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ArtOfSoulburn's avatar

Megastructures Alderson Disk

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My latest Megastructure, the Alderson Disk is a giant platter (like a Compact Disc) with a thickness of several thousand km and an outer radius roughly equivalent to the oribit of Mars or Jupiter. The sun is located in the hole at the center of the disc.
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I could see a Galaxy-spanning civilization With thousands of different intelligent species using a structure like this for a capital instead of a planet, with all the different species inhabiting different zones.

Tharsis13's avatar

your artwork is phenomenal, you are really able to communicate scale well.

nhearn34's avatar

This has to be my all-time favorite (fictional) world! Is it alright if I use this kind of structure for a story setting?

ArtOfSoulburn's avatar

I don't have a copyright on the Alderson disk idea, just the picture. So feel free to use the idea for your story.

ChrisY-DA's avatar

I wonder, could you have a ringworld just outside the outer edge of the disk? That would be cool to see.

ArtOfSoulburn's avatar

That would be indeed a unique combo, maybe I'll paint one some day!

9900blueunicorn's avatar
I bet on this version of earth, there would be “Round-Earthers” who claim the planet to be round.

Sorry for the awful joke.

Great megastructure, though!

Although, How could there be any atmosphere? What if there’s a meteor shower? Would the disk break or topple? If it topples would everyone on the disk topple with it? Would there even be any people? Would humans have evolved differently? 

This is really intriguing! Keep up the good work!
ArtOfSoulburn's avatar
Haha! I'm sure round earthers would be a movement :) As for the various questions, from what I've read on the subject, atmosphere would be all about the mass of the disc and its gravitational pull. And the rest of the issues would indeed be a problem, I suspect it would need a pretty advanced asteroid detection and elimination system in place. Anyways, glad you dig it!
9900blueunicorn's avatar
Thanks! Glad you created this art!
CodyLabs's avatar
I've heard about this one before... Preeeetty sure you wouldn't be able to stand on it though. I think everything would just slide inward toward the star. (Toward the disk's center of mass.)
ArtOfSoulburn's avatar
From my understanding, this could be fixed by having a variable amount of mass in the disc, more mass as you go further out, to compensate. That wasn't part of the original design by the guy who invented it, but was a proposed solution later on.
CodyLabs's avatar
oh hmm
okay, that sounds like it could work, I suppose. I seemed to recall from physics class that gravity always points toward the center of mass, but then I remembered that that only applies to uniform spheres. A large, flat plane would probably create gravity almost perpendicular to itself.
masonicon's avatar
this Flat Earth won't scare people from taking Redpills(this is the Matrix term)
Shernod9704's avatar
FLAT EARTH
FLAT EARTH
FLAT EARTH
FLAT EARTH
FLAT EARTH
FLAT EARTH
FLAT EARTH
DeadPegasus's avatar
Shernod9704's avatar
1. Joke
2. Ok round believer
Toorop888's avatar
How about binary star system? One star in the middle of disc,the other orbiting around. There would be no night anyway.
ArtOfSoulburn's avatar
Sounds interesting, although not sure on the orbital mechanics required to have a sphere orbit a disc
Alphasaith's avatar
My only question is how would this structure not crunch itself into a sphere due to its own mass?
ArtOfSoulburn's avatar
Actually, Isaac Arthur posted a video on the subject recently, it would likely involve placing more mass towards the outside of the dish: www.youtube.com/watch?v=JGu-DY…
theFallenSENTIENT18's avatar
Good idea but one major problem...

what about out the tides and waves caused by moons???

wait that could be possible fixed by just taking 2 rogue planets and make it circle the sun like a normal planet would one on top and one on the bottom
tygertygr's avatar
This is freakin' amazing!  I'm loving this entire series.

I wonder, though... does an Alderson disk spin?  If so, you could solve the problem of the day/night cycle by having crenelations on the atmosphere retaining wall.  Make them long enough and high enough to block the sunlight for a few hours at a time.  An object that size would retain heat long enough that a few hours of darkness wouldn't threaten a freeze.
Great design but I do see some problems with it. Mostly the inner and outer parts of the ring. Why build it so large that you would have large portions of the disk that are uninhabitable due to distance? Why not make it large enough to where you would only have the habitable disk with only some of the inner and outer regions that are thin enough for desert and polar desert biomes. Because at such distances it would be so hot, desert animals would bake and polar animals would freeze. 
ArtOfSoulburn's avatar
As far as I know, it wouldn't spin, since usually things spin to create artificial gravity, and in this case the surface is so thick that it creates gravity that way. But if it did spin, you're right, that would be a great way to get day and night. Glad you're enjoying the series!
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