Experiments on a new planet

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  • #26
Vanadium 50
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Even having your heroes deciding they are on another planet could be tricky, unless there were some astronomic features: two suns, an unusual moon, etc. Stars alone probably won't do it, unless you had someone familiar with both hemispheres. Gravity might, if it were way less than Earth's. (Edgar Rice Burroughs used this a century ago)

Aside: the opposite was used in fiction - people thinking they were on another world but were actually in Antarctica (e.g. Stargate SG1, Solitudes, 1999)
 
  • #27
anorlunda
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unless there were some astronomic features: two suns
Even that wouldn't do it. A second sun suddenly appearing here is similar on the believability scale to a group of people in the field being accidentally transported to another planet.
 
  • #28
DaveC426913
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Some good source material would be Weir's "The Martian" if you haven't already read/seen it.

The book is essentially a checklist of how to make the best of extremely limited resources to get on one's feet before the planet can kill you.

Shelter > Water > Food > short term tactics > long term strategy > etc.

Your castaways will not be exploring their new planet merely for the sake of scientific curiosity. Research will be prioritized based on the cost-effectiveness of how it can facilitate survival over the next short-term period (hours, days). Exploring the star's properties is pretty far down that list unless it directly and immediately contributes to basic survival. Even if they already have plentiful ship's supplies.

And one must ask: if they do have all their immediate needs met, and are exploring their world for curiosity - wherein lies the tension in the story? A great story will be one where the next fight-for-survival befalls them before the previous fight is even decided. Every fix should be jerry-rigged with bubble gum and bailing wire and ready to fall apart. Just keep heaping on crisis after crisis. That'll be a page-turner.
 
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  • #29
Vanadium 50
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A second sun suddenly appearing here is similar on the believability scale to a group of people in the field being accidentally transported to another planet.

But they parked in the boss' spot! Anything can happen - indeed, they are lucky to be alive! :)
 
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