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View Full Version : Maybe a glimpse at Earth's very distance future


Sinistrum
08-27-2009, 01:28 PM
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090826/ap_on_sc/us_sci_suicidal_planet

I saw this and went "woah that's cool!" which I rarely do for news stories.

Gilshalos Sedai
08-27-2009, 02:19 PM
That's up there with the star in Orion that will die and might take us with it with its death-gamma-ray.

Birgitte
08-27-2009, 03:14 PM
I could be okay with that. Death by death ray would just be too cool for me to get too upset if there was nothing we could do about it.


Edit: Yeah. No helping that sentence. But it goes like this:

Scientist: Oh noes! That star in Orion has died! It's taking all of us with it with its death gamma ray!

Me: Oh. I guess there's nothing we can do to stop it?

Scientist: NO!

Me: Okay. Death by death ray is an acceptable death. Let's party!

GonzoTheGreat
08-27-2009, 03:14 PM
That's up there with the star in Orion that will die and might take us with it with its death-gamma-ray.I haven't heard about that one. What's it gonna do, crash on a neutron star?

Gilshalos Sedai
08-27-2009, 03:44 PM
Actually, if I remember the documentary, yes.

It's supposed to go nova within the next 20K years. It's big enough to produce a black hole which could shoot a gamma ray straight out its axis. Which is aimed toward us, as near as the astrophysicists that were on the documentary could figure. It's a companion star to a smaller one it's orbiting.

GonzoTheGreat
08-27-2009, 04:13 PM
Yeah, a black hole was the other option I'd considered.

Birgitte, there is a serious problem with the death ray scenario: it would move with the speed of light. So we wouldn't see it coming, which would mean no Grand Last Party.

Gilshalos Sedai
08-27-2009, 04:17 PM
Yeah, they said it would cook the ozone layer instantly, which would fry us.

I THINK this is the paper discussing it. I'm not sure, I don't speak physicist fluently any more. http://www.iop.org/EJ/article/1538-4357/447/1/L53/5114.web.pdf?request-id=73a41b78-3402-4171-9424-7540cca0e4e7


I think they were talking about Betelgeuse in the documentary. I don't really remember the name of the star. They did note a spiral tail coming off it as it bleeds gas.

GonzoTheGreat
08-27-2009, 04:50 PM
Yeah, they said it would cook the ozone layer instantly, which would fry us.That would boil the beer, which probably doesn't improve the flavor. Of course, with beer, would anyone really notice?

I THINK this is the paper discussing it. I'm not sure, I don't speak physicist fluently any more. http://www.iop.org/EJ/article/1538-4357/447/1/L53/5114.web.pdf?request-id=73a41b78-3402-4171-9424-7540cca0e4e7No, it isn't. It is a quite interesting discussion on supernovas in star formation regions in the Orion Nebula, and how the origin of the solar system may have been in a very similar environment. That would explain some of the abundances of short lived (a couple of million years) radioactives found in ancient meteorites.
So instead of talking about the end of the Earth, they're talking about its beginning.

I think they were talking about Betelgeuse in the documentary. I don't really remember the name of the star. They did note a spiral tail coming off it as it bleeds gas.Betelgeuse may indeed explode any moment now. (Give or take a million years; some uncertainty is inevitable. After it has gone BANG, we'll get a more accurate prediction for the precise time.)
It is about 570 light years away, so if it exploded 550 years ago, then we'll see that in 2029.

Birgitte
08-27-2009, 05:01 PM
Yeah, a black hole was the other option I'd considered.

Birgitte, there is a serious problem with the death ray scenario: it would move with the speed of light. So we wouldn't see it coming, which would mean no Grand Last Party.


I didn't really expect one. I just was pushing it to make it clear that if I am at all aware after death by death ray, I'll find it sufficiently neat not to care that much. :)

Crispin's Crispian
08-30-2009, 03:01 PM
I didn't really expect one. I just was pushing it to make it clear that if I am at all aware after death by death ray, I'll find it sufficiently neat not to care that much. :)
I thought it was hilarous, even after Gonzo killed all the humor.

GonzoTheGreat
08-31-2009, 03:09 AM
If I've killed the humor anyway, then I might as well also kill the "will this be the way Earth goes" idea.
That planet is spiraling in to its star, because the rotation around the star goes quicker than the star's own rotation around its axis. For Earth that's not the case, so there the effect would be in the other direction. A good example of that is our own Moon, which has been moving away from Earth ever since it formed, for precisely the same reason.

Do the math, and it is all perfectly obvious.

Mort
08-31-2009, 07:31 AM
If I've killed the humor anyway, then I might as well also kill the "will this be the way Earth goes" idea.
That planet is spiraling in to its star, because the rotation around the star goes quicker than the star's own rotation around its axis. For Earth that's not the case, so there the effect would be in the other direction. A good example of that is our own Moon, which has been moving away from Earth ever since it formed, for precisely the same reason.

Do the math, and it is all perfectly obvious.

I guess going towards the sun would be a hotter climate and then like die of a super heatstroke or something. But I wonder what happens with us going further from the sun and the moon getting further away too. Will we freeze to death first or will some freaky gravitational pull do some shit to us first? What will happen to the tide if the moon moves away more and more for example? shorelines etc should get a little fucked up at least.

GonzoTheGreat
08-31-2009, 07:49 AM
Some time ago (4 billion years or thereabouts) the Moon was a lot closer, and Earth rotated a lot faster. You would have had something like ten meter tides everywhere, every 3 hours.

In the future, Earth will move further away from the Sun, true. But that is a very slow process, because the distances are rather large compared to the speed of rotation, and the tidal forces involved are rather weak as a result. This moving away will probably more than countered by the slow warming up of the Sun during its further evolution on the Main Sequence.
The tides as a result of the Moon will decrease in size, but that too will take a while. It will effect shorelines, but you needn't worry about that: colliding continents will mess them up far earlier, and I doubt your insurance covers that either.

Birgitte
08-31-2009, 12:51 PM
I thought it was hilarous, even after Gonzo killed all the humor.


Thanks, Crispy :)

And :p @ Gonzo, for trying to kill my joke.

Mort
08-31-2009, 05:02 PM
The tides as a result of the Moon will decrease in size, but that too will take a while. It will effect shorelines, but you needn't worry about that: colliding continents will mess them up far earlier, and I doubt your insurance covers that either.

About time to start finding ourselves a new planet. Lucky for us we have some time to enhance space travel and terra formation :)

But who are we kidding... most will probably die in nuke holocaust before anyone even sets foot on Mars.