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(EarthSky)   End of the world pushed back to December 21, 4000002012   (earthsky.org) divider line 47
    More: Spiffy, Andromeda Galaxy, Milky Way Galaxy, main sequence star, spiral galaxy, stsci, dark matter, red giants, gravity  
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6275 clicks; posted to Geek » on 26 Oct 2012 at 9:03 AM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-10-26 09:07:42 AM  
Funny thing is, about 3 billion years before that all water will be boiled off the Earth, anyway.
 
2012-10-26 09:09:33 AM  
I predict Milky Way stress and Andromeda strain.
 
2012-10-26 09:23:11 AM  
So in my Jesus calculator that comes out to 4 days.

I for one welcome our new neighbors...
 
2012-10-26 09:29:07 AM  
It's not the end of the world as we know it, and I feel fine
 
2012-10-26 09:29:13 AM  
Depending how it goes down, there might not be any serious local disruption at all. Galaxies are mosty empty space, after all. If you don't end up in one of the high-radiation blast zones, it might be fine, with some truly spectacular views.
 
2012-10-26 09:31:33 AM  

machoprogrammer: Funny thing is, about 3 billion years before that all water will be boiled off the Earth, anyway.


I've always thought they figured the sun had around 3-4 billion years left, not just one. Not that it really matters.
 
2012-10-26 09:34:00 AM  
hope we don't run into a problem with the Year 2^32 problem
 
2012-10-26 09:34:59 AM  
www.productwiki.com
 
2012-10-26 09:36:26 AM  
Headline
"End of the world"

Article
"our Earth and solar system are in no danger"
 
2012-10-26 09:37:02 AM  

Sylvia_Bandersnatch: Depending how it goes down, there might not be any serious local disruption at all. Galaxies are mosty empty space, after all. If you don't end up in one of the high-radiation blast zones, it might be fine, with some truly spectacular views.


Well, I'm not worried, but if Sol gets flung out somewhere, will we start orbiting another star inside that star's Goldilocks zone?
 
2012-10-26 09:39:29 AM  
Jon iz teh kewl:
www.productwiki.com

It`s the galaxy you can eat between meals without ruining your appetite... 
www.americansweets.co.uk
 
2012-10-26 09:50:09 AM  

Neondistraction: machoprogrammer: Funny thing is, about 3 billion years before that all water will be boiled off the Earth, anyway.

I've always thought they figured the sun had around 3-4 billion years left, not just one. Not that it really matters.


"During the next four billion years, the luminosity of the Sun will steadily increase, resulting in a rise in the solar radiation reaching the Earth. This will cause a higher rate of weathering of silicate minerals, which will cause a decrease in the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. In about 600 million years, the level of CO2 will fall below the level needed to sustain the C3 method of photosynthesis used by trees. Some plants use the C4 method, allowing them to persist at CO2 concentrations as low as 10 parts per million. However, the long term trend is for plant life to die off altogether. The resulting loss of oxygen replenishment will cause the extinction of animal life a few million years later."

Linky pops
 
2012-10-26 09:55:57 AM  

sinanju: which will cause a decrease in the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere


Planet-limited thinking detected.
If only there were a chronditic source of carbon somewhere within the orbit of Jupiter.
 
2012-10-26 10:05:28 AM  

WelldeadLink: sinanju: which will cause a decrease in the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere

Planet-limited thinking detected.
If only there were a chronditic source of carbon somewhere within the orbit of Jupiter.


Without intervention, of course.
 
2012-10-26 10:06:32 AM  

sinanju: Neondistraction: machoprogrammer: Funny thing is, about 3 billion years before that all water will be boiled off the Earth, anyway.

I've always thought they figured the sun had around 3-4 billion years left, not just one. Not that it really matters.

"During the next four billion years, the luminosity of the Sun will steadily increase, resulting in a rise in the solar radiation reaching the Earth. This will cause a higher rate of weathering of silicate minerals, which will cause a decrease in the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. In about 600 million years, the level of CO2 will fall below the level needed to sustain the C3 method of photosynthesis used by trees. Some plants use the C4 method, allowing them to persist at CO2 concentrations as low as 10 parts per million. However, the long term trend is for plant life to die off altogether. The resulting loss of oxygen replenishment will cause the extinction of animal life a few million years later."

Linky pops


If we're still around then we'll probably have figured out how to move Earth to a orbit further away. Hell, I think we could probably do it with near-future tech if we sent a few large asteroids on a close fly-by to gravity assist Earth into a wider orbit around the sun. If you did the math right, it would be as simple as just building a big, really high specific impulse ion thruster and bolting it to Ceres.
 
2012-10-26 10:12:29 AM  

Neondistraction: machoprogrammer: Funny thing is, about 3 billion years before that all water will be boiled off the Earth, anyway.

I've always thought they figured the sun had around 3-4 billion years left, not just one. Not that it really matters.


Either way, it makes
It is likely the sun will be flung into a new region of our galaxy, but our Earth and solar system are in no danger of being destroyed.
a very odd statement. In 4 billion years the sun will be well on its way to expanding into a red giant, and the Earth will be nearing the same fate as a mesquito divebombing a campfire.
 
2012-10-26 10:14:50 AM  

dready zim: Jon iz teh kewl:
[www.productwiki.com image 510x510]

It`s the galaxy you can eat between meals without ruining your appetite... 
[www.americansweets.co.uk image 600x600]


"New shape for a smoother taste"? WTF? God I hate marketers.
 
2012-10-26 10:21:47 AM  

Benni K Rok: Sylvia_Bandersnatch: Depending how it goes down, there might not be any serious local disruption at all. Galaxies are mosty empty space, after all. If you don't end up in one of the high-radiation blast zones, it might be fine, with some truly spectacular views.

Well, I'm not worried, but if Sol gets flung out somewhere, will we start orbiting another star inside that star's Goldilocks zone?


I think you're confusing two things. If Sol "gets flung out" of something, we (Earth) are very likely to still be with it, since we're a tiny mass compared to Sol, which is also very tiny compared to the galactic center, around which it "orbits". If another star comes close enough to the Sol system to disrupt all of Sol's planets' orbits, then yes, Earth will no longer be in a "goldilocks zone".
 
2012-10-26 10:22:52 AM  
Well hopefully by then we will be out of the galaxy... why do I feel like a 1950's person thinking about flying cars int he year 2000?
 
2012-10-26 10:23:03 AM  

Mad_Radhu: If we're still around then we'll probably have figured out how to move Earth to a orbit further away. Hell, I think we could probably do it with near-future tech if we sent a few large asteroids on a close fly-by to gravity assist Earth into a wider orbit around the sun. If you did the math right, it would be as simple as just building a big, really high specific impulse ion thruster and bolting it to Ceres.


That simple, huh?

Look, I like science as much as anyone. I majored in it. But when you casually throw around ideas like "gravity assisting the planet into a higher orbit with a few large asteroids" you one, show a painful lack of understanding of the undertaking you are proposing, and two, just give fuel to the QAs of the world to shiat on science even more.

/for clarification, those "few large asteroids" would have to be more on the size scale of the moon to have any non-negligible impact. And if we're somehow on a technology level of "casually tosses around minor planetoids" I doubt anything as trivial as a little extra heat from the sun is going to bother us that much.
 
2012-10-26 10:29:42 AM  
en.es-static.us
wrightonfilm.files.wordpress.com
... or is that just me?
 
2012-10-26 10:35:57 AM  
I see subby didn't read to the end before thinking "holy crap. I need to post this on fark"
 
2012-10-26 11:22:02 AM  

Mad_Radhu: sinanju: Neondistraction: machoprogrammer: Funny thing is, about 3 billion years before that all water will be boiled off the Earth, anyway.

I've always thought they figured the sun had around 3-4 billion years left, not just one. Not that it really matters.

"During the next four billion years, the luminosity of the Sun will steadily increase, resulting in a rise in the solar radiation reaching the Earth. This will cause a higher rate of weathering of silicate minerals, which will cause a decrease in the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. In about 600 million years, the level of CO2 will fall below the level needed to sustain the C3 method of photosynthesis used by trees. Some plants use the C4 method, allowing them to persist at CO2 concentrations as low as 10 parts per million. However, the long term trend is for plant life to die off altogether. The resulting loss of oxygen replenishment will cause the extinction of animal life a few million years later."

Linky pops

If we're still around then we'll probably have figured out how to move Earth to a orbit further away. Hell, I think we could probably do it with near-future tech if we sent a few large asteroids on a close fly-by to gravity assist Earth into a wider orbit around the sun. If you did the math right, it would be as simple as just building a big, really high specific impulse ion thruster and bolting it to Ceres.


Or, if the tech is available, most of us will move to planets with earth-like environments/atmospheres. By that time, a resident from Gallifrey and an Earthling will watch from a nearby space station as the Earth is destroyed.

/not obscure
 
2012-10-26 11:57:55 AM  
"And by the way our sun - which is a middle-aged star - is about four-and-a-half billion years old."

I thought was the approximate age of our planet? Isn't the sun more like 10 billion years old?
 
2012-10-26 12:03:32 PM  
It is likely the sun will be flung into a new region of our galaxy, but our Earth and solar system are in no danger of being destroyed.

Being neither astronomer nor physicist, I can only speculate that we'll be safe because when the sun gets flung we'll get tugged along with it, but it would be nice if those assuring us we'll be safe would comment on why.
 
2012-10-26 12:06:05 PM  

geek_mars: Being neither astronomer nor physicist, I can only speculate that we'll be safe because when the sun gets flung we'll get tugged along with it,


thats what I was wondering. maybe my definition of "flung" is different than the astronomic usage.
 
2012-10-26 12:08:08 PM  

Science_Guy_3.14159: "And by the way our sun - which is a middle-aged star - is about four-and-a-half billion years old."

I thought was the approximate age of our planet? Isn't the sun more like 10 billion years old?


No - the sun has a predicted life span of about 10 billion years.

It's middle aged now, so its around 5 billion years old at the moment. Of course, you can add or subject several million years to all that, since we really don't know the exact date the sun will fizzle out or when it first cranked the fusion engine on.

Stars are not stars until they begin to fuse hydrogen into helium.
 
2012-10-26 12:13:17 PM  

Sylvia_Bandersnatch: Depending how it goes down, there might not be any serious local disruption at all. Galaxies are mosty empty space, after all. If you don't end up in one of the high-radiation blast zones, it might be fine, with some truly spectacular views.


LOL, the night time view will not differ significantly. Why would it?
 
2012-10-26 12:47:10 PM  

Theaetetus: [en.es-static.us image 600x337]
[wrightonfilm.files.wordpress.com image 600x450]
... or is that just me?


Nope, not just you.
 
2012-10-26 04:04:31 PM  
"but our Earth and solar system are in no danger of being destroyed."

Um, okay. Earth will be a sterile super-hot wasteland by then anyway. With no atmosphere, magnetosphere or liquid water. See, we have this thing called a star right next to us....
 
2012-10-26 05:37:22 PM  

threadjackistan: LOL, the night time view will not differ significantly. Why would it?


Why wouldn't a big, honkin' galaxy coming right at us a few thousand light years away give us a great nighttime view?
 
2012-10-26 06:13:34 PM  

Donaco: Why wouldn't a big, honkin' galaxy coming right at us a few thousand light years away give us a great nighttime view?



If you are talking about naked eye viewing, just standing outside looking at the sky, (as opposed to time exposures from radio telescopes etc), the simple answer is - stars are stars. There are only about 6000 stars visible to the naked human eye from earth.

Perhaps there would be a few more nearby points of light, or a few less. That's about it.

As it is, we can't see the vast majority of the universe in the visible light spectrum because of interstellar dust. It might surprise many to people to learn that, in visible light, we actually can't even see the vast majority of our own galaxy that we are smack dab inside of! When you look up in the night sky you are seeing a very small smattering of some nearby stars, and a few highly luminous distant objects. The rest is blocked by dust.
 
2012-10-26 06:15:30 PM  
Maybe merging Milky Way with Andromeda would finally stop the 50,000-year Reaper cycle.

/misses playing Mass Effect
 
2012-10-26 06:38:10 PM  
www.myanimesource.com
 
2012-10-26 06:42:15 PM  

Spanky_McFarksalot: I see subby didn't read to the end before thinking "holy crap. I need to post this on fark"


FTFY.
 
2012-10-26 06:59:40 PM  

ThrobblefootSpectre: Donaco: Why wouldn't a big, honkin' galaxy coming right at us a few thousand light years away give us a great nighttime view?


If you are talking about naked eye viewing, just standing outside looking at the sky, (as opposed to time exposures from radio telescopes etc), the simple answer is - stars are stars. There are only about 6000 stars visible to the naked human eye from earth.

Perhaps there would be a few more nearby points of light, or a few less. That's about it.

As it is, we can't see the vast majority of the universe in the visible light spectrum because of interstellar dust. It might surprise many to people to learn that, in visible light, we actually can't even see the vast majority of our own galaxy that we are smack dab inside of! When you look up in the night sky you are seeing a very small smattering of some nearby stars, and a few highly luminous distant objects. The rest is blocked by dust.


Carl Sagan certainly believed it would be spectacular. But he was only an astronomer, what did he know?
 
2012-10-26 07:10:07 PM  
SOON

/can't be soon enough.
 
2012-10-26 07:19:05 PM  

Sylvia_Bandersnatch: Carl Sagan certainly believed it would be spectacular. But he was only an astronomer, what did he know?


From a professional astronomer's point of view even one more local star (bringing the total to 6001, lol) to look at would be a wonderful new addition. And they would be correct, it would be a fascinating and wonderful new find. As far as "spectacular" lightshows for the average person standing in their backyard though, no.

As I said, with naked eye viewing we can't even see 99.9999985% of the galaxy we are currently sitting inside of, and which is all around us. That's just fact.
 
2012-10-26 07:31:19 PM  
wow. this far in & no TMBG? I am dissapoint
 
2012-10-26 07:50:06 PM  
ThrobblefootSpectre:

I see what you're saying about the dust and all but it seems like if the galaxy comes in from above the Milky Way's plan of dust (or below) then it ought to be pretty wide open for viewing (with the understanding that our sun will be a red giant at that time and will have engulfed Earth... but still).
 
2012-10-26 07:52:35 PM  
Especially when it's so close that it appears to be 3 or 4 times the size of our moon. We're gonna have to see that in visible light, no?
 
2012-10-26 08:07:38 PM  

Donaco: I see what you're saying about the dust and all but it seems like if the galaxy comes in from above the Milky Way's plan of dust (or below) then it ought to be pretty wide open for viewing (with the understanding that our sun will be a red giant at that time and will have engulfed Earth... but still).


I imagine that on moonless nights there would be a faint indistinctly shaped glow, such as with the "milky way" (our view of our own galaxy) currently. Something nebulous and very faint that you wound't notice unless it is pointed out to you under very dark, non-city viewing conditions with no moon.

But yes, you are correct that there is far less dust outside of the rotational plane of our galaxy, so the approaching andromeda, may be a more interesting faint diffuse glow than our own galaxy.
 
2012-10-26 08:29:44 PM  

Donaco: Especially when it's so close that it appears to be 3 or 4 times the size of our moon. We're gonna have to see that in visible light, no?


See that's exactly the thing - and this is another fact that may surprise a lot of people - the apparent size, also called angular diameter (measured in arc minutes of view), of the Andromeda from earth is already many times the apparent size of the moon today! :-) Cool, huh?

You just don't realize it because it's a very faint very indistinct smudge, but it fills a big part of the sky. Larger than the sun or moon. The andromeda fills about 178 arc minutes (across) in our apparent view. The sun and/or moon about 30 arc minutes.

If you think about this, that it is already by far the biggest thing in the sky, aside from our own galactic plane, and you have never even noticed it, it will start to sink in what i am saying about no spectacular light show*.


*At least not from the average joe standing staring upward. From an radio astronomy point of view, or very long telescopic exposures, it will be highly interesting (assuming some species exists at that time in the milky way to observe it).
 
2012-10-26 08:32:38 PM  

Donaco: ThrobblefootSpectre:

I see what you're saying about the dust and all but it seems like if the galaxy comes in from above the Milky Way's plan of dust (or below) then it ought to be pretty wide open for viewing (with the understanding that our sun will be a red giant at that time and will have engulfed Earth... but still).


There's a common misundertstanding about, based on the plain and obvious fact that we are inside a galaxy, and when we we look up we never see a giant galaxy in the sky. This is because we are inside it. But this is a thinking error: We also can't see most of most other large things when we're inside of them -- cars, buildings, forests, etc. Proximity and interior perspective obscure our view. It's plainly irrational to conclude from that, however, that if you were inside a building and *another* building came at it, you would have trouble seeing that. Anyone who's been in an auto accident can testify that when a whole other car is coming at you, you can damn well see the whole thing, and you definitely notice it.

In the same way, though we have trouble seeing all or even most of our own galaxy, we'll definitely see a whole one coming at us, when it gets close enough, as this impression from HubbleSite, ESA, and NASA graphically depicts.
 
2012-10-27 03:36:48 AM  

sinanju: Neondistraction: machoprogrammer: Funny thing is, about 3 billion years before that all water will be boiled off the Earth, anyway.

I've always thought they figured the sun had around 3-4 billion years left, not just one. Not that it really matters.

"During the next four billion years, the luminosity of the Sun will steadily increase, resulting in a rise in the solar radiation reaching the Earth. This will cause a higher rate of weathering of silicate minerals, which will cause a decrease in the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. In about 600 million years, the level of CO2 will fall below the level needed to sustain the C3 method of photosynthesis used by trees. Some plants use the C4 method, allowing them to persist at CO2 concentrations as low as 10 parts per million. However, the long term trend is for plant life to die off altogether. The resulting loss of oxygen replenishment will cause the extinction of animal life a few million years later."

Linky pops


NBD. Alls we gotta do is move our planet farther from the sun. Shouldn't be too hard, right? Build a bunch of hyperpowerful rockets pointing into the center of the planet and fire them up every once in a while. What could go wrong right?

Or we could invent some kind of technomagical dynamic evolution concept which would allow us to live and thrive in extreme environments.

There's so many impossible ways to overcome the problem! I guess the first impossibility is funding. Or is physics the first?
 
2012-10-27 09:25:14 AM  
see, it's actually 4 base-17 digits, and that's when the counter rolls over...
 
2012-10-27 09:48:54 AM  
Goddammit, I have plans that day.
 
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