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(io9)   What would happen if the sun vanished?   (io9.com) divider line 116
    More: Cool, reflected light  
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6448 clicks; posted to Geek » on 01 Apr 2013 at 4:22 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-04-01 09:13:25 PM

ParagonComplex: You can't think of the most outrageous thing ever happening, and then dismiss something else more likely than said outrageousness.


I can and I have. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to open diplomatic relations with the extremophile bacteria who colonize volcanic vents at the bottom of the ocean. GOOD DAY SIR.
 
2013-04-01 10:12:34 PM

malaktaus: The funny thing is, if this were to happen, life on Earth would persist longer than it's actually going to. We have little more than a billion years before the Sun heats to the point that life is no longer possible, but if the Earth became a freerange planet life could continue on the ocean floor almost indefinitely.
Also, has anyone else read The Night Land, by William Hope Hodgson? It had a similar sort of plot, with the Sun dead and all humanity living in a single enormous pyramid.


Me, I've read it. It's pretty fascinating.
 
2013-04-02 12:26:31 AM
The article makes the assumption that the gravitational effect moves at the speed of light.  What if it's faster (as postulated in a number of sci fi books)?  What if it's several magnitudes faster.  If we settle for 100 times faster, then instead of just over eight minutes, the earth would react in five seconds.  We would still see the sun as we suddenly left our orbit.  It's been far too long since I took physics and astronomy for me to even attempt to calculate how long it would take for us to all die from the temperature change (and probably massive tidal surges).  Would we live long enough to see the sun disappear?
 
2013-04-02 12:43:45 AM

Ed Grubermann: I love the fact that people keep asking questions that were answered in the video. Way to pay attention, guys.


Not many people were able to handle that annoying douche for more than 60 seconds tops.
 
2013-04-02 12:49:38 AM
Fark would link to The Daily Mail that much more?
 
2013-04-02 12:51:15 AM

quatchi: I'd have to switch to the Daily Fail as my primary source for English celebrity news?


Damn it. I can't expect to come to the party late and crack a new joke... Ho hum...
 
2013-04-02 02:18:34 AM
If we're nit picking the hypothetical about the effects of being released from our orbit, why hasn't anyone mentioned the likely geological effects such as massive earthquakes as our tectonic plates balance out? I wouldn't imagine tsunamis, but huge volumes of water will be flowing between the hemispheres too
 
2013-04-02 02:46:18 AM

OgreMagi: The article makes the assumption that the gravitational effect moves at the speed of light.  What if it's faster (as postulated in a number of sci fi books)?  What if it's several magnitudes faster.  If we settle for 100 times faster, then instead of just over eight minutes, the earth would react in five seconds.  We would still see the sun as we suddenly left our orbit.


I don't know offhand what sci-fi books you're talking about, but you've basically described one reason we know it can't be faster than the speed of light in reality: because that would mean faster-than-light information transfer (e.g., we feel the sun's nonexistence gravitationally faster than the sight of it disappearing reaches us), which is tantamount under relativity theory to time travel. And we don't observe a lot of time travel.

Put another way, if you're still on board with general relativity, you're basically committing to gravity waves that travel at the speed of light. I'm not suggesting that relativity theory as presently elaborated is some kind of sacred relic that can never be challenged; I'm just saying that because it's stood up pretty well to a century of seriously badass physics already, it's probably a good reason not to go assuming things that it directly contradicts and then saying "you can't prove otherwise!"

In other words, if you have an issue with relativity, then measuring the speed of gravity waves would be a smart thing to do. (Which has been done using astronomical observations, obviously with some error bars, but always with  c right smack in the middle of them.) But if you're comfortable with relativity and the physical validity of the kinds of predictions it makes, then you're basically already saying you don't have a problem with that assumption about gravity.
 
2013-04-02 03:47:47 AM

American Decency Association: If we're nit picking the hypothetical about the effects of being released from our orbit, why hasn't anyone mentioned the likely geological effects such as massive earthquakes as our tectonic plates balance out? I wouldn't imagine tsunamis, but huge volumes of water will be flowing between the hemispheres too


Good call.

Any underground bunkers would be at stake, as well as the sea life that lives by heat vents. Though unlikely all would get crushed or otherwise lost, but a severe knock nonetheless.
 
2013-04-02 07:54:07 AM
i.imgur.com
 
2013-04-02 09:33:26 AM

omeganuepsilon: American Decency Association: If we're nit picking the hypothetical about the effects of being released from our orbit, why hasn't anyone mentioned the likely geological effects such as massive earthquakes as our tectonic plates balance out? I wouldn't imagine tsunamis, but huge volumes of water will be flowing between the hemispheres too

Good call.

Any underground bunkers would be at stake, as well as the sea life that lives by heat vents. Though unlikely all would get crushed or otherwise lost, but a severe knock nonetheless.


yes, if event planning was possible, some would survive even this.  i wonder in what year would we be capable of such a feat?  perhaps now, with enough conviction
 
2013-04-02 12:12:39 PM

semiotix: OgreMagi: The article makes the assumption that the gravitational effect moves at the speed of light.  What if it's faster (as postulated in a number of sci fi books)?  What if it's several magnitudes faster.  If we settle for 100 times faster, then instead of just over eight minutes, the earth would react in five seconds.  We would still see the sun as we suddenly left our orbit.

I don't know offhand what sci-fi books you're talking about, but you've basically described one reason we know it can't be faster than the speed of light in reality: because that would mean faster-than-light information transfer (e.g., we feel the sun's nonexistence gravitationally faster than the sight of it disappearing reaches us), which is tantamount under relativity theory to time travel. And we don't observe a lot of time travel.

Put another way, if you're still on board with general relativity, you're basically committing to gravity waves that travel at the speed of light. I'm not suggesting that relativity theory as presently elaborated is some kind of sacred relic that can never be challenged; I'm just saying that because it's stood up pretty well to a century of seriously badass physics already, it's probably a good reason not to go assuming things that it directly contradicts and then saying "you can't prove otherwise!"

In other words, if you have an issue with relativity, then measuring the speed of gravity waves would be a smart thing to do. (Which has been done using astronomical observations, obviously with some error bars, but always with  c right smack in the middle of them.) But if you're comfortable with relativity and the physical validity of the kinds of predictions it makes, then you're basically already saying you don't have a problem with that assumption about gravity.


General relativity has been measured directly at least as long ago as 1976, and to an even higher degree of precision in 2005.
 
2013-04-02 12:24:02 PM

USCLaw2010: vanished or blocked out?

[1.bp.blogspot.com image 287x239]


Then we'd all get the damn rickets.

25.media.tumblr.com
 
2013-04-02 12:36:19 PM

American Decency Association: omeganuepsilon: American Decency Association: If we're nit picking the hypothetical about the effects of being released from our orbit, why hasn't anyone mentioned the likely geological effects such as massive earthquakes as our tectonic plates balance out? I wouldn't imagine tsunamis, but huge volumes of water will be flowing between the hemispheres too

Good call.

Any underground bunkers would be at stake, as well as the sea life that lives by heat vents. Though unlikely all would get crushed or otherwise lost, but a severe knock nonetheless.

yes, if event planning was possible, some would survive even this.  i wonder in what year would we be capable of such a feat?  perhaps now, with enough conviction


We should totally get on that, you know, just in case the sun just magically disappears in an instant and we float out in whatever direction the planet was going at the time of this instant disappearance!!

=)
 
2013-04-02 01:42:49 PM

namatad: namatad: TopoGigo: So, TFA implies that the effects of gravity travel at the speed of light. Do we have any evidence of that?

yes

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Speed_of_gravity
so really yes, by definition, with little evidence of that not being true


Your citation used a lot of "measurement against a theory" stuff, which means they could be completely wrong.  You say there's little evidence of it not being true.  Yep, and there's little evidence of it not being false.  This is one of those weird physics fields that is way beyond my pay grade, though, so I'll let the experts argue about it for a few decades (or centuries).
 
2013-04-02 04:54:21 PM

anfrind: General relativity has been measured directly at least as long ago as 1976, and to an even higher degree of precision in 2005.


It got pretty solid observational confirmation in 1919, for that matter. Which is, um, why I don't think people should say we don't have any evidence for gravity waves propagating at the speed of light.
 
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