Dark Matter Never Seems to Show Up in Fiction Universes

Or not.  No snappy title. I’m sure you can see where a post about dark matter could bring bad titles, like weeds after rain.

We won’t go there.

Which reminds me of this awesome skit with Bob Newhart from Mad  TV, in which a psychiatric counseling session happens in a way most therapists would probably prefer:


“This is not Yiddish, Katherine, this is English.”

Anyhooooo, the purpose of this post was to talk about a like from the Science Geek over at http://thesciencegeek.org/.  Mr. Geek liked my post on planetary mechanics.  This lead me to read about dark matter.

Whoa boy.  That’s a can of worms, and I even understood the arguments based on my recent attempts to understand Kepler’s third law (the one about orbits based on mass/distance/speed).  See, all the planets conform to Kepler’s third law.  But the galaxies do not. At least, they don’t based on the things we can see, so the postulated idea is that there is dark matter we cannot see that forms a majority of the galaxy.

I’ve not yet seen this incorporated into science fiction, or maybe all those guys just aren’t hard enough. Warp/worm gates? Lots of those. One, two, a dozen gas giants? Sure. Trinary star systems. But no dark matter, anywhere, to see.  See what I did there? You can’t see it. It’s dark matter. Heh.

Never mind.

Planetary mechanics. Please help. Physicists, Astronomers, People Who Study This Kind of Stuff

In a previous post, I wrote about the pretty cool Alternity universe creator for that RPG.

It occurred to me that many random readers may have experience or interest in the mechanics of the heat or lack thereof in a planetary mass, and how that would affect weather on that planet (assuming a lot of factors here).

So here’s the system:

The star is a Class K Red Giant Mature. Temp is 4500 K, mass is 2x Sol, radius is 30x Sol, luminosity is 200 x Sol.  The star is a monster, isn’t it?

So here’s the stats of the planet:

Deep system Orbit 16.03 AU Temperate zone Terran
Type Terran
AU 16.03
angle 331
orbit circular
Perhilion 15.9
Aphelion 16.2
YEARS 61.5

Axial Tilt (earth=23) 13
Rotation (hours) 36 hours
Mass (earths) 0.3
Diameter 11032 km
Gravity 0.9
water arid 20%
magnetism 1 gauss
Atmos: 4 PO

Does anyone just happen to have a planetary weather generator where you plug in the above numbers and it just sort of tells you what the average temperature is at different times? (I jest. Such a thing probably doesn’t exist.) If earth experiences a fluctuation in temperature just from the perihilion/aphelion orbital mechanics, wouldn’t a larger variation in the planetary path cause much wider variations of the planetary atmospheric temperature?

I totally get why authors might just have all the planets be Earth Standards with atmo, gravity, and temps the same.  The more extreme the environment, the more it factors in to what you write, because you have to protect your characters from the weather by telling the reader what you’re doing.  Or you gloss over it and invent a shield or piece of clothing that allows them to ignore the weather and go about the business of advancing the plot.  [There’s probably a trope name for that.]

Go ahead, comment. It won’t kill you.  And, um, it’s not because I’m desperate. Because I’m not. I’m NOT! Just comment. If you comment, I’ll be your best friend!  C’mon. I’ll give you a cookie! Yeah, I love the “Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus” books, too.