Mark Gritter (markgritter) wrote,
Mark Gritter
markgritter

Can there really be only a single star in the sky?

I'm reading Jack McDevitt's "The Devil's Eye" at the moment and this solar system out at the far edge of the galaxy has the Milky way on one side and a single star on the other. Much is made of how dark it is except for the single star, which seems to provide enough illumination to see at night. This seems a very important detail of the setting (at least to the author.)

And yet I'm not sure this works out. Is it at all reasonable for a habitable planet to have a supergiant which is close enough to produce Moon-like levels of illumination?

Or what about other galaxies--- would they be visible as low-magnitude objects? Wikipedia says a handful are: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_galaxies#List_of_naked-eye_galaxies

As Marissa pointed out, this seems like a detail that causes the reader to withdraw from the story to think about rather than one which keeps the story moving.
Tags: books, geek, science fiction, stargazing
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