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Am i insane or is that big?

  1. Jul 30, 2014 #1
    so I am watching this sunshine movie. its a movie about reigniting the sun. I have been ignoring most of the problems I see with the movie but.... there is one thing I find interesting.

    as these people get closer to the sun they seem to get increasingly crazy. is there any science behind that....

    I mean that as a person gets closer to a massive object, something much more massive than the earth.. something approaching the sun... the way I understood it, is that space time is warped as you get closer to massive objects..

    so could our mental states be in jeopardy if time were to be stretched or shortened from the "norm" according to what general relativity tells us?

    I mean if the instantaneous moment we perceive as now suddenly lasts longer or shorter would that drive someone crazy?

    idk silly fun idea!!
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 30, 2014 #2


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    Last edited: Jul 30, 2014
  4. Jul 30, 2014 #3
    What's the name of the movie and is it on Netflix? Sounds good/bad.
  5. Jul 30, 2014 #4


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    "Sunshine". It is bad/good. Great visuals and nice atmosphere, but some of the underlying science will make your eyes roll pretty fierce.

    And then there's the plot devolving into cliche.
  6. Jul 30, 2014 #5


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  7. Jul 30, 2014 #6
    Not on netflix instant, but if it pops up I'll give it ago.
  8. Jul 30, 2014 #7


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    I always thought the premise of that movie was silly. The amount of energy the fission device contained could have powered humanity for thousands of years even in the total absence of the sun.

    energy density of uranium * volume of device / world energy usage = 1.5e9 MJ/L * 1 km^3 / 1.5e5 TW*hr/yr = 2.7 million years. Obviously we'd need a lot more energy per year without the sun, but even if we needed a thousand times more that would still be 2700 years worth just in that one device.
  9. Jul 30, 2014 #8
    Incredibly decent movie. Nothing more.

    I always took it to be that they turned insane after staring into the sun. Everyone seemed to be drawn into that room looking out at it, and I figured maybe those who went insane became entranced and fried their brains or something.

    It makes about as much sense as blowing up the sun to reignite it.
  10. Jul 30, 2014 #9
    Is it any sillier than considering the amount of energy required to enough antimatter to fuel a warp drive? :)

    -Dave K
  11. Jul 31, 2014 #10


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    Yes, it is sillier. Warp drive is just a contrivance used to allow the narrative to work. Its design and capabilities are not central to the plot nor is there any pretense about it being based on known scientific principles.

    This is completely different from "we need to restart the sun or humanity will be destroyed due to lack of solar energy - let's restart it using a source of energy that would be sufficient for our needs by itself".
  12. Jul 31, 2014 #11
    I suppose.
  13. Jul 31, 2014 #12


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    Star Gate had an episode where they gated through a sun and almost caused it to supernova until the Asgard stepped in to rescue things.

    And on Star Gate Universe, they had an episode where the starship made a beeline for a nearby star and they thought they were goners until it was discovered that thats how the ship replenished itself. Pretty heady sci-fi and very original as least as far as I know.
  14. Jul 31, 2014 #13


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    If you consider the area we use to grow things, this factor of 1000 is probably not so bad. It is the energy earth receives in 370 years, but we don't use all of it.
    Using all this material (neglecting the issue that we don't have so much) in power plants would need a lot of power plants.

    Anyway, dropping anything into the sun change it is pointless. You could drop Mercury in and the sun would not care.
  15. Aug 1, 2014 #14
    I'm still crying ever since they cancelled Stargate: Universe :frown:

    Like really, if you can get some sort of closure like Firefly, that's all right. But with Universe, they gave us possibly the largest and one of the more intriguing cliff hangers I've yet to see, and cancelled the show without another word. What's more, the writers/producers knew exactly where they wanted to take the show, so they have an ending in mind, they just don't have the means to finish it.

  16. Aug 9, 2014 #15
    "Sunshine" is one of my favorite sci-fi 'disaster' movies. It's easy to underestimate it as some clone of similar films such as "Armaggeddon", "The Core" or "Deep Impact", but this one focuses more deeply in the characters rather than in the disaster itself which plays 'in the background' (literally, in the form of a dying sun) while most of the science behind the sci-fi elements is pretty much ignored or swept under the rug. For example, at least in "The Core" the supposed drill-ship that made its way into the Earth was made of 'Unobtanium', which got harder the hotter it got. In "Sunshine" we just get a ship covered in panels that somehow can disperse the sunlight despite its closeness to the star. The method, I must admit, is ingenious as the material is used in a big dome that is used as an umbrella to the ship, so its crue lives at the umbra produced by it; however, at no moment it is specified how it works. Perhaps it's Unobtanium-made.

    Also, the bomb that ignites the sun manages to withstand (up to a point, certainly) the devastating temperatures and magnetic fields once it's shot directly into the star still managing to keep a room temperature within it; and last, but not least, somehow there's gravity in the ship and everyone just goes back and forth as if they were on Earth. The hard sci-fi nerd fan would probably complain to the lack of realism, but this serves a particular purpose to the twists of the story.
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