Jtuxyan on August 03, 2009, 02:15:34 pm
Gravity decreases with the square of the distance, regardless of source. So if this planet had 60% earth gravity at the surface, it will have 60% equivalent earth gravity at any altitude (IE, at say, 10,000ft, it will have 60% of 10,000ft gravity on earth). So in theory, the assassin should already realize how well and truly screwed he is.

Then again, this is all clearly a setup for something. Put me down for Tobi saving him.  ;)

SandySandfort on August 03, 2009, 04:25:27 pm
Gravity decreases with the square of the distance, regardless of source. So if this planet had 60% earth gravity at the surface, it will have 60% equivalent earth gravity at any altitude (IE, at say, 10,000ft, it will have 60% of 10,000ft gravity on earth). So in theory, the assassin should already realize how well and truly screwed he is.

Very good pickup, but you forgot to factor in TLP's rotation (and the rotation of the atmo and airskin). The berg was put in an equatorial orbit so that it could be slowly transfered to a closer orbit in contact with the airskin to be "milked". When the pale man landed on the airskin, he did so near the equator. The airskin and Damocles Station are in synchronous orbit above TLP. So along the equator, TLP's gravity is matched by the centrifugal force of its rotation. Hence, there is only micro-gravity in the vicinity of the equatorial airskin.


Jtuxyan on August 03, 2009, 04:28:43 pm
Very reasonable! Though, the assassin still should have been able to figure out that microgravity corresponded to significant surface gravity.

Then again, he obviously isn't the brightest assassin in the night sky.  ::)

SandySandfort on August 03, 2009, 06:46:44 pm
Very reasonable! Though, the assassin still should have been able to figure out that microgravity corresponded to significant surface gravity.

Then again, he obviously isn't the brightest assassin in the night sky.  ::)

Or even the brightest meteor!

Actually, some clues as to his perceptions were given as he alit. Like most people he only has a limited understanding of how things work. The transport pod was highly automated and just dealt with the conditions as they were, not as the Pale Man might have assumed. See strip 218.

Azure Priest on August 04, 2009, 03:15:45 am
Bwahahaha! Unless he lands right on them, he will surely fail in his mission. Even IF he lands on them and that kills his target, he's certainly not going to walk away from this one. SPLAT! And unless, this genius has some kind of anti-grav device, (he already mentioned that he didn't) I don't see him being able to sufficiently slow the assassin's descent in any manner that won't result in deceleration trauma.

hans_meier on August 04, 2009, 09:18:42 am
It's not the fall that gets you.....it's the sudden stop at the end.........that's going to leave a mark.

Brugle on August 04, 2009, 06:55:42 pm
Gravity decreases with the square of the distance, regardless of source. So if this planet had 60% earth gravity at the surface, it will have 60% equivalent earth gravity at any altitude (IE, at say, 10,000ft, it will have 60% of 10,000ft gravity on earth). So in theory, the assassin should already realize how well and truly screwed he is.

Then again, this is all clearly a setup for something. Put me down for Tobi saving him.  ;)

With reasonable assumptions, gravity varies as the square of the distance from the center.  10000ft is tiny compared to the earth's radius, so gravity at 10000ft above the earth's surface is almost the same as at the surface.  10000ft is a significant fraction of TLP's radius, so gravity at 10000ft above TLP's surface is much less than at the surface.

Initially I thought that Tobi would save him, but what for?  He's unlikely to know anything useful.  (Of course, Tobi may enjoy saving lives.)

quadibloc on August 04, 2009, 08:23:02 pm
Actually, some clues as to his perceptions were given as he alit. Like most people he only has a limited understanding of how things work. The transport pod was highly automated and just dealt with the conditions as they were, not as the Pale Man might have assumed. See strip 218.

This makes sense as a way to deal with what is a vaild objection: that the orbital parameters of his ship should have tipped him off.

But then, our pair enjoying refreshments with the planetoid's owner were also surprised by the gravity later than they should have been... so being highly automated is apparently common in this future.

Sean Roach on August 04, 2009, 10:24:29 pm
Well.  It's probably the first planet they've been on with a functioning beanstalk.
Also, in 201, the Guzmans handed off navigation to the tower, so they weren't directly involved in orbiting the vessel either.
Even then, they knew enough to ask questions, and did.

Brugle on August 05, 2009, 08:51:29 am
But then, our pair enjoying refreshments with the planetoid's owner were also surprised by the gravity later than they should have been... so being highly automated is apparently common in this future.
They noticed weirdness in strip 198 and more in 202.  Jumping to a conclusion (that the planetoid has a higher average density than normal matter) when other explanations are possible would not be intelligent.

jrb on August 05, 2009, 10:30:23 am
Gravity decreases with the square of the distance, regardless of source. So if this planet had 60% earth gravity at the surface, it will have 60% equivalent earth gravity at any altitude (IE, at say, 10,000ft, it will have 60% of 10,000ft gravity on earth). So in theory, the assassin should already realize how well and truly screwed he is.

Then again, this is all clearly a setup for something. Put me down for Tobi saving him.  ;)

You get it nearly correct, then contradict yourself in the second sentence.  Gravity follows an inverse-square law; if you double the distance, you decrease the gravitational force to one-quarter.  From strip 217, we know that the surface is 5km from the center of the asteroid.  Strip 202 says that the rock is out at 50km.  Ten times the distance is 1/100th the gravity, or 0.0061g.  There is no problem with the physics.  The assassin will go splat, but won't realize it until it is too late.

Rocketman on August 05, 2009, 06:33:04 pm
jrb:
    I'm going to have to disagree with you on the last point, that the assassin will go splat alright, but he won't realize it until it's too late.  Sheer instinct will tell him that he's traveling much too fast towards the ground and using his reaction gun as it shows he is he's starting to realize it.  The same way if you fall asleep at the wheel of a moving car and suddenly wake up and realize that your heading right for a tree and even hitting the breaks is not going to stop the car in time.

Karadan on August 06, 2009, 06:30:47 am
Gravity decreases with the square of the distance, regardless of source. So if this planet had 60% earth gravity at the surface, it will have 60% equivalent earth gravity at any altitude (IE, at say, 10,000ft, it will have 60% of 10,000ft gravity on earth). So in theory, the assassin should already realize how well and truly screwed he is.

Then again, this is all clearly a setup for something. Put me down for Tobi saving him.  ;)

You get it nearly correct, then contradict yourself in the second sentence.  Gravity follows an inverse-square law; if you double the distance, you decrease the gravitational force to one-quarter.  From strip 217, we know that the surface is 5km from the center of the asteroid.  Strip 202 says that the rock is out at 50km.  Ten times the distance is 1/100th the gravity, or 0.0061g.  There is no problem with the physics.  The assassin will go splat, but won't realize it until it is too late.

Cool, people who understand physics.  It should however be noted that his terminal velocity will be much much lower on TLP than it would be on earth.  This combined with his little adjuster gun trying to slow his decent may well make it so that he 'walks away' with only some broken legs.  Add in how advanced the medics here are, and he may well survive the ordeal.  I'd need to do a few calculations to see just what his terminal velocity would be, as I don't think it is as simple as 60% of earth's terminal velocity... Though it might be.  Anyone who has taken physics more recently than me want to verify before I break out some paper?

P.S.  Rocketman- I think by 'too late' he means after the point that he can do anything about it, which it basically was the instant he got close enough to TLP that its gravity equaled or exceeded the force that his gun thing could put out.

P.P.S.  Did the math, he should actually end up falling just a bit under 60% of earth's terminal velocity, which would put him at roughly 114 feet/s or 34.7 m/s  Still a very hard fall, and still likely deadly, but also survivable.  Any guesses on how much thrust his gun puts out?
« Last Edit: August 06, 2009, 06:45:33 am by Karadan »

SandySandfort on August 06, 2009, 09:48:38 am
Cool, people who understand physics.  It should however be noted that his terminal velocity will be much much lower on TLP than it would be on earth.  This combined with his little adjuster gun trying to slow his decent may well make it so that he 'walks away' with only some broken legs.  Add in how advanced the medics here are, and he may well survive the ordeal.  I'd need to do a few calculations to see just what his terminal velocity would be, as I don't think it is as simple as 60% of earth's terminal velocity... Though it might be.  Anyone who has taken physics more recently than me want to verify before I break out some paper?

Terminal velocity has nothing to do with surface gravity. Terminal velocity is concerned with only three variables, escape velocity (a function solely of mass), distance fallen and air resistance. The velocity of objects impacting a celestial body approximate escape velocity in a vacuum. (A bit more more for objects that already had a speed exceeding escape velocity, a bit less for objects falling from less than an infinite distance.)

P.P.S.  Did the math, he should actually end up falling just a bit under 60% of earth's terminal velocity, which would put him at roughly 114 feet/s or 34.7 m/s  Still a very hard fall, and still likely deadly, but also survivable.  Any guesses on how much thrust his gun puts out?

Escape velocity for TLP is a bit under 900 kilometers per hour. If TLP had no atmosphere, our bad guy would hit at some high percentage of that speed. Because there is an atmosphere, however, he would accelerate during his fall until he reached a terminal velocity of about 200 kph. Why? Because TLP's atmospheric density is approximately that of Earth's, and about 200 kph is the fastest a person can fall through that much atmosphere, irrespective of the strength of the gravity field.

Rocketman on August 06, 2009, 10:50:27 am
Lets see 900 kph equals about 549 miles an hour minus whatever the reaction gun can slow him down and the likelyhood that he's also wearing body armor that should help keep his insides from coming outside, it's just remotely possible that he could survive this.  Many years ago I worked with a guy that messed himself up badly.  He was drunk and running his motorcycle over a hundred miles an hour when he lost control and slammed into a telephone pole.  The telephone pole was buried 6 feet into the soft sandy soil and the impact knocked it clear out of the ground but he didn't die.  One of the reasons was that he was so plastered that his body was loose.  For the next six months or so he as moving around like he was 90 years old when he was in his early 20's though.