What Happens If We Bring the Sun to Earth?

by birtanpublished on September 13, 2020

What would happen if you were to bring a tiny piece of the Sun to earth short answer you die long answer it depends which piece of the Sun like most of the matter in the universe our Sun is neither solid liquid or gas but plasma plasma is when stuff is so

Hot with the nuclei and electrons can separate and flow around freely which creates a goo like substance so you can imagine our Sun as an extremely big spherical ocean of very hot goo the deeper you go the denser and weirder the

Goo becomes so let's bring three samples each the size of a house to our lab here on earth and see what happens first sample the chromosphere the chromosphere is the atmosphere of the

Sun a layer of sparse gas up to 5,000 kilometers deep that's covered in a forest of plasma spikes that can be almost as big as Earth it's pretty hot here between 6,000 and 20,000 degrees Celsius but if we brought a sovereign of

It to earth we're not really getting our money's worth in the area where we take our sample the chromosphere is over a million times less dense than air so compared to our atmosphere at sea level it's basically the same as bringing the

Vacuum of space down to earth the moment our sample arrives it would immediately be crushed by Earth's atmospheric pressure and implode air would rush to fill the vacuum and use as much energy as 12 kilograms of TNT in the process

This creates a high pressure shockwave which shatters glass ruptures it rums and maybe some internal organs if you're standing too close it could kill you so you'd better keep your distance let's go deeper a second sample the photosphere

Beneath the chromosphere is the glowing surface of the Sun the photosphere which produces the light we see it's covered in a grid of a million hot spots called granules each of them about as big as the United States and

Over 5,000 degrees Celsius these granules are the tops of convective columns churning gas that brings the heat up from the center of the Sun to its surface in these columns a few hundred kilometers down we take our

Second plasma sample it has about the same pressure as our atmosphere on earth though still much less dense than air its heat supports it so it won't implode our sphere now carries twice as much energy as much as 25 kilograms of TNT

But this time as heat for a dazzling instant this plasma would glow with a million times the brightness of the Sun seen from Earth instantly lighting fires throughout our lab but a few milliseconds later those fires are all

That's left the plasma has cooled to harmless gas floating up from the flaming ruins what if we go deeper third sample the radius if zone here the plasma is about two million degrees Celsius and so dense

And tightly packed that it creates a sort of maze for itself energy in the form of photons tries to escape but has to wander for hundreds of thousands of years bouncing endlessly from particle to particle until it eventually finds an

Exit bringing matter from here to our lab is what experts call a very bad idea as soon as it arrives in our lab the extreme pressure that holds the plasma tightly together is gone and the material explodes with the power of a

Thermonuclear weapon now lab as what is the city around it will be destroyed in an instant on the bright side there won't be any radioactive fallout with our lamp destroyed we can abandon the illusion that we're trying to do any

Science today what if we go much much deeper last sample the core here in the central 1% of the star we find 1/3 of the sun's mass the matter here is compressed by the weight of the entire star above it in the center of the core

The temperature is 15 million degrees hot enough to make helium by smashing together hydrogen powering the Sun by nuclear fusion in billions of years after the death of the Sun this coal will remain as a white dwarf if we

Brought a sample of it to earth it would cause a lot of inconvenience the biggest nuclear weapon ever detonated had an energy of 40 megatons of TNT or a cube the size of the Empire State Building our sample has the equivalent of 4,000

Megatons this is 4 billion tons of TNT or a cube 1.3 kilometers high to give you a sense of scale this is the cube inside Manhattan once the sphere arrives on earth this super dense matter expands instantly and creates an explosion with

The force of well the Sun if we get the sample in Paris in the morning the citizens of London would see what looks like a second sunrise but one that gets brighter and brighter and hotter and hotter until London burns to

Ashes in a radius of about 300 kilometers around the blast everything would be burnt the shock wave would travel around the earth multiple times most buildings in Central Europe would be flattened eardrums with rupture and

Windows break across the continents the explosion would be apocalyptic possibly human civilization ending if humans did survive we could count on the dust blown into the atmosphere to create a small ice age so if there is one tiny bright

Side it would be that the explosion might be an effective way to control human-caused climate change for a few decades while this is definitely a good thing all in all we conclude that we should not try to bring the Sun to earth

we've made a lot of questionable assumptions in this video but our maths is real if you're like us and you enjoy using the power of math to calculate absurd ways to destroy stuff you may be

Interested in all the other things you can do with maths for example you could calculate how to mind mercury for silicon to build a Dyson Sphere determine how long it will take the Sun to burn out or simply do your taxes but

As much as we love explaining these things the best way to learn anything is by doing it yourself brilliant is a problem-solving website that teaches you to think like a scientist by guiding you through problems they take concepts like

These break them up into bite-sized nuggets present clear thinking in each part and then build back up to an interesting conclusion if you visit brilliant org slash nutshell all click the link in the description you can sign

Up for free and learn all kinds of things and as a bonus for Cortazar viewers the first 200 people will also get 20% off their annual membership

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