disappear from view.
2. Astronomy To conceal by occultation: The moon occulted Mars.
“When we remember we are all mad, the mysteries disappear and life stands explained.” - Mark Twain
User avatar
Angua
Don't call her Delphine
 
Posts: 4117
Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2008 12:42 pm UTC
Location: UK/[St. Kitts and] Nevis Occasionally, I migrate to the US for a bit

Re: 0975: "Occulting Telescope"

Postby nothinglikeit22 » Wed Nov 09, 2011 2:15 pm UTC

what if there really are an infinite number of stars and the reason we cant see so many is because they've red-shifted so much they're invisible?
nothinglikeit22
 
Posts: 18
Joined: Wed Apr 15, 2009 8:29 pm UTC

Re: 0975: "Occulting Telescope"

Postby project2051 » Wed Nov 09, 2011 2:18 pm UTC

Arancaytar wrote:Reminds me both of Asimov's Nightfall and, of course, of Krikkit.


I was thinking of Clarke's "The Nine Billion Names of God" .
User avatar
project2051
 
Posts: 162
Joined: Fri Jan 29, 2010 2:20 pm UTC

Re: 0975: "Occulting Telescope"

Postby batquux » Wed Nov 09, 2011 2:40 pm UTC

My problem with the whole idea of a Dyson sphere is that in most solar systems you'd probably be hard pressed to find enough matter (let alone of the right type) to build a sphere around your star, especially at a safe enough distance. And if you can get matter from other solar systems, you could just use the energy from those stars.

I'm also really disappointed that they named that vacuum cleaner the "Dyson Ball," given the obvious alternative.
batquux
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Jun 09, 2008 1:24 pm UTC

Re: 0975: "Occulting Telescope"

Postby dexeron » Wed Nov 09, 2011 2:55 pm UTC

Isn't this how the Krikkit Wars got started?
By and by, when the sidewalks are safe for the little guy...
dexeron
 
Posts: 45
Joined: Wed Jan 28, 2009 5:51 pm UTC

Re: 0975: "Occulting Telescope"

Postby Fire Brns » Wed Nov 09, 2011 2:56 pm UTC

batquux wrote:My problem with the whole idea of a Dyson sphere is that in most solar systems you'd probably be hard pressed to find enough matter (let alone of the right type) to build a sphere around your star, especially at a safe enough distance. And if you can get matter from other solar systems, you could just use the energy from those stars.
My problem is the lack of nighttime, without that even a further distance would continiously be bombarded by solar radiation. Look at sun facing side of tidally locked solar bodies? Also immense magnetic genorators would have to be built and powerd to protect from xrays but may create their own issues. The construction of one would almost certainly entail the destruction of the homeworld and even people in the future will be too sentimental.

@userxp the will put 1 disc in front of every star, considering how many stars you can see from space they would blot out the sky from a ground observer's standpoint; also the sun. :(
Pfhorrest wrote:As someone who is not easily offended, I don't really mind anything in this conversation.
Mighty Jalapeno wrote:It was the Renaissance. Everyone was Italian.
Fire Brns
 
Posts: 1114
Joined: Thu Oct 20, 2011 2:25 pm UTC

Re: 0975: "Occulting Telescope"

Postby rabidmuskrat » Wed Nov 09, 2011 3:12 pm UTC

This one just struck me as sort of odd. I didn't find it all that funny.
rabidmuskrat
 
Posts: 34
Joined: Wed Apr 20, 2011 11:37 am UTC

Re: 0975: "Occulting Telescope"

Postby nitePhyyre » Wed Nov 09, 2011 3:13 pm UTC

Take my love, take my land
Take me where I cannot stand
I don't care, I'm still free
You can't take the sky from me
Take me out to the black
Tell them I ain't comin' back
Burn the land and boil the sea
You can't take the sky from me
There's no place I can be
Since I found Serenity
But you can't take the sky from me...
sourmìlk wrote:Monopolies are not when a single company controls the market for a single product.

You don't become great by trying to be great. You become great by wanting to do something, and then doing it so hard you become great in the process.
nitePhyyre
 
Posts: 1279
Joined: Mon Jul 27, 2009 10:31 am UTC

Re: 0975: "Occulting Telescope"

Postby RandomMarius » Wed Nov 09, 2011 3:19 pm UTC

el_monty wrote:
justasecond wrote:The universe?
-"It'll have to go"


Beat me too
I was actually expecting a reference to Krikkit in the mouseover text and was surprised it didn't. Too obvious?


Thanks, I was trying to remember the reference... Could not remember if it was Douglas Adams, Isaac Asimov or Terry Pratchett (Strata) where I read about this.

There is nothing wrong with being obvious. In-jokes are silly.
RandomMarius
 
Posts: 12
Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2009 5:40 am UTC

Re: 0975: "Occulting Telescope"

Postby Kit. » Wed Nov 09, 2011 3:21 pm UTC

jonadab wrote:A really advanced civilization would leave a handful of "position-marker" stars (just enough to allow travelers to get their bearings) and convert the rest into raw materials for manufacturing more desirable items, such as recreational products.

A really advanced civilization tries to keep the entropy production in its controlled space at the barest minimum it can achieve. That includes killing those power-hungry less advanced civilizations-pests, if necessary.
Kit.
 
Posts: 738
Joined: Thu Jun 16, 2011 5:14 pm UTC

Re: 0975: "Occulting Telescope"

Postby The Moomin » Wed Nov 09, 2011 3:26 pm UTC

simvalue wrote:
Edit: Also, if you block all the stars, how will the rain get in? We'll dehydrate. This is a bad idea.

What... what?! Rain comes from the universe now?


Where else? Stars are the holes where the rain comes in, were you never taught this?

You don't think water just hovers in the air until it gets bored and comes down to visit do you?
User avatar
The Moomin
 
Posts: 198
Joined: Wed Oct 13, 2010 6:59 am UTC
Location: Yorkshire

Re: 0975: "Occulting Telescope"

Postby The Moomin » Wed Nov 09, 2011 3:29 pm UTC

OR, we could complete the list of names of God and then the stars will go out by themselves. Possibly require less effort than creating a squillion discs, but the outcome may be less desirable.
User avatar
The Moomin
 
Posts: 198
Joined: Wed Oct 13, 2010 6:59 am UTC
Location: Yorkshire

Re: 0975: "Occulting Telescope"

Postby AvatarIII » Wed Nov 09, 2011 3:46 pm UTC

nitePhyyre wrote:
Take my love, take my land
Take me where I cannot stand
I don't care, I'm still free
You can't take the sky from me
Take me out to the black
Tell them I ain't comin' back
Burn the land and boil the sea
You can't take the sky from me
There's no place I can be
Since I found Serenity
But you can't take the sky from me...

doo doo doodley doo
User avatar
AvatarIII
 
Posts: 2101
Joined: Fri Apr 08, 2011 12:28 pm UTC
Location: W.Sussex, UK

Re: 0975: "Occulting Telescope"

Postby eidako » Wed Nov 09, 2011 4:05 pm UTC

Kit. wrote:A really advanced civilization tries to keep the entropy production in its controlled space at the barest minimum it can achieve. That includes killing those power-hungry less advanced civilizations-pests, if necessary.

Suddenly every movie where the aliens travel across the vast cosmos to exterminate the human race makes sense.
eidako
 
Posts: 84
Joined: Wed Apr 06, 2011 10:24 am UTC

Re: 0975: "Occulting Telescope"

Postby Soralin » Wed Nov 09, 2011 4:07 pm UTC

Kit. wrote:
jonadab wrote:A really advanced civilization would leave a handful of "position-marker" stars (just enough to allow travelers to get their bearings) and convert the rest into raw materials for manufacturing more desirable items, such as recreational products.

A really advanced civilization tries to keep the entropy production in its controlled space at the barest minimum it can achieve. That includes killing those power-hungry less advanced civilizations-pests, if necessary.

Less advanced civilizations are hardly capable of being very power-hungry. Humans use about 15TW, our sun on the other hand uses about 384600000000000TW. If you really want to reduce entropy production you'd disassemble the sun, the energy savings would be astronomical. :)
Soralin
 
Posts: 1347
Joined: Wed May 07, 2008 12:06 am UTC

Re: 0975: "Occulting Telescope"

Postby Coffee » Wed Nov 09, 2011 4:14 pm UTC

You are freaking out. Man.
Far away boys, far away boys, away from you now.
I'm lying with my sweetheart, in her arms I'll be found.
User avatar
Coffee
 
Posts: 638
Joined: Mon Aug 18, 2008 5:56 am UTC
Location: Far away

Re: 0975: "Occulting Telescope"

Postby Kit. » Wed Nov 09, 2011 4:52 pm UTC

Soralin wrote:
Kit. wrote:A really advanced civilization tries to keep the entropy production in its controlled space at the barest minimum it can achieve. That includes killing those power-hungry less advanced civilizations-pests, if necessary.

Less advanced civilizations are hardly capable of being very power-hungry. Humans use about 15TW, our sun on the other hand uses about 384600000000000TW. If you really want to reduce entropy production you'd disassemble the sun, the energy savings would be astronomical. :)

How much energy would you need to "disassemble the sun"?
Where would you store it and/or how would you deliver it?
How much time of non-wasting solar energy would it buy you?

You cannot just freeze the nature, no matter how technologically advanced you are.
Kit.
 
Posts: 738
Joined: Thu Jun 16, 2011 5:14 pm UTC

Next

Return to Individual XKCD Comic Threads

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Cres, Google [Bot] and 31 guests