1.18 Km of carbon would make a hell of a barbeque.
Kudos and a beer for those who found it though, finding such a small object some 300 million Km away. Knowing more or less where to look helps but it is still impressive work.
Scientists have confirmed the discovery of Earth's second Trojan asteroid leading the planet in its orbit around its nearest star. Dubbed 2020 XL5, the hunk of space rock was discovered in December 2020. Although excitement surrounded the early observations of a second Earth Trojan, low observational coverage meant …
Are we transmuting every atom in the sun to carbon? Or are we replacing it with an equivalent mass of carbon?
The former probably guarantees an instant detonation lasting milliseconds (a "carbon flash") blowing off the outer shell into a planetary nebular and leaving us with an inert white dwarf that's lacking much carbon.
In the latter case, you have a carbon white dwarf. But where are you getting the oxygen for combustion? Actually, carbon-oxygen white dwarfs form in nature, but electron degeneracy would prevent combustion (the formation of carbon oxides) and the oxygen and the carbon are unlikely to be mixed in a way that would allow it.
Are we transmuting every atom in the sun to carbon?
Actually there are 2 basic fusion processes in the sun, one involving carbon. Depending on the star's size and temperature, one of those two reaction chains is the dominant one, but both typically exist. So carbon production IS a part of the Sun's normal operation, and it gets transformed back and forth as hydrogen is added and helium is spat out (to form carbon again).
The sun is about 1% CNO and 99% PP chains. And the carbon is a catalyst; it's not going to turn it into a giant lump of coal.
Whereas, if it was heavy enough, it would use triple alpha to create a carbon core. That's how you end up a lump of carbon supported by electron degeneracy.
(re: entire planet switched overnight to just using coal, doomsday by 2100 etc.)
if you scrub the coal stacks, probably not. This isn't the 1800's after all... black smoke from coal burning steam plants darkening the skies of every major city (etc.).
Then again, rain usually washes the skies enough to avoid a complete doomsday scenario. And strangely enough, the gasses emitted by fossil fuel burning plants (having an affinity for water), in addition to the particulates, would ALSO tend to seed the rain clouds, helping to wash it all out of the atmosphere. With luck, it doesn't become a serious 'acid rain' problem and actually helps plants to grow better (nitrates and sulfates) as well as maintaining the CO2 equilibrium.
(But yeah, using scrubbers means you can extract the nitrates and sulfates and turn them into fertilizer)
"if you scrub the coal stacks, probably not. "
Even if you scrub the stacks.
Once atmospheric CO2 levels exceed 800ppm, Very Bad Things happen in fairly non-reversible manners in a positive feedback loop which takes a very long time to recover from (tens of thousands of years)
That's what characterised the very rapid set of events at the end of the Permian era (the knee point of the extinction event) - which played out in less than a decade - by which point 90++% (species count and biomass) of plant and animal life on the planet (terrestrial and marine) was dead
There IS a "planetary complex life reset button" (without invoking asteroids or volcanism) and we've been inadvertently leaning on its cover for a while. The only question is what the yield force is....
Apart from the practical difficulties of the switch, your chemistry is way off. While scrubbing removes a lot, it doesn't remove everything. Otherwise you'd have nothing left "to seed" those rain clouds in your argument. CO2 is not particularly hydrophilic so won't do any seeding, but water vapour is a normal byproduct of burning hydrocarbons. Not that releasing more of it into the atmosphere will do anything to cool things down: clouds trap infrared energy and are both cause and effect of global warming and those warm clouds will help warm up the oceans…
So if we're going to send any sort of Lander, it needs to be made of Wood right. Well, we've got just the thing on the way - https://www.theregister.com/2022/01/04/wooden_satellite_japan/
Or maybe the mission just needs an appropriate Name - Trojan Hunk Of Rock Satellite Explorer (naturally shortened to Trojan HORSE)...
A rogue made of carbon can be molded into any shape quite easily. They should send an artist in a rocket to Carve a Horse out of the asteroid. Then all Aliens should be directed to that site and can be burned like a real Trojan.
Actually, Aliens may already have carved the horse and our detection of said rogue is an invitation to investigate. That type of horse may be our doom. But, an asteroid of carved carbon of that size, what is not to like. At least we can have commercial flight to facilitate asteroid tourism.
That's a little bit worrying that we discover an asteroid larger than 1 km sharing Earth's orbit just now. Thanks God it's a Trojan, so there shouldn't be any collision risk, but this suggests there may be other big ones not that far.
I thought the distinction between a planet and a dwarf planet was that a dwarf planet hasn't a distinct orbital path. Trojans share planets' orbits, so the former criteria isn't right, is it?
According to NASA (https://solarsystem.nasa.gov/planets/in-depth/) the requirements are:
1) It must orbit a star (in our cosmic neighborhood, the Sun).
2) It must be big enough to have enough gravity to force it into a spherical shape.
3) It must be big enough that its gravity cleared away any other objects of a similar size near its orbit around the Sun.
That's the second time Earth has failed this last criteria!!
> of a similar size
Oh my. That's vague enough to mean "to the judge's discretion".
Meaning if you have enough money you can be a full planet, but if you can't pay you're just a
vertically challenged horizontally challenged diagonally challenged planet of short stature.
Perhaps a collaboration between Gerry Anderson's descendants and Elon Musk to create SpaceXL5? After all, the original Fireball XL5 was a reusable spacecraft and had a VTOL crew nose cone for planetary exploration. And away thought Musk has a touch of the supermarionation about him, although haven't spotted any strings so far - just a matter of time, methinks.
BTW, I just looked up the character bio section on the Gerry Anderson Encyclopaedia fandom site to check what's going on with the gorgeous, pouting Dr Venus -- they'll need a medic on board - and her Trump-like pet Zoonie. Turns out she was rescued from a survival shelter after the mass riots across France following the Europoean Atomic War of 2028 AD!
Do these people know something we don't?
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