Irregular Orbits and Atmospheres

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Post Sat Jun 07, 2014 7:18 pm

Irregular Orbits and Atmospheres

I have several planets that need to be mostly dark, but still lit. While I can solve the problems of days by having the sky very overcast through the day, I need longer nights. And I would like the night sky to be mostly clear. The races inhabiting these planets are very technologically advanced, so I am interested in a halfway plausible reason for this.

As much as I love astronomy, I'm at a loss here...

Any help would be greatly appreciated! Thank you!
"Lords of the Mountains, come down from your heights.
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To dance in your forests beneath the sky's lights."

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Post Wed Aug 13, 2014 8:12 pm

Re: Irregular Orbits and Atmospheres

The only thing I can think of that would cause longer nights (that is, nights that are longer in proportion) would be some orbiting object that blocks out the sun. (This comes to mind because I recently read The Ringworld Throne, and Niven's Ringworld has "nights" because of "shadow squares" despite its entire habitable surface facing the star.) Or, as one planet in one Star Wars novel I read many years ago was described, have the only habitable areas of the planet be in deep valleys or ravines, so that the valley walls obscure the sun when it's not sufficiently overhead.

To make nights darker, I can think of two ideas: a thicker atmosphere (which probably rules out the second idea above for longer nights), and simply fewer light sources in the sky (fewer other planets, no moon, fewer nearby-in-astronomical-terms stars, etc.).
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Post Thu Aug 14, 2014 11:07 am

Re: Irregular Orbits and Atmospheres

Wow. Thanks! I never thought of placing objects in between the sun and the planet - that's simply genius!!!

Thanks, you've helped me out a lot.
"Lords of the Mountains, come down from your heights.
Come down to the valleys beneath diamond nights."


"Maids of the Valleys, we come from our heights
To dance in your forests beneath the sky's lights."

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