Ummm - Isn't the black monolith supposed to do the same thing to Jupiter in 2010?
Sounds like somebody really liked them some Arthur C. Clarke!
The pleasure was all on this side of the table, Paul.
If Cassini can turn Saturn into a sun then farting on your smoke detector should level the block.
Great. Now I've got another thing to worry about.
Quick question: How is a teensy spacecraft like Cassini going to do to Saturn what a humongous comet (Shoemaker-Levy, 1994) didn't do to Jupiter?
Perspective now, people. While I enjoy a good paranoic rant as much as anybody, it's at least got to pass the laugh test. Now about that rumor that Obama is conspiring with the Illuminati to throw the election . . . . .
This reminds me of an old Twilight Zone where Earth slipped out of orbit and was slowly spinning into the sun. And frankly, I think that happening is more possilbe than Saturn turning into another sun.
Saturn becomes a new sun, frying Earth in the process - but providing the potential of new life on one of its moons
Because the Earth is much closer to Saturn than Saturn's own moons, which orbit at a nice safe distance.
I say it's all scientific hogwash and nightmare fuel.
If I'm wrong?
Well, no one's really going to give a damn after the first few seconds anyway.
All these worlds are yours, except Europa. Attempt no landing there. Use them together. Use them in peace.
This is one of the Chick Pamplets from the 1970's that will answer all your questions.
The Jupiter orbiter, with a similar power system, didn't ignite that planet upon entry. This is all crap, as a commenter in the Cassini talk page points out:
This whole "megabomb" trope comes from the fact that 72 pounds of plutonium is distributed among the three RTGs in Cassini. Read Carey Sublette's High Energy Weapons Archive, 4.2 "Fission Weapon Designs," however, for a good feel of the effort required to create a nuclear detonation with plutonium. You just can't get a nuclear detonation by randomly crushing plutonium - there would have to be explosives to compress the fissile plutonium past its critical mass/density. vfrickey 16:23, 2 July 2008 (UTC)
Besides, if the probe ignited Saturn and turned it into a new sun, you wouldn't know it was happening until it was already too late.
I had a whole set of Chick tracts once- I bought them online and had them sent to my dorm at Boston University, where I was doing a summer program. It was awesome. I can't remember where they went, though.
Yeah, I'm much more worried about the Large Hadron Collider creating a black hole on our very own planet and ending life as we know it.
Speaking of the Jupiter probe, the EXACT SAME conspiracy theory was made about that one. And to top it off, when a dark colored storm appeared about 20,000 miles away and a year later, the conspiracy nuts claimed they were right!
I LOVED the Chick Tracts; They helped make me a hard core atheist. Christians are really stupid!
I'm a cockroach and, thus, remain unworried.
This is just like that one time on Next Generation when the Enterprise was like floating in space cause the dilithium crystals that power the warp drives were offline or something so Geordi like used his phaser to turn the earth backwards and rescue margot kidder. It's just like that.
@19 wins all prizes ever including a plush model of Saturn as a Sun.
Ziggity @20, @19 is amusing, but I can think of at least two other better candidates for best Slog comment ever.
Holy coconuts! This calls for a change of under wear!
@Greg: That is waaaaay too "scienc-y" for these people. They don't want your 'facts' or 'understanding of science' to get in their way.
Please cease and desist, you are scaring the children.
Idiots, the lot of 'em.
#6 wins. I love crackpot ideologies, but this offends my Space-Camp alumni nerdboy sensibilities. Saturn is fucking huge. This is almost as ridiculous as that movie "Sunshine", where a spaceship is sent to the Sun (which makes up about 99.99% of the mass of the Solar System!) to set off a nuclear device to "reignite" it, and keep it from dying out. There's no way we can build something capable of doing anything like this (or if we could, likely several million would be necessary). Oh, and Chick tracts are a perverse, guilty pleasure of mine as well. Somebody should do a book on that shit.
Not as bad as the Jesus Project....or Second Coming Project...
Um, isn't Saturn like a lot further away from Earth than the Sun, and a whole lot smaller* than the sun?
I guessing it will just cause a small to moderate bump in the rate of global warming, so it won't be quick @9 and @13, it will be slow and lingering, drought and starvation.
* like too small to ignite, but that kind of messes up my other point.
Paul, you should have used the picture of the person with "Everything is Beautiful and Nothing Hurt" tattooed on them to illustrate this post! Meta.
...I guessing it will just cause a small to moderate bump in the rate of global warming
Even that is far too generous. Saturn has roughly 1/3500th the Sun's mass, and is 9-10 times as far away. With radiant energy weakening as the square of distance, I feel safe calling the hypothetical effect not much.
@15, I'd be more worried about the LHC too, which I'm not worried about at all (the LHC fears are at least .00001% grounded in reason). Remember that the collisions simulated in the LHC are happening all the time, day in day out, in our upper atmosphere. If there really were a danger of a micro-black-hole not dissipating moments after formation, we'd be long gone considering the astronomical number of similar collisions that have already occurred.
As a ps to 31, that's not to say that I don't think humanity will one day destroy themselves. We've so far avoided turning the planet into a radioactive glassy surface, but that danger and many others lay in wait. the superbug, the crazy physicist creating a real black hole, etc -- our destruction is probably assured. It goes a bit to explain why we've never found evidence of other intelligent life out there -- life evolves into our level of intelligence and promptly finds a way to end itself.
apropos of @32...
A musty archive containing the code of a long-forgotten script in a markup language long deprecated. The linked vector images suggest a particle physics experiment capable of destroying the Earth.
Ok, lostboy @30, I'll put my plans to be a comedian on hold (not that I was all that optimistic about my chances).
"*like too small to ignite, but that kind of messes up my <strike>other point</strike> lame attempt at a joke.
Epimetheus @34, sorry. I have a bad habit of analyzing comments at face value for fun, even when it's apparent that they're meant in jest.
Fwiw, I've long wished Slog comments would allow the <strike> tag.
Um, Cassini's mission got an extension last year, to June of 2010 (ironically, also the name of the Clarke book that inspired that retarded conspiracy theory, though Clarke's book involved Jupiter being ignited by monoliths from beyond space or something into a second sun*).
@15, nothing to worry about with the LHC: http://public.web.cern.ch/public/en/LHC/Safety-en.html
*Clarke and Kubrick originally hoped to set 2001 in Saturn orbit but it was felt that FX wasn't up to the task of pulling off those rings. 2001 FX guy Douglas Trumbull went on to convincingly portray Saturn in his movie Silent Running in the 1970s...
@21: lostboy, I missed these comments, and I forever thank you for bringing them to my attention. I am a Los Angeleno, and after reading your second linked comment I shall never venture to said Denny's on PCH.
Motherfuckers get straight merked there. Why risk it?
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