Is any of the science in Sunshine (the film) possible?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by niuniu, Jul 18, 2010.

  1. niuniu macrumors 68020

    niuniu

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    #1
    You know how they're really close to the Sun yet are only protected by a reflective shield - can it really protect you when you're only a matter of 10s of 1000s of miles away?

    And why is it so cold when you're that close? They said it was -270ish at one point outside - I thought the closer you went, the hotter it'd get.

    What about flying into the Sun with the payload at the end - wouldn't it all just burn up instantly when they got anywhere near the surface - surely there's nothing that we can make that can withstand the temperatures of the Sun?
     
  2. niuniu thread starter macrumors 68020

    niuniu

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    #3

    Sounds crazy I know but maybe they got some super tech these days :eek:
     
  3. niuniu thread starter macrumors 68020

    niuniu

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    #5
  4. Dagless macrumors Core

    Dagless

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    #6
    If he replies be sure to post it here! I'd love to know myself.
     
  5. niuniu thread starter macrumors 68020

    niuniu

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    #7
    Couldn't work out how to to Tweet so he'd so it!

    So I emailed him some questions instead, he'll probably stick it in spam, but worth a try :D


    Prof Cox,

    if you haven't binned this by now, I'm writing because
    I really want to know 4 things about the Sunshine movie
    (which I just watched and began hassling a friend about,
    who told me to leave him alone and email you!). I'm really
    not very sciency, but I know people who are and I can have
    them interpret if these questions require complicated answers -
    but a mere yes or no also works for me!

    1. Can that thin reflective dome really protect them so
    close (10's of 1000's of miles) to the Sun?

    2. What is it protecting them from? Heat, Light, Radiation?
    All three?

    3. Is it ever going to be possible for us to create something like
    the payload, that somehow is able to travel through the Sun without
    burning up?

    4. Why are they freezing so close to the Sun (outside the ship)? I get
    sunburned on Earth, so how can you freeze 10s of 1000s of miles out?

    Thanks in advance, I know these will be easy for you, but I'm scratching
    my head.

    Kind regards and good luck with your work at CERN,
     
  6. creator2456 macrumors 68000

    creator2456

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    Chicago
    #8
    I'll give my answers:
    • Not really sure, possibly.

    • Light - Light isn't getting through it, so yes.
      Heat - It has to be reflecting at least some heat away.
      Radiation - As with the heat, at least some radiation is being blocked.

    • The hardest part will be creating the payload and actually getting to the Sun. If we can do that, then we must have a way to actually get into the Sun otherwise the entire trip would have been for nothing.

    • Space is a vacuum. There are no atoms for radiation (light/heat/etc.) to bounce off = astronaut popsicles.

    Found this and it is interesting if true.
    Though the corona's temperature is high it's molecules are so far apart that the gases release little heat. If a person were to stand on the sun's corona they wouldn't burn, they would freeze in the near vacuum of the corona.
     
  7. dukebound85 macrumors P6

    dukebound85

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    #9
    Isn't the ONLY form of energy transfer and source of heat transmitted in space via Radiation? I mean there is no convection or conduction going on so heat and radiation are one and the same in this case is it not?

    I would wonder if the shield, upon absorbing the radiation would not melt due to the sheer intensity of it being that close


    That makes no sense. Energy in the form of radiation can travel through space. How do you think we get the sun's energy here on Earth?

    If the astronauts are in direct line of the sun, they will be toasted. If they are shielded from the radiation, they will freeze. Look at Mercury for example. the side exposed reaches insanely high temps whereas the side not exposed is quite cold

    from
    http://hypertextbook.com/facts/2000/OlesyaNisanov.shtml
     

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