Thread: Glows
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Old Aug 31 2010, 01:23 AM   #3
Kath
Starsmith


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Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Oop North

Fan of: Moreta
Default Re: Glows

They definitely need oxygen in order to luminesce.

There's also a need for fresh glows after a while, and they ought to be shielded/closed off from oxygen when not needed - that suggests that they have a limited lifespan, and that they're not so abundant that a small Hold can afford to waste them.

Presumably that's a whole new Pernese job opportunity out there - glow gathering/tending/breeding/farming.

They appear to be cave-dwelling organisms, so perhaps UV light is damaging to them? Maybe they evolved at a point in Pern's history when there was a much higher ozone content throughout the atmosphere, blocking the UV and providing an energy-rich oxygen-based foodsource... and maybe the bioluminescence attracted/confused insects at night, creating a good food supply for flits or larger bugs or whatever, and the glows get fertilised by the insect-predator waste products? Yeah, I'm speculating wildly... and then something happens, maybe Threadfall starts and the atmosphere gets heated/altered enough to reduce the ozone layer and let more UV through, and they end up colonising only caves - which would have a ready source of flit/wherry/snake manure as they're the best places for the larger wildlife to shelter from Thread.

Okay, enough speculation!

I doubt they'd be more efficient than lightbulbs, but once electricity falls into short supply, they'd be an obvious choice. Free lighting, with minimal heat-wastage... and [speculation alert!] potentially you could feed them on human/animal waste.

How luminous are they? That's hard to say. A full basket could be little more than a 30W incandescent bulb... or fainter, or brighter. You'd need to either ask Anne, or dredge through the books for enough references to build a bigger picture. To light a room for basic movement and work - I'd guess you'd need a basket or two. For anything requiring good vision, more, or move yourself closer.

Too many glows might be a bad choice, assuming they do use oxygen - if the room's not well ventilated enough, you might end up making a trade-off between illumination and asphyxiation...

Last edited by Kath; Aug 31 2010 at 03:09 AM.
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