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Comment Re:Wow, and I thought the existing Sednoids were n (Score 2) 18

Looking at their graph (since I don't see the perihelion stated anywhere), it looks to be about 60 AU (about double that of Neptune). That's some tremendous temperature changes on that body! The equilibrium temperatures are:

((1368 / D^2 - 3.127e-6) / 4 / 5.670e-8 ) ^ 0.25 ... where D is the distance in AU. So at perihelion it'd be about 36K, but at aphelion only about 5K.

Now, this particular body is probably too small to retain significant hydrogen or helium, but you could imagine what it would be like for a large planetary one in such an orbit. It'd transition between being a hydrogen-ice planet with a helium mantle and water ice/rock core; and an ice giant like Uranus and Neptune. In its solid phase, its hydrogen-ice surface would be resurfaced entirely with every cycle and thus might be expected to be perfectly smooth, except because of the heat involved in the settling processes - and how low viscosity and structural integrity in general hydrogen ice has - I'd be willing to wager that you'd get helium volcanism and maybe even plate tectonics.

It gets even weirder if a planet at such distances as this one's aphelion were to have a moon that loses helium vapour to its planet (perhaps, for example, on an eccentric orbit getting it back at each perihelion as the planet inflates, to repeat the cycle at the next aphelion). After all, even below the boiling point, there's always some vapour pressure for helium. If you're taking that vapour away, then you're looking at evaporative cooling, and you really don't need to lose it that fast to cool to below the cosmic microwave background (because radiative exchange is so slow at those temperatures) and thus to helium's lambda point. Now you have a body with superfluid helium on it, and all of the crazy weirdness that superfluids do.

Back to our solar system - aka, a small body like 2014 FE72 - you're not going to have much hydrogen or helium. But even still, that crust is going to be going through some crazy thermal stresses at the very least. Also, neon - while not as common as hydrogen and helium, but should be more common in the outer reaches of our solar system than the inner - would pass through all three phases (melting point 24K, boiling point 27K at 1 bar; lower at reduced pressures). I wonder what sort of minerology neon would form? "Neonothermal" crystal veins, analogous to crystals in hydrothermal systems on Earth? :)

Comment Wow, and I thought the existing Sednoids were neat (Score 2) 18

A sednoid (2014 FE72) with an orbit out to 3000 AU (0,05 light years)? Talk about extreme, I would have been happy just for a couple more "ordinary" sednoids! But that's exactly the sort of thing you want to see if you're of the view that trying to group the universe into a neat collection of "stars" with "planets" orbiting them is oversimplistic. This lends credence to the notion that you're going to get shared debris between different stars, rogue planets that don't orbit stars, etc. Because with large bodies reaching that far out, it becomes pretty easy to perturb them to leave the solar system altogether.

I have no clue what the discovery of 2013 FT28 is going to say about the possibility of an additional large planet in our solar system, but I look forward to the papers on it! Hopefully it won't rule one out, and will instead better constrain an orbit

Comment Re:Morons (Score 1) 296

Why do people think things like the Bechdel test are worth more than a fart in the breeze/

For the same reason they think "the lack of qualified people to fill 500,000 U.S. tech jobs" has anything to do with "how STEM careers have been presented in film and television" instead of the fact that the primary "qualification" being looked for is H1-B eligibility.

Comment Re:Given the reviews (Score 0) 454

Indeed, literally days before the release Sean was at Darmstadt telling a German interviewer that the game is just like in the trailers.

The trailers were, of course, all rigged. You can even find the models they used to rig it in the unpacked game files - lacking the articulations and animations needed for actual use in game.

And then let's not forget the "pretend that the lack of multiplayer is a bug because too many people are playing" aspect once players started discovering the ruse.

Comment Re:I'm having fun (Score 0) 454

Actually, no. It was very explicitly defined. Sean Murray, right up to days before the release, made explicit, yes-or-no responses to things contained in the game. Almost all of which were false. When things started turning out to not be in the game, such as multiplayer, he pretended it was a "bug" that people couldn't see each other - even though it was demonstrably not supported, including there being no real-time network traffic and no player models in the game files.

It's not a case of "buyers filling in the gaps". It's a case of the developer deliberately trying to deceive customers about what the game contained. Including putting a deliberately long painful grind to reach the center of the galaxy, and telling people that all sorts of neat stuff was near the center, to keep them playing for long periods of time. A cynical individual would view that as them deliberately trying to get people to play for too long to get a refund.

Comment Re:If your ads for "Titanic" say the ship sinks (Score 0) 454

Apparently you don't know the difference between a statement of opinion and a statement of fact.

Ad: "Ghostbusters is funny"
You: "It wasn't funny."

Liability: None. Because that's an opinion.


Ad: "Ghostbusters stars Tom Hanks."
You: "No, it doesn't."

Liability: Yes. Because that's false advertising.

Understand the difference?

Comment Re:50 hours of crap. (Score 2) 454

You'd have as much luck "meeting up" in Super Mario Brothers. There is no real-time networking traffic and no player models in NMS. The "whoops, there must be a bug" reaction is a baldfaced lie.

And the claim that it's unrealistic to reach the same place are BS. There are not 2^64 stars in the starting galaxy (Euclid), only a few tens of billions. And everyone starts out roughly the same distance from the center, which means that they're all in a narrow spherical shell containing only a tiny fraction of those stars. It's rare in the game to not come across systems discovered by others, even when you're not trying.

(The 2^64 claim is valid, but only in that there are 2^32 galaxies)

As for day and night, the game is totally inconsistent about that. You can approach the "day" side of a planet and have it turn out to be night, and vice versa. Really it's hard to think of something in the game that's *not* totally glitched. Even keyboard support is glitched - punctuation in naming discoveries gets mixed up. I mean, how the heck do you even manage to mess up something like that? Oh god, let's not get into the naming filter that lets through names like "Cum Mountain" but bans words like "Cousin" and "Can't".

Comment Re: Given the reviews (Score 1) 454

Indeed. While the landscape goes through LOD changes (although way slower than should be necessary, given that they're not doing any physics, no flowing water, nothing of the sort), there's apparently no LOD work with plant and animal models - they're always the same resolution no matter how close or far they are from you. So the game simply can't afford to have too many of them. Not a problem when they're tiny, but when they're big things that should be able to be seen from far away...

Comment Re:No good-guys here (Score 1) 454

Which was yet another lie.

1) Players playing has gone down over 90% since then on average. At off peak it's a fraction of even that. It makes no difference.

2) There is no attempt at real-time network traffic whatsoever. Nothing sends out real-time packets. Nothing is designed to receive them.

3) There is no player model in the game's files. There's some comically bad development models, along with weirdness like a monkey in a hat and the Fallout logo. But no actual player model.

There is no multiplayer. It's not a "bug". It is simply not there, and they know it.

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