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Thread: is possible to create shield like in 2007 movie Sunshine ?

  1. #1 is possible to create shield like in 2007 movie Sunshine ? 
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    let me summarize what i know. or think that i know.

    1. the temperature of interstellar space is about 4 degrees K, the background microwave radiation from the big bang
    2. the temperature of space in our solar system would be a bit higher ( but not much higher ) due to the added EM radiation from the sun.
    3. the temperature of space would contunue to get warmer the closer to the sun due to EM radiation
    4. the temperature of the sun corona is about 1,000,000 degrees K
    5. the temperature of surface of the sun is about 5500 degrees C (or F., i forget)

    can a shield or mirror be developed that would allow a spaceship to get close to the sun as in the 2007 movie Sunshine ? is it possible to get all the way into corona ? because i read that surface of the sun at 5500 degrees C can melt any known substance.

    i know the corona is very tenuous. does this mean the effect of 1,000,000 degrees K to be lessened ?


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  3. #2  
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    additional question. the solar wind would be a very large factor close to the sun. what would be the effect of this matter in the solar wind on the shield or mirror ?


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    NASA has been planning to send a probe to the sun. I can't post links (yet) but google Solar Probe Plus

    But you must realize that Sunshine was a movie. You can't aim a spaceship at the sun, fire the engines and expect to end up there; you'll have to modify your orbit to get there, and that means an elliptical orbit where you'll pass the sun at an extreme speed. So fast that in fact the probe doesn't need to acclimatize to the temperature. The requirement for the heat shielding of the NASA probe is 1400 C.
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  5. #4  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Unununium View Post
    NASA has been planning to send a probe to the sun. I can't post links (yet) but google Solar Probe Plus
    thank you. i will search. (http://solarprobe.gsfc.nasa.gov/, http://solarprobe.jhuapl.edu/)
    it will launch in 2018 and reach sun in 2024.

    But you must realize that Sunshine was a movie. .
    yes. i know. i was asking about the shield or mirror. not the spaceship in the 2007 science fiction movie, which i did not like too much.
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  6. #5  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Unununium View Post
    NASA has been planning to send a probe to the sun. I can't post links (yet) but google Solar Probe Plus
    some more info i found on those sites, thanks to you.

    “Solar Probe Plus will fly closer to the sun than any spacecraft before it — almost 10 times closer to the sun than the planet Mercury — and this presents unprecedented technical challenges,”

    Set to launch in 2018, Solar Probe Plus will orbit the sun 24 times, closing in with the help of seven Venus flybys. At its closest passes the probe will speed 118 miles per second through the sun’s outer atmosphere, or corona, coming about 3.8 million miles (about 6.2 million kilometers) from the surface to explore a region — and face hazards — no other spacecraft has encountered. Solar Probe Plus will carry 10 science instruments specifically designed to help solve two key puzzles of solar physics: why the sun’s outer atmosphere is so much hotter than the sun’s visible surface, and what accelerates the solar wind that affects Earth and our solar system.
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  7. #6  
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    I did not see the movie, so I don't know what form of heat shielding they proposed. But... If it needs to withstand heat that will cause any known material to melt the only way will have to be active cooling or a short transit with a massive ablative shield.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sealeaf View Post
    I did not see the movie, so I don't know what form of heat shielding they proposed. But... If it needs to withstand heat that will cause any known material to melt the only way will have to be active cooling or a short transit with a massive ablative shield.
    ablative shield ? no. it will be reflective. almost mirrorlike.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sealeaf View Post
    I did not see the movie, so I don't know what form of heat shielding they proposed.
    In the movie, the sun is dying and they take all the fissionable materials available on the planet to make a bomb to "restart" the sun. They make it a manned mission, and when they lose contact with the spaceship, they decide to build another ship with another bomb. The heat shield is composed of panels that act as solar panels and powers the ship, and each panel can be tilted with visible hydraulics underneath.

    Luckily they are able to move from the Earth to the sun in a straight line and never get exposed by doing orbital manoeuvres. They are also able to stop in place above the sun without using the engines for the climactic finale.
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  10. #9  
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    That is wrong on so many levels.
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    But sooo Hollywood.
    "[Dywyddyr] makes a grumpy bastard like me seem like a happy go lucky scamp" - PhDemon
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  12. #11  
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    in post numbering 4 was trying to be nice by saying i didn't like the movie too much. in fact i think it was a really bad movie. i was only curious if the shield in that movie was possible.

    it is not good sport noting the science errors in a movie like Sunshine. it is way too easy.
    Last edited by Chucknorium; April 5th, 2014 at 04:56 PM.
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  13. #12  
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    Well, long story short, you can get arbitrarily close to the sun for an arbitrarily short amount of time.

    No mirror or solar panel is 100% efficient and any inefficiency will result in waste heat. Too close to the sun and even 1% waste heat (an unrealistically low value) would vaporize the ship. And that's ignoring everything that's not EM radiation. But time matters too. You can stick your hand in molten lead without getting hurt if you do it fast enough (don't try that at home though).

    I do wish Hollywood would make at least a tiny effort not to fail so hard at so many things though. It is way to easy to pick out mistakes in just about every movie: Main/Hollywood Science - Television Tropes & Idioms
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  14. #13  
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    Warning: pedantic semi-rant coming, feel free to ignore.

    1) The temperature of interstellar space is about 4 degrees K

    This is so misleadingly irrelevant. First, the poster is talking about a region near the sun, not interstellar space. Second, even if you were talking about an experiment in interstellar space, it is still irrelevant to just about anything. Temperature is a property of matter. It is a measure of the average molecular velocity of a specified object or region. For purposes of cooling, molecules in interstellar space are so rare their temperature doesn't make any difference. Conduction and convection effects are extremely small when there is only one molecule per cubic meter or so. Space is primarily vacuum, and vacuum does not have a temperature, it isn't matter. It isn't like you were dipping an object in a pool of 4 degree K liquid, what you are dipping your object in is 4 degree K nothing.
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  15. #14  
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    Quote Originally Posted by danhanegan View Post
    Warning: pedantic semi-rant coming, feel free to ignore.

    1) The temperature of interstellar space is about 4 degrees K

    This is so misleadingly irrelevant. First, the poster is talking about a region near the sun, not interstellar space. Second, even if you were talking about an experiment in interstellar space, it is still irrelevant to just about anything. Temperature is a property of matter. It is a measure of the average molecular velocity of a specified object or region. For purposes of cooling, molecules in interstellar space are so rare their temperature doesn't make any difference. Conduction and convection effects are extremely small when there is only one molecule per cubic meter or so. Space is primarily vacuum, and vacuum does not have a temperature, it isn't matter. It isn't like you were dipping an object in a pool of 4 degree K liquid, what you are dipping your object in is 4 degree K nothing.
    i never used that bit of knowledge in any argument.

    here is a thought experiment: you take an object, any kind of object that is composed of matter. you heat it up to 273 K or any other temperature you like. you place this object in interstellar space, say halfway between here and Alpha Centauri. let the object sit there for some time. a thousand years may be . may be longer . what would be the final measured temp of the object ?

    i appreciate your rant but can you now assist with the subject of this thread ?

    i also asked this question which is very much like what you are ranting about:

    Quote Originally Posted by Chucknorium View Post
    i know the corona is very tenuous. does this mean the effect of 1,000,000 degrees K to be lessened ?
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  16. #15  
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    It seems the movie wasn't completely bogus. They did have Dr. Brian Cox as a science adviser and they did listen to some of what he had to say. Film/Sunshine - Television Tropes & Idioms
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  17. #16  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chucknorium View Post
    it is not good sport noting the science errors in a movie like Sunshine. it is way too easy.
    Yeah

    However I DO like the movie for its psychological atmosphere, just like I find the movie The Sphere amazing. The TV Tropes link that was posted tells it better:
    psychological thriller disguised as a bog-standard sci-fi disaster movie
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  18. #17  
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    Quote Originally Posted by danhanegan View Post
    Warning: pedantic semi-rant coming, feel free to ignore.
    1) The temperature of interstellar space is about 4 degrees K
    Warning: really pedantic rant.
    The unit is Kelvin.
    The temperature, therefore, is 4 K NOT 4 degrees K.
    Unlike the degree Fahrenheit and degree Celsius, the kelvin is not referred to or typeset as a degree.
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