11/02/20 – Planet or Star System

Spacetrawler, audio version For the blind or visually impaired, November 2, 2020.




And Godzilla is just a cute lizard with charisma.


  1. Efogoto

    Pluto is 3.7 billion miles from the sun, with an orbital diameter of 7.4 billion miles. The Calama Void is wider than that, and a sphere. That’s a pretty big haystack in which to look for a needle. Good thing they’ve got a tracking device leading them on.

  2. Coyoty

    Wiffle World! And its doomsday prophecy involves an giant hollow cylinder of the same composition.

    I’m guessing it’s a natural formation that was one of many that formed the same way. The others eventually collapsed, and this is the one in a thousand or so that was stable enough to survive.

    1. Christopher John Baldwin

      @Adam, so true! But, for better or worse, the largest % of the readership on earth of this webcomic are from the US, and so the webcomic translator (which can only have one setting) is set to that. 🙂

  3. gridsleep

    No one said it was a hollow sphere. The implication is that it is fairly solid, compacted, with spaces running all through it like tunnels, and probably keeps changing as it compacts and adjusts, making it quite dangerous to enter. The heat and gas pressure of the star at the center probably keeps it from trying to collapse into a giant singularity that would otherwise form a galaxy. Nothing funny here. Go away.

  4. Paul

    How does it not collapse into a neutron star or black hole? No, really, how?

    Stars are stars because they are so massive that gravity holds them together against the force of nuclear fusion that would otherwise cause them to explode. That amount of rock would be far too massive for any known substance (and most unknown substances) to keep it from collapsing to the smallest point possible.

    1. walterw

      right? also like @Pete Rogan says, it would be collecting insane amounts of energy from the central star

      maybe that’s the answer, it’s a construction that includes like solar-mass-sized antigravity generators (or whatever technobabble) that are converting a bunch of that energy into keeping the whole thing from collapsing into a supermassive black hole

    1. Paul

      The original Dyson sphere wasn’t actually a solid construct but the idea of orbiting / moving solar energy collection platforms covering the entirety of the star’s output.

      The sci-fi Dyson sphere (like in Orbitsville, for instance) is a flimsy wafer-thin eggshell (even so I haven’t done the maths on Orbitsville, and I’m a bit dubious about it). This ‘rock formation’ thing looks thick and clunky. Now it could be that the look is faked, but otherwise I think that the ‘rock’ would have to be less dense than Aerogel (that can literally lighter than air).

  5. Pete Rogan

    Good God.

    My first impression was that this is a Dyson sphere — and on second thought, it has to be. Given its great mass, as Paul has noted, and the presence of a star in the center, the entire thing has to be artificial.

    Built by who? For what? Are they still living on the interior surface?

    Something else: Depending on the Hertzsprung-Russell classification of its central star, the interior of the Calama void has to be collecting between hellzalotta and >gasp!< amounts of energy every second. I don't care if you call them ergs or apples; at this point the numbers cease to make sense.

    —What the HELL are the Puppy-people planning to DO with this thing? Is this, God forbid, their home? The workforce needed to keep it operating (like keeping the central star from hitting the wall at some point) would need to be Brobdingnagian in size. Is THAT what this is all about?

  6. Peter Ware

    Remembering the Ringworld series the Ring has a naturally unstable orbit which needs constant nudges to keep it stable. A Dyson sphere is effectively a 3-D version of a Ringworld and so I would expect that it would also have a naturally unstable orbit that needs constant orbital adjustments.

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