Freitag, 13. Juni 2008

Glaciers from outer space !!!

It seems that barren ice deserts are an important scenery for a science-ficton movie, even if, or maybe because there are not found exclusively on planet earth, but also on extrasolar planets, like Hoth, sixth planet of a remote system of the same name (so maybe we should call it Hoth VI), collocated in the outer rim territories.

It is a world covered entirely in snow and ice, with numerous moons, and pelted by meteorites from a nearby asteroid belt. But even on this frozen planet, you still can find an entire ecosystem, the tauntaun, a 2,5m tall bipedal herbivore, grazing on lichens, and hunted by the terrible Wampa. Wampas are mainly solitary hunters, like the polar bear (Ursus maritimus) from the planet earth, an example of convergent evolution.

Similarities of the scenery in the movie "The Empire Strikes Back", with the Finse and the Hardangerjøkulen glacier in Norway are unintentional and are for purposes of illustration only.

Only one place in space is more dangerous then Hoth, the high security penalty asteroid Rura Penthe.
Controlled by the Klingon empire, the planet hosts a penal colony, known for its harsh conditions and dilithium mines.
The surface temperature of Rura Penthe is extremely low, even if three weak suns are glooming in the sky, and the landscape is dominated by glaciers. Without proper clothing, no humanoid lifeform is able to survive for very long on the surface, so most of the mining and prison facility is located underground. A magnetic shield encased the mining facility and a vast area surrounding it in order to prevent prisoners from being beamed away. The prison complex is patrolled by armed klingon guards. Other security measures are minimal, as they were deemed largely unnecessary due to the harsh surface climate.
It was stated that no one had ever escaped Rura, because of the harsh conditions experienced on the surface, but it seems after some non confirmed informations, that Captain Kirk and Dr. McCoy, from the U.S.S. Enterprise, managed to escape from the icy planetoid.

Similarities of the scenery in the movie with the moon Europa are also unintentional.

The surface scenes of Rura Penthe in Star Trek VI were filmed at Knik Glacier, east of Palmer, Alaska.

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