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Mespo_Man
2004-Jun-10, 01:26 PM
Hypothetically, if you could land a spaceship on the surface of the Sun, would it be similar to trying to land on the "surface" of a cloud? In other words, is there enough substance to the Sun's surface to support a lander?

(:raig

Avatar28
2004-Jun-10, 01:34 PM
I believe the overall density of the sun is pretty high, though I'm betting not so much at the surface. Assuming that you had some sort of super forceshield that would protect you from the heat and radiation, I imagine you would sink for awhile, but eventually you'd slow down as the density increased.

Swift
2004-Jun-10, 01:53 PM
David Brin has a book Sundiver (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0553269828/qid=1086875499/sr=1-8/ref=sr_1_8/102-1499619-7317762?v=glance&s=books) about travel to the sun. IIRC in his description (and this makes sense to me) there is no distinct boundary, like a gas giant planet, and so you never "land".

Why do I keep thinking of this Song (http://www.robinsweb.com/midi-lyrics/smashmouth.html)? :D

Hamlet
2004-Jun-10, 02:04 PM
The good folks at the Solar Physics Group (http://science.msfc.nasa.gov/ssl/pad/solar/default.htm) at the Marshall Space Flight Center say that the surface density of the Sun is about: 2.07 x 10^-7 g/cm^3

For comparison the density of our atmosphere at sea level is about: 1.23 x 10^-3 g/cm^3. So it would seem that any type of probe would sink through the solar surface.

As a contrast the central density of the Sun ( where fusion is occurring ) is about: 150 g/cm^3 which is about 150 times the density of water.

Ricimer
2004-Jun-10, 03:09 PM
yeah, you'd probably transition straight from falling to floating, entirely skipping any "landing" phase.

TheGalaxyTrio
2004-Jun-10, 04:19 PM
This is all missing the important question:

Can you SURF the surface of the sun?

Make sure to wear SPF 3.5x10^15 sunscreen.

They say the surf has really been flaring up in the past few decades.

If you become a really good surfer, you can really rise in prominence in the sport.

And after surfing you can kick back with an icy cold corona.

Oh, I'm just silly today. :-s

Master258
2004-Jun-10, 04:29 PM
I remember something in Ask Astro about this. You would sink.

Reacher
2004-Jun-10, 04:50 PM
Why do I keep thinking of this Song (http://www.robinsweb.com/midi-lyrics/smashmouth.html)? :D

Is it just me, or is that song about the after effects of a nuclear war?
I always saw it as obvious, but it seems to be news to everyone I mention it to, so I could be wrong.

Master258
2004-Jun-10, 05:01 PM
Why do I keep thinking of this Song (http://www.robinsweb.com/midi-lyrics/smashmouth.html)? :D

Is it just me, or is that song about the after effects of a nuclear war?
I always saw it as obvious, but it seems to be news to everyone I mention it to, so I could be wrong.

I never really listen to it but it could be.

George
2004-Jun-10, 07:29 PM
This is all missing the important question:

Can you SURF the surface of the sun?

Yeah. "Standing" would be tough as I doubt there are any flat surfaces around.



Make sure to wear SPF 3.5x10^15 sunscreen.
Years ago, Texas A&M studied this very topic and determined one could go to the sun.....but, only if they go at night. :wink:



And after surfing you can kick back with an icy cold corona.
Ouch. :)

Avatar28
2004-Jun-10, 09:44 PM
Nah, I think the Nuclear War connection is a real stretch. Looks to be more about the changes from the hippies of yesteryear and how their drugs (like pot) are being replaced with harder things (like crack and meth) and them taking over neighborhoods. Or something.

I always sucked at tryiing to analyze stuff like that. I'm probably way off base. But I think nuclear war aftereffects is definitely NOT it.

Richard of Chelmsford
2004-Jun-14, 09:10 AM
If you go to land on the Sun, don't forget to take your sun glasses with you.

dvb
2004-Jun-14, 09:18 AM
If you go to land on the Sun, don't forget to take your sun glasses with you.

That reminds me. I need to get myself a new pair of earth glasses. I lost my other ones. :roll:

Chip
2004-Jun-14, 09:23 AM
Hypothetically, if you could land a spaceship on the surface of the Sun, would it be similar to trying to land on the "surface" of a cloud?...

There are also gigantic cells of enormous turbulence in the Sun's outer layers. So a superduper spaceship with an incredible and magical forcefield (as depicted is one of the sillier Star Trek Next Generation episodes,) would still be torn apart by the tremendous velocity of the cells. The Sun's gravity would also be hard to escape too.

Better to enjoy the Sun, (with Sun Block,) on the beach on Earth. 8)

Morrolan
2004-Jun-14, 09:49 AM
The Sun's gravity would also be hard to escape too.

that would have to be some thrust to get any object back up from the 'surface'... :o i don't know the math, but i would guess more than is possible to provide with any kind of engine we are currently able to produce.

eburacum45
2004-Jun-14, 06:00 PM
Let's see if we can design a Sunprobe; I haven't read Dr Brin's book, but I believe that most of his ideas are sound-
except the refrigeration laser; it does not seem to be possible to cool oneself to a lower heat while surrounded by such a heat source.
Perhaps the sunprobe could cool itself by neutrino cooling like a white dwarf star. Just make a neutrino emitter- even the Sun would be pretty transparent to that kind of radiation.

Another problem is escaping the Suns twenty gees when you want to leave; at least there is plenty of unfused hydrogen going to waste in the Sun.
In any case, shed as much mass as possible before leaving; in fact a tiny node of memory could perhaps sail out of the sun on a light sail, or be expelled in a prominence or solar flare.

Diamond is one good material to use for construction, with a melting point of 3820K it needs less hi-tech (imaginary) cooling than other materials... the photosphere of the sun being a cool 4465 K at the top most layer.
It rapidly gets hotter with depth, however.