Fridge: 2010: The Year We Make Contact

  • The Leonov crew's triangular mission patches show both the Soviet and U.S. flags, but the U.S. flag is upside-down: the stripes are on top and the stars are on the bottom. Flying a flag upside-down is only supposed to be used to signal a dire emergency... but the reason there are Americans on this mission is precisely because needing to rescue Discovery before it crashes into Io is a dire emergency. — SuddenFrost

  • Wouldn't the existence of two suns mess with various animal/plant life cycles that are dependent on a day/night cycle?
    • It would, and it was explicitly mentioned by Arthur C. Clarke in his novel.
    • Woopsie.
      • When Earth is between the Sun and Jupiter, it is still about 900-1000 times further from Jupiter than Europa is. Assuming Jupiter looks from Europa like the Sun from Earth, its magnitude from Earth would be -12m. That's about 10000 times brighter than Sirius - and about as bright as a half moon. Meaning that the night sky would look like in a moonlit night, except with a very brilliant dot. Farthest from Earth, Jupiter would still be almost half as bright at -11m, and still a very bright dot on the day sky.
      • So, in other words, the night sky as we know it would still exist, just with at least one light source being equivalent to a half-moon being present at all times? Notwithstanding the effects on sea turtles, migratory animals, etc., that doesn't sound quite drastic enough to warrant lovers' being ticked off as Clarke proposed.