Artificial Gas Giant Surface

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Artificial Gas Giant Surface

Postby Robert'); DROP TABLE *; » Mon Feb 14, 2011 10:46 am UTC

Is building an artificial surface in the high atmosphere of a gas giant an at all feasible idea? (Assuming you had arbitrarily good engineering.) Is there a possibility that some far-future civilization might build one, or is there some fundamental reason why it would never work?
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Re: Artificial Gas Giant Surface

Postby Technical Ben » Mon Feb 14, 2011 11:35 am UTC

When you say surface, do you mean build a bubble around a gas giant? So you can walk on it?
I guess it depends how it is done. Plus how much material and time you have.
I'm not sure if gravity is as troublesome as with building a dyson sphere. As you will probably have bouncy to help hold it up. It sounds a cool idea. Kind of like a "my first Dyson Sphere" for galactic kids.
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Re: Artificial Gas Giant Surface

Postby Izawwlgood » Mon Feb 14, 2011 12:59 pm UTC

Sky city? It'd be awesome. Fictionally speaking, if the gas giant was oxygen-CO2, it'd be pretty neat. Slightly more realistically speaking, if the gas giant was hydrogen, you'd likely have a plentiful and ready source to power your fusion powered hot air balloons.
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Re: Artificial Gas Giant Surface

Postby Robert'); DROP TABLE *; » Mon Feb 14, 2011 10:22 pm UTC

Technical Ben wrote:When you say surface, do you mean build a bubble around a gas giant? So you can walk on it?
I guess it depends how it is done. Plus how much material and time you have.

Basically, yeah. And I know that materials/time would be an issue, but it's an issue for any mega-structure. (Since if you tried it on Jupiter, for instance, you end up with a shell 72x larger than Earth's surface.) At least they're on the scale of planets, rather than the solar system-sized quantities you need for a Dyson structure.
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Re: Artificial Gas Giant Surface

Postby Izawwlgood » Mon Feb 14, 2011 10:27 pm UTC

Oh, you should read Stephen Baxters Time Machine. The Eloi become solar system colonists, and enclose the cosmos stars in a film that traps stellar matter into a perfect sphere, which they live on the inside of. Each one is enormous, as you can imagine.
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Re: Artificial Gas Giant Surface

Postby Yakk » Tue Feb 15, 2011 4:23 pm UTC

What is the benefits of doing this around a gas giant, as opposed to in space? (are you intending on "pressurizing" the sphere?)
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Re: Artificial Gas Giant Surface

Postby Technical Ben » Wed Feb 16, 2011 12:01 am UTC

Yakk wrote:What is the benefits of doing this around a gas giant, as opposed to in space? (are you intending on "pressurizing" the sphere?)


Power. That's why. The planet is a power source/ It also adds gravity. It can also be used for materials depending on what it is made of.
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Re: Artificial Gas Giant Surface

Postby Meteorswarm » Thu Feb 17, 2011 5:52 am UTC

Hmm, if you had a large enough balloon, and wrapped Jupiter in it, if you got your tension right you could walk on it, right?
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Re: Artificial Gas Giant Surface

Postby BlackHatSupport » Wed Oct 26, 2011 3:17 pm UTC

What about building a structure and letting it "sink" into the atmosphere until the pressure is enough it doesn't go any further?


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Re: Artificial Gas Giant Surface

Postby reglow » Wed Nov 02, 2011 7:35 pm UTC

it's all about the gravity.. if you could control it, you could build what you want, where ever you want...
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Re: Artificial Gas Giant Surface

Postby not baby Newt » Thu Nov 03, 2011 9:12 pm UTC

Technical Ben wrote:Power. That's why. The planet is a power source/ It also adds gravity. It can also be used for materials depending on what it is made of.

Gravity.. are we talking about a solid shell we can walk on the outside of because of planetary gravity, possibly resting on the planet's unsolid "surface"?

This is a neat idea, but I fear the gravity would be a tad too strong for people unless you made the shell a bit larger. Like, a lot bigger. Math could be done to figure out if the moons fit inside... wouldn't much surprise me.
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Re: Artificial Gas Giant Surface

Postby Tass » Fri Nov 11, 2011 2:10 pm UTC

not baby Newt wrote:
Technical Ben wrote:Power. That's why. The planet is a power source/ It also adds gravity. It can also be used for materials depending on what it is made of.

Gravity.. are we talking about a solid shell we can walk on the outside of because of planetary gravity, possibly resting on the planet's unsolid "surface"?

This is a neat idea, but I fear the gravity would be a tad too strong for people unless you made the shell a bit larger. Like, a lot bigger. Math could be done to figure out if the moons fit inside... wouldn't much surprise me.


What if the planet does not have to be "giant". It could be done on venus. Then you have close to one g gravity.

This is a fantastic idea. I see no reason why a flexible balloon around a planet like Venus should not be stable. And if you had one earth atmosphere above the balloon, then you could live there.

Of course if it was done on the actual Venus with its runaway greenhouse, then unless you leave big areas of the "balloon" transparent the subterranean atmosphere will slowly cool, causing the pressure to drop and the "ground" to lower. It will take a long time though.
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Re: Artificial Gas Giant Surface

Postby HopDavid » Wed Nov 16, 2011 9:23 pm UTC

not baby Newt wrote:
Technical Ben wrote:Power. That's why. The planet is a power source/ It also adds gravity. It can also be used for materials depending on what it is made of.

Gravity.. are we talking about a solid shell we can walk on the outside of because of planetary gravity, possibly resting on the planet's unsolid "surface"?

This is a neat idea, but I fear the gravity would be a tad too strong for people unless you made the shell a bit larger. Like, a lot bigger. Math could be done to figure out if the moons fit inside... wouldn't much surprise me.


Surface gravity is Gm/r^2. The gas giants have a lot more mass than earth but each also has a much bigger radius.

Saturn, Uranus and Neptune each have about 1 earth gravity at their cloud tops.

Jupiter has about 2.5 earth gravities. Maybe we could grow accustomed to that if legends of the great mambo chickens are true.
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Re: Artificial Gas Giant Surface

Postby HopDavid » Wed Nov 16, 2011 9:28 pm UTC

Tass wrote:This is a fantastic idea. I see no reason why a flexible balloon around a planet like Venus should not be stable. And if you had one earth atmosphere above the balloon, then you could live there


I like it too. Rather than around a star, a mini Dyson sphere around a planet with a dense atmosphere.

And, as I mentioned above, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune have acceptable gravity at their cloud tops.
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Re: Artificial Gas Giant Surface

Postby SlyReaper » Wed Nov 16, 2011 10:02 pm UTC

It'd be a bit nippy out there though...

Jupiter clearly wouldn't work. 2.5 gravities is an insane amount to live in permanently. You'd be lucky to reach the age of 30 with all that stress on your heart, and forget ever being able to stand up - even if you managed it, you'd probably pass out from all the blood rushing to your feet.
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Re: Artificial Gas Giant Surface

Postby HopDavid » Wed Nov 16, 2011 11:58 pm UTC

SlyReaper wrote:It'd be a bit nippy out there though...

Jupiter clearly wouldn't work. 2.5 gravities is an insane amount to live in permanently. You'd be lucky to reach the age of 30 with all that stress on your heart, and forget ever being able to stand up - even if you managed it, you'd probably pass out from all the blood rushing to your feet.


I weigh about 160 lbs. There are people who weigh 400 pounds. And I suspect most 400 pound people also suffer arterial blockage, diabetes and other diseases associated with over eating. Someone healthy could endure that weight with less difficulty.

I mentioned the great mambo chicken. Is it true or an urban legend? I don't know. But it seems plausible a creature could grow acclimated to 2.5 g's. Until I see evidence one way or the other, I'll regard it as an open question.
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Re: Artificial Gas Giant Surface

Postby SlyReaper » Thu Nov 17, 2011 8:23 am UTC

Iit's not just the weight. Those 400lb people are living in a 1g environment so their heart doesn't have to work as hard as a 160lb person in a 2.5g environment. It may be technically possible for humans to live there but they'd have hideous health complications and I don't think you'd find many volunteers.
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Re: Artificial Gas Giant Surface

Postby Yakk » Thu Nov 17, 2011 1:26 pm UTC

Naw -- the 400 lb woman's heart has to push 2.5 times as much blood, so is working 2.5 times harder.

An issue I see is that the 400 lb person has a larger heart, wider bones and stronger muscles (from being larger). The smaller person won't. Most measures of conventional fitness are in terms of "as a proportion of your body weight". You might need to be built like a 250 lb body builder to move as if you where a 800 lb fat man.
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Re: Artificial Gas Giant Surface

Postby HopDavid » Thu Nov 17, 2011 8:53 pm UTC

SlyReaper wrote:Iit's not just the weight. Those 400lb people are living in a 1g environment so their heart doesn't have to work as hard as a 160lb person in a 2.5g environment. It may be technically possible for humans to live there but they'd have hideous health complications and I don't think you'd find many volunteers.


Can humans become acclimated to higher gravity? I don't know.

You express certainty but provide no evidence. I remain agnostic.
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Re: Artificial Gas Giant Surface

Postby petefrederick » Tue Feb 07, 2012 1:25 pm UTC

HopDavid wrote:
SlyReaper wrote:Iit's not just the weight. Those 400lb people are living in a 1g environment so their heart doesn't have to work as hard as a 160lb person in a 2.5g environment. It may be technically possible for humans to live there but they'd have hideous health complications and I don't think you'd find many volunteers.


Can humans become acclimated to higher gravity? I don't know.

You express certainty but provide no evidence. I remain agnostic.


I bet humans can get acclimated to higher gravity...however it will take time, perhaps thousands of years. I think that acclimated is a wrong word, I think it should be "evolve"
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Re: Artificial Gas Giant Surface

Postby Turtlewing » Tue Feb 07, 2012 6:52 pm UTC

It might matter when in the human's life-span you started the acclimation. I'd expect children by virtue of being smaller, and still developing physically could adapt more reddily than an adult.
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Re: Artificial Gas Giant Surface

Postby Charlie! » Thu Feb 09, 2012 3:17 am UTC

Turtlewing wrote:It might matter when in the human's life-span you started the acclimation. I'd expect children by virtue of being smaller, and still developing physically could adapt more reddily than an adult.

Or it could interfere with their development.
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