Orphan Planets: It’s a Hard Knock Life | Space.com

The pulsar planets PSR B1257+12 b, c, and d are all that remains of a dead solar system. They are constantly beamed with intense radiation. (Artist's concept) (NASA, 2006)

The pulsar planets PSR B1257+12 b, c, and d are all that remains of a dead solar system. They are constantly beamed with intense radiation. (Artist’s concept) (NASA, 2006)

I just came across this article on rogue planets on Facebook, thanks to I Fucking Love Science.

I love the idea of rogue planets. Strangely, I think they are romantic. Even sexy.

I’ve been thinking for quite awhile of how to do a science fiction story where a rogue planet is used as the method of traveling through the vastness of space. Rather than trying to move faster to get places, humanity finally realized exploration of space would take generations of people – and even hundreds of generations and more – so they needed something large enough to sustain a society over that period of time.

But that would isolate a relatively small population which is a major influence on evolution. It also brings up the question as to whether humans would be capable of devoting their entire lives to a scientific endeavor they would never see any results from.

So far, the story has eluded me. It just feels to massive when I’ve only ever done short works before. Then there is also the fear of messing up on the science, because this wouldn’t be right as a fantasy posing as sci-fi, as so many of them are.

Ironically, Talk of The Nation’s Science Friday yesterday was tackling one of my hurdles. Granted, they spend far too much time just agreeing that the science should be accurate and too little time discussing how to actually do that.

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