[unparsed]In my scifi conworld, I have creatures that live in space which can see in heat, at quite high resolution (with a 360 field of view), and that are comparatively warm blooded (they run at around 200 C much of the time, but can drop down to the teens in Kelvin when hibernating).
They have heat organs (connected to their furnaces/stomachs) and a kind of dynamic insulation around what amount to tiny screen plates in the eyes where the light is focused by the lens (which is a bit below body temperature, though does radiate a little).
They can vary the conductivity of the insulation. Basically, carbon and aluminates that form microcapillaries which they can constrict (draining the charge, increasing conductivity to near diamond) or expand (pumping it full of a charge, decreasing conductivity to below that of aerogel).
First they dump a large amount of heat into the the plates by constricting the insulation (this gets them hot enough to glow in the visible red- in the neighborhood of 800 C), then they expand the insulation and wait a few seconds for some of the heat to bleed off. The amount of heat that bleeds off in that amount of time depends on what light is focused on them (loss vs. gain).
They can't tell the difference between human visible light and heat with these eyes; it all looks the same to them.
When they reconnect the plates to the heat source by constricting the insulation material, a small metallic membrane generates a differential charge based on the difference in temperature, which is received by nerve endings through organic 'diamond' hairs with heavy metal cores (silver and gold, mostly)- the diamond bleeding off the heat while insulating the 'wire', bringing the contact point down to a more comfortable 200 C (which preserves the nerves).
The hairs are originally flat and plated on one side, which then curl up to form the wire; a genetic condition which results in these hairs not properly curling due to incomplete protein synthesis on the outside of the hair is the most common source of congenital blindness.
That's the closest thing to optical eyes they have; they mostly use these to look at distant stars and astrological bodies for navigation, and to pick up on living things or distant hot rocks.
As to other light,
They also have a number of radio antennas and the ability to generate sharp directional pulses of radio waves (which is how they communicate with each other) and also serves as a form of radar allowing them to sense cold topography and penetrate into material to feel out heavier elements- delicious fissile materials.
They have ionizing light sensing nerves on their skin, which can pick up anything stronger than violet light; UV and gamma up into cosmic radiation, as well as alpha and beta (using slightly different nerves). Felt not unlike our sense of touch. No lenses though.
Posted January 15th, 2011
[unparsed]That's interesting! [u:6dfb2cb1f9][i:6dfb2cb1f9]Really[/i:6dfb2cb1f9][/u:6dfb2cb1f9] interesting.
I'd like to read more about them.
Posted January 15th, 2011
[unparsed]From what I've seen and read, I think Tarn would would have to be able to see a little farther into near IR than humans, but because of the star their planet circles, and their planet having a slightly thicker atmosphere, I don't think they can see as far into the blue-violet end of the spectrum. But I'm not sure. Maybe there just aren't creatures that see in UV on their planet, unlike here on earth.
Posted January 15th, 2011
And @anyone else on gtx0 who has a species they’d like to tell us about:
Can you answer the OP about your current con-species?
My Adpihi and Reptigan are Earth-descended Humans. They see color the we do in real life, however [i]that[/i] is!
My Space Centipedes can see colors with wavelengths from 200 nanometers to 1450 nanometers.
They can all tell apart wavelength-differences of 25 to 50 nanometers all over the spectrum, and the gifted among them can tell differences in wavelength of 5 to 10 nanometers.
The level of discrimination differs at different parts of the spectrum and often differs from one eye to another. It can depend on age and caste as well as heredity and “blind chance” (you should excuse the expression!).
(The next bit is from memory; I might have to make it less ambitious when I find where I first worked on this.)
They have 26 different opsins, and 26 different oils.
Each opsin is sensitive to a range of wavelengths from 50 nanometers shorter to 50 nanometers longer than the wavelength at which it is maximally sensitive. Sensitivity falls off at about 1% per nanometer up to a difference of about 25 nanometers shorter or longer, then falls off at about 3% per nanometer difference in wavelength, finally reaching 0% of peak sensitivity for light waves shorter in wavelength than 50 nanometers shorter than the peak-sensitivity wavelength, or longer than 50 nanometers longer in wavelength.
Oil-drop absorption is just like that, turned upside down. At a certain wavelength, the oil absorbs 100% of the light. As the wavelength varies from that one, the fraction of light absorbed falls off at about 1% per nanometer difference in wavelength, up to 25 nanometers shorter than or 25 nanometers longer than the wavelength of maximum absorption. (So for instance it absorbs 75% of the light with wavelength 25 nanometers shorter or longer than the wavelength it absorbs 100% of.). Then, for wavelengths differing by 25 to 50 nanometers from the peak-absorption wavelength, the fraction of light absorbed falls off at about 3% per nanometer, until it no longer absorbs light shorter or longer than its peak-absorption wavelength by 50 nanometers or more.
Each opsin occurs in three kinds of cone cells.
One kind has no oil-drop.
One kind has an oil drop whose peak of absorption is 50 nanometers shorter than the cone’s peak of sensitivity.
One kind has an oil drop whose peak of absorption is 50 nanometers longer than the cone’s peak of sensitivity.
(Aside: I just noticed that “shorter” is longer than “longer”, and “longer” is shorter than “shorter”!)
Each kind of oil occurs in two kinds of cone-cells.
One has its peak of sensitivity 50 nanometers shorter than the oil’s peak of absorption.
One has its peak of sensitivity 50 nanometers longer than the oil’s peak of absorption.
Space-Centipedes have four sets of eyes.
One set sees wavelengths from 200 to 700 nanometers.
One set sees wavelengths from 450 to 950 nanometers.
One set sees wavelengths from 700 to 1200 nanometers.
And the fourth set sees wavelengths from 950 to 1450 nanometers.
The second and third sets need to be cooled to see wavelengths about as long as those the SC’s body naturally radiates as heat;
and the third and fourth sets need to be on eyestalks, so they can get away from the warmth of the SC’s body.
Both the opsins’ peak sensitivity, and the transparent oils’ peak absorption, occur at wavelengths stepping from 200 to 1450 nanometers, by 50 nanometers a step.
Caveat and/or correction; No opsin is sensitive to light shorter than 200 nanometers or longer than 1450 nanometers.
The thing achieved by having the oil-drops in some of the cone-cells, is that they won’t ever see a mixture of two wavelengths as a single other wavelength.
No red+yellow=orange; no yellow+green=chartreuse; no green+blue=cyan: not for Space-Centipedes!
I hope this isn’t tl;dr.
Edited August 2nd
Of the peoples of Yeola, Daine have the oddest colour vision. Girls are tetrachromats. Theirs is a world of rich hues, saturations, an extra basic colour and a vivid, perhaps almost psychedelic palette. They see best between about 800nm and 280~300nm. Boys are monocrhomats. Theirs is a sepia world of light and shadow and very faded colour. Their colour vision is best between 730~750nm and 980nm.
If you're a guy and think [i]you[/i] have difficulties convincing your girl that her skirt is actually blue when she says it's green...have pity on the poor Daine fellow who's entirely lost when she goes on and on about "so this [c]7ae3db [/c]sarong or that [c]7ae3dc[/c] one --- which one compliments my eyes better?"
Posted August 3rd