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What colour is the wedge?

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What colour is the wedge?
Post by ThinksMarkedly   » Sun Apr 12, 2020 6:40 pm

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Thinking about the possibility of a TV series about Honor, I came to the conclusion that the wedge is probably one of the things that is going to suffer most in an adaptation. If the wedges are visible, they'd make for very poor fields of view in a visible adaptation.

I've always pictured the wedges as bright green, barely translucent, though in my mind they're also much closer to the ship than the rendition in the wiki. But as I was thinking of how a TV adaptation might mangle/bungle this, I don't think the books ever say that the wedges are visible in the EM spectrum at all. What we do know is that they:
  • are very bright sources in gravitic sensors (which propagate FTL);
  • cannot be seen through from the outside;
  • their distortion can be compensated by the ship inside;
  • Ghost Rider RDs are pretty stealthy

Given the last, I actually think now that the wedges might actually be dark, or at worst a hazy very dark grey, like an unfocused lens spreading the light of the stars.

So what colour have you always imagined the wedges to be when you read the books? And what do you intellectually think they ought to look like?

Follow-up question: how do you think a TV adaptation should show them?
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Re: What colour is the wedge?
Post by cthia   » Sun Apr 12, 2020 7:08 pm

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Remember, wedges are as hard to miss as a spot light in a dark room. They have to be easily seen. I've always envisioned a bright neon red, or a brilliant white of almost pure light. White hot. Or red hot.

Son, your mother says I have to hang you. Personally I don't think this is a capital offense. But if I don't hang you, she's gonna hang me and frankly, I'm not the one in trouble. —cthia's father. Incident in ? Axiom of Common Sense
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Re: What colour is the wedge?
Post by ThinksMarkedly   » Sun Apr 12, 2020 7:22 pm

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cthia wrote:Remember, wedges are as hard to miss as a spot light in a dark room. They have to be easily seen. I've always envisioned a bright neon red, or a brilliant white of almost pure light. White hot. Or red hot.


Gravitically they are a very bright source. We know that they can be detected from light-minutes away by even poor planets, like the Verge or how the Star Kingdom was in Travis' time.

But do we know that they emit in the EM spectrum? More importantly, in the visible light one?
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Re: What colour is the wedge?
Post by Somtaaw   » Sun Apr 12, 2020 7:35 pm

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ThinksMarkedly wrote:
cthia wrote:Remember, wedges are as hard to miss as a spot light in a dark room. They have to be easily seen. I've always envisioned a bright neon red, or a brilliant white of almost pure light. White hot. Or red hot.


Gravitically they are a very bright source. We know that they can be detected from light-minutes away by even poor planets, like the Verge or how the Star Kingdom was in Travis' time.

But do we know that they emit in the EM spectrum? More importantly, in the visible light one?


We don't know they emit, but we know they "twist photons like a pretzel" and the specific reason military ships generate 2 wedges (one inside the other) is to prevent any potential enemy from scanning the wedge and computer compensating so you can see through it and identify EXACTLY where the ship is behind the wedge.

So I figure wedges (until scanned) are closer to the same sort of appearance as a black-hole, and it's just a huge absence of light rather than generating light itself.

Civilian ships, due to only have 1 wedge at all, could be scanned and the wedge compensated for, in which case you'll get the "pane of glass" sort of shimmer of all forms of sci-fi adaptive camouflage.

Warships due to the dual-layered wedges always remain huge sheets that block all light. So even a 0° deflection completely bow on approach, you'd see the narrowing aspects of the wedge blocking/absorbing all nearby light and the ship itself riding between them.
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Re: What colour is the wedge?
Post by Jonathan_S   » Sun Apr 12, 2020 7:50 pm

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ThinksMarkedly wrote:
cthia wrote:Remember, wedges are as hard to miss as a spot light in a dark room. They have to be easily seen. I've always envisioned a bright neon red, or a brilliant white of almost pure light. White hot. Or red hot.


Gravitically they are a very bright source. We know that they can be detected from light-minutes away by even poor planets, like the Verge or how the Star Kingdom was in Travis' time.

But do we know that they emit in the EM spectrum? More importantly, in the visible light one?

We know they scatter and deflect light.
I expect that effect is pretty damned obvious if you're in orbit and they pass between you and the planet, a moon, or the local star. But that distortion could be an otherwise largely invisible "blur filter" that's only apparently visually when it passes over something you can notice being horribly distorted.
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Re: What colour is the wedge?
Post by Daryl   » Sun Apr 12, 2020 8:47 pm

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Never thought seriously about it, but assumed it would be a shimmering mother of pearl becauseof the light distortion.
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Re: What colour is the wedge?
Post by ThinksMarkedly   » Sun Apr 12, 2020 9:36 pm

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Somtaaw wrote:Warships due to the dual-layered wedges always remain huge sheets that block all light. So even a 0° deflection completely bow on approach, you'd see the narrowing aspects of the wedge blocking/absorbing all nearby light and the ship itself riding between them.


It can't be a full absorption, since we know the ship inside the wedge can compensate and scan outside. So some light (EM radiation) must be able to come through.

Daryl wrote:Never thought seriously about it, but assumed it would be a shimmering mother of pearl becauseof the light distortion.


I imagine that's the case if you're seeing it against a planet. But if it's seen against the backdrop of space, I expect (intellectually) that you get black again. The smeared light of any star that it occluded would be trivial. If the wedge is far enough, you might just get a brighter spot because the star's light was lensed to a bigger area than a simple point.

From the inside, I would expect it to look dark grey.
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Re: What colour is the wedge?
Post by cthia   » Sun Apr 12, 2020 11:50 pm

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ThinksMarkedly wrote:
cthia wrote:Remember, wedges are as hard to miss as a spot light in a dark room. They have to be easily seen. I've always envisioned a bright neon red, or a brilliant white of almost pure light. White hot. Or red hot.


Gravitically they are a very bright source. We know that they can be detected from light-minutes away by even poor planets, like the Verge or how the Star Kingdom was in Travis' time.

But do we know that they emit in the EM spectrum? More importantly, in the visible light one?

Those are the colors I think Hollywood should use. I'm taking into consideration colors that may be used for other things like graser and laser fire, tractor beams, etc. They should be separate colors.

Also, the wedge should show different colors when it is in the process of being raised. When it flickers and takes a hit. And, when its intensity changes because it weakens or is being played with to hide or simulate another ship.

It's difficult to simulate the various changes of a wedge with a black hole. Black holes should be reserved for stealthed objects, and, black holes.

Wormholes is what I'd like to see.

Son, your mother says I have to hang you. Personally I don't think this is a capital offense. But if I don't hang you, she's gonna hang me and frankly, I'm not the one in trouble. —cthia's father. Incident in ? Axiom of Common Sense
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Re: What colour is the wedge?
Post by ZVar   » Mon Apr 13, 2020 2:51 am

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Again I'm reading just in time. From Echoes of Honor..

The hyper translation had been all Citizen Commodore Yang had promised. He'd never imagined anything like it, and he knew he'd stood there, gawking through the observation blister's magnifying grav lens, as ship after ship followed Farnese across the hyper-space wall into the Cerberus System. The sleek battlecruisers had been magnificent enough, with the two hundred and fifty-kilometer disks of their Warshawski sails bleeding blue lightning, but the transports had been even more awesome. They outmassed the battlecruisers by over five-to-one, and despite their weaker drives, the actual area of their sails was much greater. They had flashed into existence like huge, azure soap bubbles, blazing against the blackness like brief-lived blue suns, and the sight had driven home the reality of their sheer size. There were many larger ships in space, yet for the first time in his memory, Thornegrave had been pushed into standing back and appreciating the sheer scale of the human race's dreams. By many standards, the Longstops were little more than moderately oversized cargo barges, and he knew it, but they didn't feel that way as they glowed and flashed in the long night.


So blue lightning, or blue sun. That's translation though and not impeller wedges. For wedges it's red shifted...

From On Basilisk Station.

But King Roger raced along between the inclined "roof" and "floor" of her impeller wedge, and the effect of a meter-deep band in which local gravity went from zero to over ninety-seven thousand MPS2 grabbed photons like a lake of glue and bent the strongest energy weapon like flimsy wire. Stars seen through a stress band like that red-shifted radically and displaced their images by a considerable margin in direct vision displays, though knowing exactly how powerful the gravity field was made it fairly simple for the computers to compensate and put them back where they belonged.
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Re: What colour is the wedge?
Post by jchilds   » Mon Apr 13, 2020 3:50 am

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So...

Wedges are Red,
Sails are Blue,
Treecats like celery,
in rabbit stew.

? :oops:
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