Dejah Thoris' Science Hour

Posted by RazzaTazz (11939 posts) - - Show Bio

It has been a while since I have done any of the "Science of ..." blogs and my apologies for anyone that was enjoying them but I simply ran out of material as DC canceled it science based books or I stopped reading them.  One new series which I have picked up is Warlord of Mars: Dejah Thoris, which was surpirsingly good for me despite how little clothing Dejah wears ... but ... the problem which I have with it is that the science which is used is some of the same bad science which was used in the original novels and has never been rectified.    

 Deimos would more look like the really bright star between the two moons
 There are really only two points of contention here but for me they are fairly big ones.  The first is that of the martian moons.  The characters refer to these moons as a place where others live and also claim to see them from the surface of Mars.  First of all it should be said that the two moons Deimos and Phobos are extremely small as far as planetary scales go.  Deimos is about 12 kilometers wide whereas Phobos is about 25 kilometers wide.  Both small enough to fit within the confines of a major city on Earth.  Deimos is fifteen degrees of scale smaller than Earth in mass.  So the moons cannot support an atmosphere and really gravity on both of them is so small that it would be almost be possible to jump into orbit  - 40km/h on Phobos, 20 km/h on Deimos (just as an added explanation escape velocity works as a base acceleration which will be sufficient enough to escape the gravity well of the object, thus if you can start off at 20 km/h then you will fly away from Phobos).  The main problem I want to address here though is their visibility.  Dejah can evidently see the moons from Mars as they have been shown to her at one point or another.  Phobos itself is not spherical (nor is Deimos) and thus wouldn't appear as our moon.  Both are also two of the least reflective bodies in the solar system.  Deimos is also far enough away that it appears a not much more than a star.  At it full moon phase it would be as bright as Venus is to us, at other stages a lot less.  So the romantic concept of staring at a sunset with two moons just isn't possible on Mars, nor is it possible to visit them. 
Back to gravity though and the other problem becomes apparent.  Mars has less gravity than Earth and thus when John Carter shows up there he is a superhuman.  This might have an aspect of truth in comparison, but think about how humans appeared on the moon.  They could not really walk like on Earth because gravity didn't pull them back fast enough to do so (the moon has 1/6th of Earth's gravity).  Granted Mars would have more gravity than the Moon but essentially based on the way that we walk, gravity would allow us to either run or jump long distances, not both.  The other concept related to gravity is super-strength.  In the most recent story arc Dejah is captured by some aliens from Titan (the moon of Saturn) and jailed there.  She and a fellow prisoner make a plan to break down the gate which will only be strong enough to hold a Titanian (Titanite?).  Even if the character did exhibit some added strength because their muscles were used to working in a higher gravity environment they would likely still not be able to break down a steel gate.  The reason is that steel is held together by molecular bonds, not by gravity, and the bonds of any compound (including alloys) is going to be the same throughout the universe at the same pressure and temperature (and assuming that Dejah can still breathe and not freeze to death or be too hot that these are relatively the same.)  Thus her super strength wouldn't help her in this instance, nor would a lot of John Carter's help him on Mars.  
#1 Posted by danhimself (21257 posts) - - Show Bio

you have to remember that the John Carter books were written back when there was very little known about Mars and other planets....when John arrived he did have some trouble walking and basically had to learn how to compensate for the just to throw in the usual thing that everyone always says.... "it's science fiction and you're over thinking it" lol

#2 Posted by RazzaTazz (11939 posts) - - Show Bio
@danhimself: Yes its science fiction and I am overthinking it, but it never stopped me before :)
#3 Posted by danhimself (21257 posts) - - Show Bio

@RazzaTazz: I don't know that much about that stuff so I have no opportunity to over think it...none the less I've been enjoying the heck out of the Dynamite John Carter stuff

#4 Posted by RazzaTazz (11939 posts) - - Show Bio
@danhimself: Not reading the Dejah Thoris series though?  Thats all I am reading.
#5 Posted by danhimself (21257 posts) - - Show Bio

@RazzaTazz: yeah I'm reading both...haven't gotten around to the latest issue yet....also just got caught up with the GFT book

#6 Edited by RazzaTazz (11939 posts) - - Show Bio
@danhimself: Did you read White Apes?  That was pretty fun in parts.  Also what did you catch up on in GFT?
#7 Posted by danhimself (21257 posts) - - Show Bio

@RazzaTazz: yup read that was ok...I've got to admit that I like the John Carter book a little more than the others though

up to issue 77 of the main series including the Dream Eater to go back and read the other books now

#8 Posted by RazzaTazz (11939 posts) - - Show Bio
@danhimself: I am only reading GFT now to know what goes on elsewhere.  I think Myths and Legends is far better.  
#9 Posted by danhimself (21257 posts) - - Show Bio

@RazzaTazz: that will be the next book I read

#10 Posted by RazzaTazz (11939 posts) - - Show Bio
@danhimself: You have read the minis?  The Wonderland ones are quite good, probably the best the company has out there.  
#11 Posted by Delphic (1683 posts) - - Show Bio

You know your lack of a suspension of disbelief, yet you're ability to enjoy comics and other elements of fiction astounds me :P

#12 Posted by RazzaTazz (11939 posts) - - Show Bio
@Delphic: I don't lack suspension of disbelief, just after I am reading I can still step back and take a look at such things.  Astronomy is a hobby of mine anyway so this is kind of in my area of interest.  
#13 Posted by danhimself (21257 posts) - - Show Bio

@RazzaTazz: what minis? I read the Wonderland minis back when they first came out but I'll have to reread them before I go on to the newer stuff

#14 Posted by RazzaTazz (11939 posts) - - Show Bio
@danhimself: That and the Neverland stuff is pretty good too.  
#15 Posted by danhimself (21257 posts) - - Show Bio

@RazzaTazz: read that already to...I think the only stuff I really haven't read yet are Inferno and Myths and Legends plus maybe one or two other minis

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