Is the world of Seven Eves doomed? General Frost against

    Space fiction is not enough. Good space fiction is even less. Therefore, I was extremely happy when the translation of Neil Stevenson's novel "The Seven Hie" came out. I read the beginning of the gulp and then fell into a deep depression. No, not because of technical mistakes that are in the novel. They are there a little and they do not spoil the pleasure. Due to the more emotional - the author, without a doubt, at the beginning of the novel explodes the moon.

    Further there will be spoilers - this is not an abstract, but reflections on the margins of a book read. For those who have not read and are not going to read, I will briefly retell the plot: The unknown factor is Agent X, causes an explosion of the Moon, which has split into seven fragments, called the Seven Sisters, and into many smaller fragments. When confronted, these large fragments will fall into countless fragments and turn first into White Heaven — that is, into a wide ring of fragments visible from the Earth, in the manner of Saturn’s ring, and then into Stone Shower — meteor shower, which will completely destroy life on Earth.

    No, not due to the destruction caused by the bombardment - although they are great, they can be protected from them. Stone Shower will warm the air - all over the world, up to two hundred degrees. What's next? “Grains wither, rivers dry, animals die, fish die, cobras, bison, dinosaurs, without saying a word, die, amoeba, toads, crabs, even people are dying - why should they go there too?” this feast of the spirit, according to author's estimates, from five to ten thousand years.

    Now I understand what upset me? The author describes in detail the destruction of humanity, from which exactly seven women survived, having escaped in orbit.

    “As you wish,” I said, “but I don’t agree.” From any situation - there must be a rational way out, allowing everyone to be saved. Well, okay - not everyone, the loss is inevitable, but at least - most of humanity. And I have a plan. (I always have a plan. No. I always have three plans! ).

    So, how am I going to save humanity?

    First, consider the physics of the split moon.

    To begin, discard the representation of the body with a diameter of 3,474 km as solid. Yes, I'm talking about the moon. No, I do not assure that the moon is liquid. Such bodies, with their dimensions, are pseudo-liquid — the strength of the rocks making up the moon is so much less than the loads acting on it that their behavior at the macro level is not different from the behavior of a drop of liquid.

    Given the fact that even the shock wave will pass through the moon in the region of a minute, it is very difficult for me to imagine a scenario in which the moon split into seven parts. Therefore, we attribute this to the impact of an unknown force - agent X, as described in the novel.

    Notice that despite the fact that the energy was transferred enough to split the moon into large pieces, it was not enough to knock these pieces out of a common orbit. The orbit of the moon - is similar to Las Vegas. Everything that happens in Las Vegas stays in Las Vegas. Everything that happens in the orbit of the moon remains in the orbit of the moon.

    What happened next? In a few tens of minutes, pieces of the moon were otsererereny. In the sense - they became similar to Ceres - they acquired a spherical shape. More or less spherical - possible irregularities, differences in the color of rocks. This explains the individual names of the fragments at the beginning of the novel.

    And these balls, revolving around a common center of gravity, began to collide.
    But, do not expect elastic collisions of the type: one half-thousandthousand-kilometer-long bulygan zafitilit into another thousand thousand and two hundred kilometers, split it into two pieces and bounce to the side. Not. At the household level, you can imagine that the fragments of the moon behave like pieces of clay - they will stick together, colliding. Since these collisions are inelastic, the velocities of the fragments will fall, transferring energy to heat.

    Without the influx of external energy - nothing the fragments of the moon in the ring does not take away. If at the very beginning there was not enough energy to scatter the pieces, then it will no longer be in this system. Just because there she has nowhere to take. Shattered pieces of the moon, which move in the orbit of the moon, with a common center of gravity, will inevitably stick together again.

    Amendment from readers: antihydrogen and Hellsy22: A situation may arise in which a few closer fragments will play the role of a gravitational catapult for the third. According to such a mechanism, for example, stars from spherical clusters “evaporate” - three stars approach each other, two form a close system, the released energy is transferred to a third one, which acquires greater speed. So a fragment of the moon, with a certain luck (or our bad luck) will be able to leave a common orbit.

    Does this mean that what is described in the novel is impossible? By no means. Collisions of such huge masses as these fragments of the moon will inevitably cause the disintegration of small fragments of the lunar rock. Since the aggregate surface of small fragments is much larger than that of a fragment of the Moon equal to them in mass, they will reflect sunlight. Millions of bright stars will flash in the sky. Then it will be called White Heaven. What will happen next? A part of these fragments, hitting a field of gravity, will fall to the Earth by a stone rain.

    Events in the novel develop according to the Kessler cascade model (syndrome, effect). This is how a hypothetical development of events in near-earth orbit is called, when space debris, which appeared as a result of numerous launches of artificial satellites, leads to complete unsuitability of near space for practical use.

    A distinctive feature of this scenario is the domino effect, when a collision of two fairly large objects leads to the emergence of a large number of fragments, which, in turn, collides with the following orbital objects, which leads to the emergence of an even larger number of new fragments ... and so on. Well, you understand.

    This in the novel explains the delay for two years, which have passed after the destruction of the Moon, but before the start of the stone shower. This fantastic assumption is also entirely on the author’s conscience - the Kessler cascade is possible only in the case of artificial orbit satellites so that they don’t randomly collide long before the hour of X. In a scenario with natural destruction of the moon, you shouldn’t expect a two-year pause before the Earth bombardment - the curve the graph of the number of fallen cars, in my opinion, must obey the laws of Gauss distribution - that is, it is a fairly flat, bell-shaped curve, with a peak in the region of two years.

    Why did I describe the destruction of the moon in such detail? To explain that the Earth will fall share of the share of the moon. A tiny part of the percentage.

    “But let me,” the attentive reader will say, “The scientists from the novel, using similar reasoning, arrived at the exact same conclusion.” The kinetic energy released during the stone shower will boil the Pripyat River, exactly like all the other rivers and lakes on Earth.

    - Absolutely. Boil. But we are talking about the scale of the disaster. The earth is not expected by a supernaturally strong stone shower, but only by an outstanding meteor shower.

    - What's the difference? If we consider that the power even of meteorite rain is enough to completely destroy the biosphere of the Earth?

    - It is enough, of course, enough ... But there is one nuance. However, about it a little later. For now let us dwell on the fact that the heroes of the novel made a mistake in assessing the power of rain. Why do I declare it so responsibly? Because I know more than them - I read the novel to the end. On the surface of the planet, two groups of people survived. Estimates of surface heating were erroneous. Oceans did not even boil to the end:

    He went along the beach, collecting the fin. Kat-three somehow drew the tour, and she sat down next to him, waiting for the others. It was heard, as Sonar-Customs chirps something, running in circles around the satellites. Soon their breath and footsteps joined her voice. Their story is divided into three periods - three Floods. The first Flood is stone and flame, he drove them into the deepest depressions, the water in which did not evaporate, even when the whole ocean had dried out. (with)

    That is, the catastrophe described in the novel, even with all its apparent apocalypticity, leaves organized groups of people the opportunity to survive. Why are the scientists described in the novel so wrong? Such things, at our stage of development of science, are very dependent on the personality of the scientist - what data he puts into the calculation, which scenarios he considers plausible, and which - acceptable. Therefore, it is difficult to calculate such complexity alone. Only work in a team, with the ability to compare your point of view with colleagues, allows you to achieve accuracy in the calculations.

    - So why the heroes of the novel did not correct the scientific community? Why, with the difference of approaches, the prevailing opinion was that survival on the surface is impossible?

    - According to the prisoner's dilemma. The forecast - “WE WILL ALL BE DONE” was beneficial to organized groups of people who were going to survive in shelters themselves. If you build a shelter that can accommodate thousands of people, wide publicity will lead to the fact that a million people will come to you, take the shelter by storm, throwing you into the heat. And do not forget about the limitation of resources - if the entire population begins to collect reserves in order to survive in the mines, there will not be enough reserves.

    From the point of view of their own survival, the optimal strategy will be: to support fatalism in those around them, “We can do nothing, pray and take pills with poison,” actively collecting resources and digging our own bunker. So most of the thinking people, in the situation described in the novel, chose to do just that - when discussing different scenarios for the destruction of the moon - they supported the worst.

    And all the stormy activities described in the novel to rescue several thousand elected representatives of humanity in orbit are no more than a rattle of noises, designed to distract humanity from the real work of saving the "elite" of society. The people sent into orbit were saved and developed by a miracle, despite the circumstances. (This is not my guess, it is directly spelled out in the text of the novel.)

    In fact, of course, digging a bunker is far from the most optimal strategy. (Especially for the “elite” - but I would prefer to disassemble this topic another time.) Survival of a small group of people is extremely difficult for biological and technical reasons. (You can read about the tragic fate of the Viking settlements in Greenland.) In essence, this is a lottery. Moreover, the presence of neighbors - able to help - greatly increases the chances of survival. Did scientists and politicians from the novel understand this? I am sure that yes. But - their leader - a person or a group of people - caring for their own survival, made a non-optimal decision and the rest moved in the rut of their intention.

    Now - when we have analyzed in detail what is happening in the novel, we can proceed to the third paragraph of our rescue instruction, to point “C” - “Salvation”.

    In order for humanity on Earth to survive, it is necessary to utilize the extra energy that enters the atmosphere from the stone rain. And help us in this - our old, good friend: General Frost.

    Historians know many cases when General’s counterattacks cooled the enchanting self-confidence of the hordes attacking Russia. The last time the General saved humanity in the sixties, when scientists explained to politicians that even having won a nuclear conflict, they would not get "a better world than the pre-war one", which gave all of us more than half a century of relatively peaceful life. Frost will help in the event of the destruction of the moon.

    How? We follow hands.

    The Earth’s atmosphere can be conditionally represented as a pool into which two pipes lead — one of which receives solar energy flowing into the pool during daylight — while water flows out of the second pipe, so the atmosphere loses heat, radiating it into outer space. During the day, more water flows out than it flows out, which raises the level of the pool, which descends only at night, when there is no inflow.

    Stone rain - in this metaphor, it is a waterfall from the third pipe that will overflow the pool. The rising water washes away newspapers and other garbage from the side of the pool, which sinks and clogs the drain, disrupting the outflow of water. Why is that? In a realistic catastrophe model, the constantly falling meteorites are responsible for the high temperature of the Earth’s surface for five thousand years, and the "clogged drain pipe" is the greenhouse effect that arose after the evaporation of the oceans at the peak of the bombardment, which, by obstructing the radiation of heat into space, turned Earth to a copy of Venus. Stone shower by that time has ceased long ago.

    Under the terms of the problem, we can not stop the flow of heat from the stone rain. And what can we do to avoid overflowing the pool? Pre-lower the water level. Spray a few months before the stone rain in the atmosphere and the outer space around the Earth fine dust, so that it reflects and diffuses sunlight. So we will cause the effect of "Nuclear winter" - completely freezing the surface. By this we kill a lot of birds with one stone - we will reduce the atmosphere, which will heat the meteorites passing through it less, we will reduce the damage from the tsunami, which will be slowed down by a multi-meter layer of ice. And most importantly, we will “stock up” the cold, which will help the biosphere to survive the peak temperature increase at the maximum of stone rain and stop the greenhouse effect, so that we are not in danger of five thousand years of incessant heat.

    How does this save the biosphere? Elementary. It is easier for living organisms to endure a decrease in the usual temperature of 70 degrees than an increase. At minus fifty, you can survive - and at plus 90 I, forgive me, make a couple of hours.

    Dust in orbit of the Earth and in the atmosphere, of course, will not fly forever. So, it will have to be re-sprayed, picking up the amount in order to keep the Earth's temperature regime normal, compensating for the influx of heat from the stone rain by reducing the heat flux from the sun.
    If you doubt the comparability of the power of heat fluxes - from the sun and from stone rain, then just go outside in the early morning. See how fast the sun heats the surface of the earth. As the temperature in sunny weather rises to 10 degrees per hour. And how quickly the surface of the earth cools in the evening - as soon as the sun has set.

    This is enough to understand how much the temperature of the Earth depends on the supply of solar energy. Imagine, for a second, that the Earth stopped its rotation. At the equator, in a few hours the air temperature will exceed a hundred degrees - only due to the sun. (The other side will also quickly freeze out).

    In the book a few hours after the start of stone rain, being on the surface without a heat reflecting suit became life threatening. In exactly the same way as in the example with the Earth stopped rotating. So you need to compensate not a huge amount of energy, and the heat influx is approximately equal to the heat flux from the Sun - and this is at the very peak of the bombardment.

    Therefore, I consider my plan of salvation realistic. Having developed it, I regained my peace of mind - even if the Moon splits into seven parts tomorrow, humanity has a good chance of survival. What can not but rejoice.

    PS: One and a half thousand kilometers is definitely the longest word used on Giktimes. There are even more letters than “Napoleononenavischestvo” - the longest word in the Russian-language literature. The record will be preserved until someone uses the word "Tetrahydropyranylcyclopentyl tetrahydropyridopyridine".

    Optional additive
    PS-2. “Bozhechki - it is full of stars!” - I wonder if anyone found in the text all quotations from the works of the classics of the genre, folk art and the dog Fafic, a sort of rabbit eggs, which the author generously scattered in the text?

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