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Is the local fluff bad?

  1. Jan 10, 2013 #1
    I have recently read a few things about the local interstellar clouds and while I am by no means a science expert, math and science were my strong points. After reading about this a few things occured to me, and they seem to be bad for our solar system.

    The clouds are ~10,000° C, our solar system is -0. So shouldn't our solar system be absorbing heat and getting hotter? Also the clouds are charged, which means any particles in the solar system that have the same charge are trapped in until we exit the cloud? From what I have read we will be in these clouds for thousands of years. So even if our solar system warms a degree every couple hundred years, before we are out of it our planet will warm 10°+.

    I have aslo read that all of the planets are warming, which leads me to believe that this may be the reason why.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 10, 2013 #2
    the local interstellar gas is also very thin which slows down heat transport by advection and conduction; advection because thin stuff has low density, and conduction because the density is so low it takes a while for a gas atom to bump into another.

    that's why when we cook, boiling takes less time than steaming.
  4. Jan 10, 2013 #3
    So am I wrong in thinking that this is going to cause our solar system to gradually warm? I understand that it is not extremely dense, but being that it is dense enough to maintain such a high temperature it seems that it is dense enough to have an impact on us.
  5. Jan 10, 2013 #4


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    This high-temperature low-density gas stuff seemed nuts to me when I first read about it. I mean if the gas molecules are REALLY spread out and don't bump into each other, how in the world can you say there is a high temperature? You'll need someone else to explain it, but turns out it's mostly a "problem" because of the definition of temperature and thinking of it as having anything like the effect that it would have if it had any density at all just gives anwers that don't correspond to reality.

    When they say those gas clouds are thin, that is the understatement of the year. Apparently, as a first order approximation of the density of the gas clouds, there isn't anything there.
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