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View Full Version : Ep. 86: The End of the Universe Part 1: The End of the Solar System



Fraser
2008-Apr-28, 08:50 PM
This is a show we wanted to do since we started Astronomy Cast but we always thought it was too early. We wanted you to know that we're positive, happy people with enthusiasm for astronomy and the future. It's time for some sadness. It's time for a grim look to see what the future holds for the Universe. This week we stay close to home and consider the end of humanity, the Earth, the Sun, and the entire Solar System. Next week we'll extend out to the very end of the Universe.http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/astronomycast/~4/279536634

More... (http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/astronomycast/~3/279536634/)

damian1727
2008-Apr-29, 07:30 AM
i gotta say i find this an unnecessaryly depressing point of veiw really

im with ian banks we will all be living on orbital rings or 100's of miles long conscious star ships...

why huddle round a dying star or inside a cramped astroid?

there are plenty of planets around also...

and plenty of time...

and i dont know if any of you have read the cosmic anthropic principle..
but in it it is suggested that life will find a way to exist from the shear energy of the universe long after all the embers of the big bang have faded

life will find a way!!

Vanamonde
2008-Apr-29, 09:33 AM
...why huddle round a dying star or inside a cramped astroid?...

Especially "a cramped asteroid". There are many and in a few million years we should be able remake them into thousands and thousands of Big Beautful Habitats.

damian1727
2008-Apr-29, 07:16 PM
:D:dance::dance::dance::dance:

i love the culture books

if you have never read them and fancy a trip into the far future with the best writer for years hook yourself up with an IAN M BANKS culture book

has anyone read any ? the new one ,, MATTER...only waited 10 years!!!!
:razz::razz:

lpgeorge123
2008-Apr-30, 10:54 PM
As sad as this show was, I thought it was one of the most interesting. I think the podcast keeps getting better and better!

EvilEye
2008-Apr-30, 11:40 PM
What I wish they had used as an analogy for the sun getting hotter was the hydrogen running out, the way an engine runs hotter and hotter as the water (coolant) runs low.

TDL 76
2008-May-02, 09:48 AM
This genuinely made me really sad.

No more humans. This is ultimate sadness. I don't like thinking about it. It hurts.

Vanamonde
2008-May-02, 10:06 AM
What I wish they had used as an analogy for the sun getting hotter was the hydrogen running out, the way an engine runs hotter and hotter as the water (coolant) runs low.

I don't like that analogy. The extra heat is not from lack of cooling but from the fact that fusion will make stuff that once it reaches a higher temperature and density will fuse and create more energy. This definitely not an everyday experience at room temperature!

Vanamonde
2008-May-02, 10:06 AM
This genuinely made me really sad.

No more humans. This is ultimate sadness. I don't like thinking about it. It hurts.

ON EARTH! We got time to move to or make new worlds.

dcl
2008-May-02, 02:30 PM
We are barely beginning to think about how to cope with what might be regarded as a very minor perturbation of the thermal balance of our atmosphere. We should not underestimate the threat to our very existence in the far future when the sun begins to exhaust its supply of hydrogen that stokes its nuclear furnace. Suggesting that we can escape the untimate catastrophe by (1) moving the entire earth into an orbit around another star, (2) hollowing out a bunch of asteroids and moving the entire human race into them, or (3) creating new planets onto which to move the entire human race is sheer fantasy. Such ideas might might form the basis of stimulating science fiction, but they grossly underestimate the seriousness of the threat. There seems to be no basis for any hope that life on earth can survive the time when the sun leaves the main sequence on its way to becoming a red giant and then a white dwarf.

damian1727
2008-May-02, 06:07 PM
so we leave....why is that a problem? who wants to sit around here for eternity?

sheesh even waiting 5 billion years seems a bit drastic

there is a whole universe to inhabit...

damian1727
2008-May-02, 06:12 PM
anyway we will trash this place long before the sun becomes an issue.....

Vanamonde
2008-May-04, 06:38 AM
We should not underestimate the threat to our very existence in the far future when the sun begins to exhaust its supply of hydrogen that stokes its nuclear furnace.

I don't believe we have that much time. I once did but the new news is the oceans are going to boil within about 100 million years or so, due to an increase in the solar output.


hollowing out a bunch of asteroids and moving the entire human race into them

I do not recall anyone saying the entire human race. At least, I never meant to say the entire human race. There will be people left behind, I am sure. Lifeboat ethics will prevail. And I believe there will be a great number of people who would not leave, no matter how much science was provide to them.

I read once that if today, all industrial effort was redirected to putting the population in orbit - assuming some magical place was there - we could not accomplish it. The amount of industry require to move the population would still be outpaced by the free birthing of the masses. Free birthing has to stop or gigadeath will happen.

O'Neil colonies are a very difficult engineering problem but require no new science. This is not space fiction but a NASA study. And if this species does survive the next 1000 years (let alone 10 or 100 millions), we may be able to engineer solar systems. Who knows?

But I am confident that providing a self-sustaining biosphere of some type for a sustainable population will be doable within 10 million years in the least.

But we will miss this planet and it's oceans.

Then Project Longshot (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_Longshot) is going to become more important.

dcl
2008-May-04, 04:47 PM
Vanamonde: I don't believe we have that much time [when the sun begins to exhaust its supply of hydrogen].

dcl: I couldn't agree with you more.

Vanamonde: O'Neil colonies are a very difficult engineering problem but require no new science. This is not space fiction but a NASA study. And if this species does survive the next 1000 years (let alone 10 or 100 millions), we may be able to engineer solar systems. Who knows?

dcl: Perhaps no new science, but a literally unimaginably massive amount of engineering, construction, and commandeering of already severely limited energy and material resources. I feel that it is almost literally infinitely beyond anything the human race could realistically ever hope to accomplish.

It's pleasant to be able to dream; but at some point, we need to face reality.

damian1727
2008-May-04, 09:26 PM
dcl..... literally infinitely beyond anything the human race could realistically ever hope to accomplish.

damian...i could not disagree more you are looking with 2008 eyes we have no idea of the possibiltys of the future and it pays to put your best foot forward keep your chin up and try your best...

and who knows what may be possible ....or what indeed reality may hold in store for life....

dcl
2008-May-05, 01:25 PM
You're a lot more optimistic about future prospects than I am. I hope you're right.