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A imagined disaster worth some speculation - Input Junkie
September 22nd, 2012
11:16 am

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A imagined disaster worth some speculation
In a discussion of how many ice cubes it would take to put out the sun (hint: that trick never works), a much more interesting scenario emerged.
It’s also possible that collision with enough non-fusible material, such as a mass of nickel-iron asteroids, could dissipate the nuclear fire, and almost certainly lead to formation of a black hole, a cool concept all by itself.

I've never seen this addressed in science fiction, but it seems like a worthy topic for hard science fiction, and possibly also for make-it-up-as-you-go science fiction.

Supposing you were limited to the laws of physics as they are now known, what could be done? How much warning would you get about the flock of asteroids? Is there anything conceivable which could be done to divert them? Or move the Earth out fast enough, and then keep it warm? I'm assuming that moving the sun is out of the question.

Of course, it's conceivable that the asteroids are an alien attack, in which case there's a whole nother bunch of questions and difficulties.

This entry was posted at http://nancylebov.dreamwidth.org/550537.html. Comments are welcome here or there. comment count unavailable comments so far on that entry.

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From:fabricdragon
Date:September 22nd, 2012 03:32 pm (UTC)
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i suspect that a large enough flock of asteroids to disrupt the sun entirely would have to have been caused by something .. unusual.
however
a smaller flock, enough to just cause massive problems, could happen "by accident" i think...

it would be an interesting story
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From:siliconshaman
Date:September 22nd, 2012 08:11 pm (UTC)
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You know, I think I saw this in a physics lecture I audited once, if memory serves me correctly [and after 25 years, I'm not sure] you'd need roughly 1/3 solar masses in iron to douse the suns nuclear reaction, taking into cooling effects, and 'poisoning' the plasma.

Of course, you could just add a strange singlet. [*snerk*]
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From:darius
Date:September 23rd, 2012 08:59 am (UTC)
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So we'd only get a white dwarf, no black hole? Pity.
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