Planet Human
September 4, 2007 4:08 AM   Subscribe

The Ultimate question: What would happen with a planet the size of the Sun made entirely out of living human beings?
posted by nintendo to Education (20 answers total)

This post was deleted for the following reason: This is pretty much the ultimate chatfilter.

 
It wouldn't be made entirely out of living human beings for long, I would think.
posted by letourneau at 4:18 AM on September 4, 2007 [9 favorites]


Huh, come again? I think you need to clarify this question. Are you talking about a planet entirely composed of human flesh? As opposed to Silicon, Iron etc...I don't really comprehend what you're trying to ascertain.
posted by Rufus T. Firefly at 4:19 AM on September 4, 2007


There would not be enough marijuana on the planet for everyone to get as high as you are right now.
posted by emelenjr at 4:28 AM on September 4, 2007 [98 favorites]


ultimate suffocation, ya plum.
posted by the cuban at 4:28 AM on September 4, 2007


If you just filled a sphere of space with humans, they would all collapse in on one another with frightening speed, and anyone below the uppermost layers would be crushed into something distinctly un-alive by gravitational force.
posted by phrontist at 4:41 AM on September 4, 2007 [1 favorite]


Whoa
posted by fire&wings at 4:42 AM on September 4, 2007


It's conceivable that if it were big enough fusion reactions could start in the center...
posted by phrontist at 4:42 AM on September 4, 2007


I think it would get deleted.
posted by Wolfdog at 4:49 AM on September 4, 2007 [9 favorites]


A star sized mass of the right elements will turn into a star, as phrontist notes. Humans have enough of the right elements I'd think.

As phrontist also notes, the people in the middle get squished fairly promptly. The ones on the outside also get squished fairly promptly - the surface gravity of the Sun is about 28 times Earth's.

The timescale on which things finish squishing and settle down is probably something like the a few times dynamical timescale of the Sun, which would be on the order of a few hours. The time until nuclear reactions start would probably be considerably longer as the core would need to heat up.

In the unlikely event people don't get instantly squished, they die fairly quickly from not being able to breath, as the cuban notes.
posted by edd at 5:07 AM on September 4, 2007


if you take the sun's radius as 7e8m as the average density if a human as 1000kg/m3 then you'd have a mass of 1e30kg, made up mainly of C, O, H and N. that's about half the mass of the sun and easily enough to ignite.

so you'd get a gravitational collapse, with people on the inside being crushed to goo and then compressed further, heating, compressed further, becoming some kind of "atomic soup", heating further, becoming a plasma, igniting (fusion starting - probably the carbon nitrogen oxygen cycle), heating further, and becoming a ball of glowing plasma.

i doubt the transition would be smooth - there would be all kinds of shocks, and you'd probably get some mass loss/ejections.

on preview - what edd says, except i'm not sure about "needing to heat up". if you reach equilibrium in around dynamical time scales then you reach equilibrium. that includes temperature (otherwise it wouldn't be equilibrium - temperature is just a measure of what the equilibrium state is). i think (not terribly sure).
posted by andrew cooke at 5:11 AM on September 4, 2007 [2 favorites]


Deletion would happen
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 5:12 AM on September 4, 2007




Would they be naked or clothed?
posted by Burhanistan at 5:40 AM on September 4, 2007 [2 favorites]


Given the username of the person who asked the question, the correct answer is probably "Legion" from Castlevania.
posted by yeoz at 5:50 AM on September 4, 2007


Ultimate question? More like DumbQuestionFilter...
posted by Doohickie at 5:51 AM on September 4, 2007


Would they be naked or clothed?

And would they be drinking?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:52 AM on September 4, 2007


Yeah, I'm guessing it doesn't reach proper equilibrium, and things still continue to contract, but the initial major lack of support from being magicked into existence would settle out on that kind of timescale. It's not at all like how a star would usually form, with pretty much everything falling in. We've magicked the whole lot into a pretty dense state but also at an unrealistic isothermal 37 Celsius.

I'd guess the heating up to the point fusion kicks off would happen on something more like the Kelvin Helmholtz timescale, which is way up in the millions of years somewhere?
posted by edd at 5:54 AM on September 4, 2007


i doubt the transition would be smooth - there would be all kinds of shocks, and you'd probably get some mass loss/ejections.

yeah but other than that, it would be pretty good times, at least for everyone on the outside, who got to walk around and stuff, right?
posted by allkindsoftime at 5:56 AM on September 4, 2007


This is what the admins must dream about since they are probably all asleep right now.
posted by Burhanistan at 5:56 AM on September 4, 2007 [3 favorites]


Come on guys, you have to admit, he does have a point. This is, after all, the ultimate question.
posted by allkindsoftime at 6:01 AM on September 4, 2007 [2 favorites]


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