geological data in the first few messages was amusing, too:
The geological make up of the planet was so much different than ours. Few mountains, no oceans, some trees or something similar to trees and
no other civilization except the Ebens.
So let's review some basic geology here (I know not everyone is familiar with this. I'm married to someone who majored in geology, I have an
interest in geology, and I volunteer at a paleontology lab so I know a bit about the subject.)
In other words, no tectonic activity. The planet is inert. This implies a rocky core or a cold metal core (important point, there) -- OR that it has
an erosional process that flattens mountains within a few thousand years. Since there's no water there, the erosional process either has to be
Unbelievably Bad Smog, Godzilla Activity, or World-Wide Stone-blaster Sandstorms.
Oh yes, and that (we guess) not a single meteor ever hit it, either. Good karma shields, perhaps?
There's no water, either -- no oceans, some "underground rivers" that come up into a valley. Oh yes... it occasionally rains.
That would be a miracle of cosmic proportions.
Now, I know we all suffered through the hyrdologic cycle in elementary school... you remember this: the sun draws up water from the oceans, the
moisture in the atmosphere collides with a cooler area and rain falls. Remember? With the bright yellow sun and the blue sea?
Well, if you don't have an ocean, how are you going to get water into the air for rain? And no, don't try the "it only rains around the rivers"
explaination here on the board OR at home. You see, the moisture absorbs into the air and you need more than just a few rivers' worth of water in
the air of a planet to get any rain at all. You need the ocean.
Anonymous also forgot to mention the physical effects of living in an area that's dryer than the Sahara Desert (it ages you, it dries your tissues
out, etc, etc.)
You didn't forget my mentioning the rocky core/solid core of the planet, did you?
No tectonic activity means either a rocky core OR the metal core has cooled to a solid. If a planetary body has a rocky core, it has no magnetic
field. If it has a cold core, it has a weak magnetic field.
Anony-Hoaxer (in his guise as Semi-Literate Leader) writes:
We got out a compass. It doesn’t work.
Compasses are minature magnets. They work if and only if a planet has a magnetic core. "Serpo -- Planet of the Hoaxers" has no magentic field and
therefore either has a metal core that's cold and disoriented or has a rocky core. By the mass of the planet (given by Anony-Hoaxer), we can easily
conclude that it must therefore have a cold, non-oriented metal core because it has no magnetic field.
No magnetic field means that the incoming particles and solar rays blast the atmosphere off the face of the planet rather than directing them into the
poles where they just make nice auroras.
As you'll recall from our previous episode of "Stupid Science From Hoaxers", the planet is actually sitting in the "crispy critter" middle of a
strong solar wind that's flowing from one star to another. A solar wind that's not blocked by a magnetic field. A solar wind that strips the
atmosphere away and sucks it into the other star.
(...and the Ebens, we are told, left their homeworld for Serpo because the homeworld was being overrun by volcanos? Were they victimized in their
desperate plight by corrupt Galactic Agent Planet-Sellers who told the Simple-minded Ebens... "oh, it's a LOVELY little planet. Bit of a
fixer-upper with the atmosphere and the lifeforms, but I can let you have it for nine thousand Gigalops. Just came on the market and I KNOW you
don't want to pass up this opportunity!!!" Can the Ebens get their money back on this dangerous piece of galactic real estate? If they sue the
Galactic Agent, can we tune in to the trial on Court TV?)
As science fiction, it's so lame that it wouldn't make it past a book editor and wouldn't make it onto the SciFi Channel, although you could
probably have gotten Ed Wood (writer and director of "Plan Nine From outer Space") to make a movie of it, though, if he was still alive.
[edit on 12-2-2006 by Byrd]