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Thread: What would happen if the sun collided with another star? (Physics hypothetical)

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    Question What would happen if the sun collided with another star? (Physics hypothetical)

    Another physics question to add to Fallowfox's from a few days ago.

    So what would happen in this extremely unlikely event? Would the two stars fuse together and combine? Would there be a huge eruption of energy into interplanetary/stellar space? Would a black hole form? Would a binary star system form if it was a glancing blow in a similar way to how Earth got its moon?

    So many questions...
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    Default Re: What would happen if the sun collided with another star? (Physics hypothetical)

    why would a black hole form?

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    Default Re: What would happen if the sun collided with another star? (Physics hypothetical)

    Quote Originally Posted by Raptros View Post
    Would a black hole form?
    . . . I'm not even going to dignify that with a response.


    The short answer to this question: We would all die.
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    Default Re: What would happen if the sun collided with another star? (Physics hypothetical)

    Quote Originally Posted by dinosaurdammit View Post
    why would a black hole form?
    Note the word 'would'. If the collision were to happen there would be quite a lot of energy in one place, but I don't know if it'll be anywhere near enough for a black hole to form. Truth be told, I just threw that question in there for the sake of it.

    To keep things simple the sun and the colliding star are both the same mass/density/size. So they're practically the same.
    Last edited by Kalmor; 02-02-2013 at 08:10 PM.
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    Default Re: What would happen if the sun collided with another star? (Physics hypothetical)

    It's called a stellar collision. Not too much is known about it, but it seems like a black hole could be formed.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stellar_collision

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    Default Re: What would happen if the sun collided with another star? (Physics hypothetical)

    Quote Originally Posted by Raptros View Post
    Note the word 'would'. If the collision were to happen there would be quite a lot of energy in one place, but I don't know if it'll be anywhere near enough for a black hole to form. Truth be told, I just threw that question in there for the sake of it.

    To keep things simple the sun and the colliding star are both the same mass and density.
    It wouldn't cause a black hole to form cause the majority of black holes are formed from gravitational collapse of a violently dying super massive star.
    (p.s. wikipedia is your friend)

    Also blackholes aren't super vacuum suckers of the universe, they contain the same amount of gravity as a object with the same amount of mass. It's just a blackhole's mass is in a single point in space with causes the gravity well to be inescapable at a certain point cause nothing can travel faster than light. If our sun was to become suddenly a black hole it wouldn't suck us in cause we would have the same orbit, however we would all die from radiation from the accretion disk in all probability. Also if it weren't for black holes our galaxy wouldn't be a disk, the super massive black hole at the center of our galaxy gives the galaxy it's shape and we rotate around it.
    Last edited by CannonFodder; 02-02-2013 at 08:15 PM.
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    Default Re: What would happen if the sun collided with another star? (Physics hypothetical)

    I do not have any background in the sciences, however I do know that shit would get real.
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    Default Re: What would happen if the sun collided with another star? (Physics hypothetical)

    What would happen if Russia and China and the USA all launched all their nuclear missiles at the moon at once?

    What would happen huh?

    Guys?

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    Default Re: What would happen if the sun collided with another star? (Physics hypothetical)

    Quote Originally Posted by TeenageAngst View Post
    What would happen if Russia and China and the USA all launched all their nuclear missiles at the moon at once?
    What would happen huh?
    Guys?
    In all probability an arrangement of craters spelling our, "our leaders are fucking morons" or a penis by the actual technicians who got the orders and chose the targets on the moon.
    Quote Originally Posted by Aetius View Post
    I do not have any background in the sciences, however I do know that shit would get real.
    Ignoring a million different variables if the sun was to combine with another star of significant size, as in not a brown dwarf or such, in all probability the earth would become much hotter and no longer become habitable. The oceans would boil it would be so hot. So basically the perfect getaway from texas and arizona summers
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    Default Re: What would happen if the sun collided with another star? (Physics hypothetical)

    Quote Originally Posted by TeenageAngst View Post
    What would happen if Russia and China and the USA all launched all their nuclear missiles at the moon at once?

    What would happen huh?

    Guys?
    First, France would surrender.

    Second, they don't have enough fuel to create a high enough change in velocity to get to the moon. So they would eventually fall back down (assuming we didn't try to make an orbit). If I remember correctly, because of the way nuclear missiles are armed they wouldn't detonate coming back in. Maybe a couple fission bombs might go off if the collision brought the pieces close enough to make a super critical mass. Even the ones that did go off may only fizzle and not give us a nice mushroom cloud.
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    Default Re: What would happen if the sun collided with another star? (Physics hypothetical)

    Personally from my own research and knowledge of the subject, due to the small mass of our sun compared to other stars, if it were to collide with another star of similar mass they would likely cause a super massive explosion of energy then the leftovers would form either a red-dwarf or white-dwarf star and there would likely only be a couple planets left. Mercury and Venus would be goners and so would Earth. Mars would get singed and pushed back and so would the Asteroid belt and Jupiter. Not too sure what Saturn and the ice giants would do... and the Khyper Belt (sp?) and Ort Cloud would be tossed about like a chef salad so there would be comets EVERYWHERE

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    Default Re: What would happen if the sun collided with another star? (Physics hypothetical)

    Quote Originally Posted by TeenageAngst View Post
    What would happen if Russia and China and the USA all launched all their nuclear missiles at the moon at once?

    What would happen huh?

    Guys?
    At least we won't have to deal with any possible threat from the alleged moon Nazis.
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    Default Re: What would happen if the sun collided with another star? (Physics hypothetical)

    Quote Originally Posted by CannonFodder View Post
    It wouldn't cause a black hole to form cause the majority of black holes are formed from gravitational collapse of a violently dying super massive star.
    (p.s. wikipedia is your friend)

    Also blackholes aren't super vacuum suckers of the universe, they contain the same amount of gravity as a object with the same amount of mass. It's just a blackhole's mass is in a single point in space with causes the gravity well to be inescapable at a certain point cause nothing can travel faster than light. If our sun was to become suddenly a black hole it wouldn't suck us in cause we would have the same orbit, however we would all die from radiation from the accretion disk in all probability. Also if it weren't for black holes our galaxy wouldn't be a disk, the super massive black hole at the center of our galaxy gives the galaxy it's shape and we rotate around it.
    http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kugel...(astrophysics)

    A kugelblitz is a black hole formed with energy rather than mass, though the wiki article does not cite how much energy is needed to be able to create one. But it's all theoretical at the moment.

    Either way, we're fucked here on Earth.
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    Default Re: What would happen if the sun collided with another star? (Physics hypothetical)

    Also a body moving that fast with as much mass as the sun flying through our solar system would likely reek havoc on orbits. Even so 1 sun worth of mass + another sun worth or mass won't necessarily make a two solar mass star. A lot of that mass will be ejected and that will create one heck of a shitstorm. Also, assuming that the sun somehow does not gain/lose any kinetic energy (which it would probably change by 1.4x(velocitysun-velocitystar)) gravity is going to do work on the planets from that other star (and then from the sun) so we would get more elliptic orbits.

    It is possible we might survive, but it would be virtually impossible. If the collision were such that all the stuff was blown away from us, and the work by gravity pulled us away a bit and didn't send us hurtling off or into the sun or asteroid belt we might be able to maintain an orbit. It would be quite an elliptic orbit and seasons may not be because of the tilt at that point but it is possible we might survive and if nothing else, A couple Archea should make it.

    It is very unlikely it would for a black hole. I think it would be rather difficult to get all that mass, which is already moving very fast compressed into 17.75m to make the black hole.
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    Default Re: What would happen if the sun collided with another star? (Physics hypothetical)

    Quote Originally Posted by Raptros View Post
    http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kugel...(astrophysics)

    A kugelblitz is a black hole formed with energy rather than mass, though the wiki article does not cite how much energy is needed to be able to create one. But it's all theoretical at the moment.

    Either way, we're fucked here on Earth.
    The amount of energy needed to create a blackhole from energy instead of mass is insane amounts. The amount of energy needed to make a sustainable blackhole from energy instead of mass would be much more than the amount of energy released from the sun colliding with another star of equal mass.
    Last edited by CannonFodder; 02-02-2013 at 08:49 PM.
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    Default Re: What would happen if the sun collided with another star? (Physics hypothetical)

    If it hasn't happened to our sun by now, what makes you think it would happen in our lifetimes? I mean, on the plus side, it would look really, really cool. But it would also mean the solar system we live in would be completely destroyed. We'd all die and no trace of human civilization would remain which kinda sucks when you think about it. Still, fireworks!

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    Default Re: What would happen if the sun collided with another star? (Physics hypothetical)

    Quote Originally Posted by DarrylWolf View Post
    If it hasn't happened to our sun by now, what makes you think it would happen in our lifetimes? I mean, on the plus side, it would look really, really cool. But it would also mean the solar system we live in would be completely destroyed. We'd all die and no trace of human civilization would remain which kinda sucks when you think about it. Still, fireworks!
    This, and the last thread, aren't ohmygoshweallgonnadieapocalypseiscomingrun more of just fun thought games. It likely isn't going to happen.
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    Default Re: What would happen if the sun collided with another star? (Physics hypothetical)

    Well, we could gaze soulfully at sunsets for a while.

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    Default Re: What would happen if the sun collided with another star? (Physics hypothetical)

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    Default Re: What would happen if the sun collided with another star? (Physics hypothetical)

    Tons of radiation would be released, which is bad news for all the satellites we have orbiting Earth. International TV and the internet would fall down almost immediately. Chunks of the material the sun is made out of might even be released, spiralling outwards through the solar system.



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    Default Re: What would happen if the sun collided with another star? (Physics hypothetical)

    Quote Originally Posted by Raptros View Post
    Another physics question to add to Fallowfox's from a few days ago.

    So what would happen in this extremely unlikely event? Would the two stars fuse together and combine? Would there be a huge eruption of energy into interplanetary/stellar space? Would a black hole form? Would a binary star system form if it was a glancing blow in a similar way to how Earth got its moon?

    So many questions...
    I think this depends upon the mass of the other star, the velocity and angle of collision.

    If a fast glancing blow was struck with a star of comparable mass the two could be dispersed entirely or partially into a nebula made from the ionised gasses stripped away from them in their collision.

    If the stars survived this then they may orbit one another in a binary system and their nebula condense into orbiting debris stratified by mass. The radiation pressure would push lighter elements from the collision, which presumeably may fuse nucleii, further away, leaving 'rocky' debris close and lighter gaseos or icy debris far away from the suns.

    If the two suns fused I imagine the new star, being more massive, would burn much brighter and for a much shorter time period.


    Either scenario could not be good for earth, especially given the introduction of much more mass moving towards the solar system's centre would mean huge changes in the centripetal force, so I imagine the planet's orbits would be distorted into heavy elipses and cooked from both sides even before the two suns collided.

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    Default Re: What would happen if the sun collided with another star? (Physics hypothetical)

    To be clear, when astronomers say 'collision', they don't mean like a car crash where the two just slam headlong into each other. A 'collision' just means that they pass close enough to each other to tug a bit and shift orbits. Which can include the headlong variety, sure.
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    Default Re: What would happen if the sun collided with another star? (Physics hypothetical)

    Quote Originally Posted by Fallowfox View Post
    I think this depends upon the mass of the other star, the velocity and angle of collision.

    If a fast glancing blow was struck with a star of comparable mass the two could be dispersed entirely or partially into a nebula made from the ionised gasses stripped away from them in their collision.

    If the stars survived this then they may orbit one another in a binary system and their nebula condense into orbiting debris stratified by mass. The radiation pressure would push lighter elements from the collision, which presumeably may fuse nucleii, further away, leaving 'rocky' debris close and lighter gaseos or icy debris far away from the suns.

    If the two suns fused I imagine the new star, being more massive, would burn much brighter and for a much shorter time period.


    Either scenario could not be good for earth, especially given the introduction of much more mass moving towards the solar system's centre would mean huge changes in the centripetal force, so I imagine the planet's orbits would be distorted into heavy elipses and cooked from both sides even before the two suns collided.
    This, it's also possible that at least some of the planets would be ejected depending How close the rogue star came, it's mass, etc.
    Last edited by RadioactiveRedFox; 02-03-2013 at 12:26 PM. Reason: direction woulden't matter, stupid me

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    Default Re: What would happen if the sun collided with another star? (Physics hypothetical)

    Wow, another one of these?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fallowfox View Post
    Either scenario could not be good for earth, especially given the introduction of much more mass moving towards the solar system's centre would mean huge changes in the centripetal force, so I imagine the planet's orbits would be distorted into heavy elipses and cooked from both sides even before the two suns collided.
    I think there would be more of a problem with collision itself, since it would fuck up the entire solar system.

    The other sun would probably attract all the planets and throw them off course, and the collision (depending on m x v) could send the sun flying in a different direction.

    I mean, everything is moving already but the planets already have inertia based off the current position of the sun.

    If there were a change in direction there is a force applied.

    Also, a black hole COULD form if, let's say, the colliding sun happened to be a neutron star (in which case we're even more fucked.)

    In all honesty though, unless it were on the EXACT course required the suns would likely orbit each other and there would be no collision. There are plenty of examples of this in the universe; there's even a neutron star orbiting a blue giant (though the neutron star is constantly ripping mass off the blue giant and will eventually consume it, in which case the gravitational pull would overwhelm the quantum degeneracy pressure of the neutron star and it WILL form a black hole. Eventually.

    If it's another mid-sized sun like ours I bet it would just grow if they were to collide.

    We might find out in a little over 5 billion years anyway, once the Andromeda galaxy collides with ours, although the chances of a collision like that even with galaxies colliding are incredibly small (most shit is pretty empty when it comes to cosmic scales).

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    Default Re: What would happen if the sun collided with another star? (Physics hypothetical)

    Quote Originally Posted by TeenageAngst View Post
    What would happen if Russia and China and the USA all launched all their nuclear missiles at the moon at once?

    What would happen huh?

    Guys?
    Russia doesn't have enough money to fuel the missiles, Chinese made missiles detonate on the ground before launch, and the USA missiles would be protested my the Lunar version of the EPA. So nothing.

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