The Stack Overflow podcast is back! Listen to an interview with our new CEO.

Hot answers tagged

57

Let's say your magical sphere has radius $r$ of 10km (so just poking up into the outer atmosphere) and is at a temperature $T$ of 1,250K (so glowing a nice warm yellow). The total radiative heat flux from the sphere is given by: $$ Q = \sigma T^{4}. 4\pi r^2 \approx 1.7 \times 10^{14} \mathrm{W} $$ Where $\sigma$ is the Steffan-Boltzman constant. A ...


8

There is no scenario in which the biosphere survives long. You have, at best, a few centuries. Say the fireball is as cool as possible while still being a fireball; 100 degrees celsius. All the oceans will continually drain towards the fireball and will boil on contact, as you said. This is bad news for your biosphere, because that's a huge amount of ...


7

You are basically cooking your planet on a stove. This magic fireball is an infinite source of heat, so it will sit there continually pouring heat into the planet's system. Water near it will be heated into steam, but the coolness of the water will not cool the fireball at all. This will cause the overall temperature to rise and rise until everything on the ...


6

Unguided dumb kinetic projectiles have been used in wars gone past, such as the "Lazy Dog" used in Vietnam. You just shovel loads of them into the sky over the target, and let their kinetic energy take them through any cover (such as light roofing or tree canopy) and through any soft target underneath. To quote from the wiki page on kinetic bombardment, ...


5

The fundamental problem is that there won't be an ocean left. And evaporating the ocean will destroy the biosphere from the heat. The bottom of the ocean is 1000 bar of pressure. To stop the ocean from flowing in, you need 1000 bar of steam, which requires near star-core scale temperatures (400,000 K). And then you have a star on your planet, which means ...


5

This is Jupiter after being hit by Shomaker-Levy 9 in 1994: It smoothed out in days, but hey, there you have dark spots. A constant bombardment would do for a fictional planet. Edit: while researching something else, I came across this time lapse of Voyager 1 approaching Jupiter in 1979. There are many dark spots at the boundary between the north pole and ...


4

You've seen the "Great Red Storm" on Jupiter, right? You know that is a massive storm cloud with a cyclonic motion (like a Hurricane or Typhoon on Earth). This particular storm has been on going since it was first observed in 1800 and believed to be at least 350 years old and while it is shrinking overtime, suggesting it will not be persistent the storm is ...


4

Like earthly storms, any storm needs an energy supply to form. This means that if a storm is forming in region A, that region won't trigger another one until the energy storage is replenished. Look at the hurricanes or typhoons which form in a season: if they originate in the same spot, they will be separate by a certain time. If they form close in time, ...


3

The above answers, particularly Stephen's first one which sets out the total power of the object and shows that it can be achieved while maintaining a habitable planetary system, cover most of what you ask, but you do need to consider the location of the object with regard to latitude and relative position of continents. Atmospheres and oceans will convect ...


2

Hm... It does sound to me like you will just keep on putting Energy into your planet, which will make the whole system gradually heat up indefinitely even if it is a small ( < 10km) Ball of 600-2500°C. I don't have that much knowledge about the details as some of the others have, but how about this: Try to have it as cool as possible (600-800°C is deep ...


1

That's a difficult question to answer, since the climate of the gas giants works very differently from the Earth's climate. On Earth, when two or more cyclones get very close, two things can happen: if they are of equal size, they begin to rotate around a barycenter, but if the difference in size is significant, the smaller ones will rotate around the ...


1

Under the given scenario, we all die. Some people die from swords. Most forms of complex life will be wiped out either by swords or starvation. You've just reduced everything to insects. Why? Because you just buried all the plant life under a whole bunch of swords, wiping out almost all agriculture. (Some trees might survive, but that's about it.) Even if ...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible