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PostPosted: Sun Jul 13, 2014 3:54 pm 
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Can anyone point me at anything remotely scientific about Dyson Trees? My google-fu has failed me and all I can find is "wouldn't this be cool?" and the same text from Wikipedia cut and pasted into a squillion websites.

I'm after info/discussions on things like why don't the leaves freeze solid in space, how the roots are supposed to turn ice into water, where the tree gets the magnesium it needs to make chlorophyll for photosynthesis, and other stuff like that. Basically discussion of how something that needs liquid water and an ambient temperature above freezing can function in deep space!

I'm tending to the view that a Dyson Saguaro Cactus or a Dyson Prickly Pear that photosynthesises with its whole body might be a better bet than the deciduous tree that is in all the pictures on the web. (Actually I'm mostly tending to the idea that a plant in vacuum is monstrously impractical, but am prepared to hand-wave if someone has done the ground work on the science hiccups in the theory).

Anyone got any leads?


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 13, 2014 4:30 pm 
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It's not science, but Donald Moffitt's "The Genesis Quest" and "Second Genesis" are SF books about humans from another galaxy (long story) riding Dyson Trees back to Earth. It's got some good description in there of how he thinks they'd work (and the books are pretty good too).

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2014 7:40 am 
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I think I read The Genesis Quest many years ago, but I can't recall any technical details from it. Was it the one with starfish-like aliens and a scene where humans have HEARD a violin play but never seen one, so they design an amazingly complicated machine to make the sounds? Because, you know, otherwise the 'violin' operator would have to be the one doing all the complicated stuff and that would take years of practice!

I'll see if I can find a copy on Abe or Amazon.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2014 8:16 am 
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I think so. The Nar were the starfishy aliens (decapods, actually) in another galaxy who uplifted humans based on genetic information transmitted in the Aricebo message. I don't remember the violin thing though.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 17, 2014 3:42 pm 
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Some discussion of the science of dyson trees on my blog (LJ), if anyone want to add anything here or there: http://eledonecirrhosa.livejournal.com/84531.html


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 19, 2014 1:26 am 
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There is quite a lot of material on Dyson Trees and related topics over at the Orion's Arm website, but it's more travelogue than science.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 01, 2014 9:54 pm 
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Larry Niven wrote "The Integral Trees" and a sequel (sorry, don't remember the name), not sure how close those are to Dyson trees, but it might have some good info for you.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 03, 2014 8:07 am 
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The integral trees were, I think, floating in a vast atmospheric shell surrounding the star.

Probably to find science on this subject you need to look to speculation about life in space generically. What would a hard vacuum life form need? What size would it need to be? I can imagine tree shaped things that keep their solar panels/leaves toward the star and their roots might trail out to the void catching small chunks of volatiles and converting them chemically.


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