When Up is Not Really Up

Hi! How was your weekend? Productive? Lazy? Relaxing? All of the aforementioned?

Boy-oh-boy do I love the speculative fiction genre! Star Trek, Star Wars, Stargate, Eureka, Battlestar Galactica, Fringe, The Matrix. I can watch these over and over and over again. So now you know what I did this weekend!


Traveling through space with a group of like minded individuals, seeking adventures… *sigh* I get that familiar feeling that I get with stories like this. Harry Potter going off to the coolest Wizarding school, my sister going off to boarding school for senior one, traveling to a different galaxy to make connections with other races and to explore the multiverse.

One of the episodes got me thinking. I was watching Star Trek TNG and the crew has encountered a strange wave phenomenon that is destroying stuff in its wake. Data has figured out that they need to fire 5 phasor torpedos to dissipate it, but they have to be in front of it to make it work. This is not a problem, seeing that it is only traveling at warp 6.3, however, they decided to travel THROUGH the wave to get to the other side.

Hold on one minute!

They couldn’t go under or over it? It was, after all, squiggly blue wavy thingies on the screen with the pitch of the curve relatively small compared to its horizontal width. There was a fire and Worf’s son almost died!

It got me thinking about what side is up when you’re in space. What we call up in Toronto is not quite where up is located in Kampala, the Earth being a circle and all. All diagrams we’ve seen of the Solar system show that the North pole is about 23 degrees from “Up”, however if you look at this video:

“UP” is really sideways (and not always sideways since our star doesn’t quite move in a straight line. Forward to minute 1:40)

So if your spaceship encountered a force that made it spin furiously in every direction, how would you put it right again? In space, there is no up, there is no down, it wouldn’t matter anyway because we’ll have graviton fields in the floor keeping us upright all the time.

I can’t wait to experience it first hand, but I’mma need those graviton fields first Mr. Musk.

I curate a few online “papers”. Check them out sometime:-

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Abby says:

    I love your blog. It is so engaging.

    1. Bwandungi says:

      Thank you Abby! I hope you come to visit often coz I have tons more to say!

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