Is It Possible To Land On Sun: Seems To Be A Stupid Question ?
After a lot of thinking on answering this question "Landing on Sun - Is it possible?", I thought that why not I ask this question to my friends and relatives. I already know that most of the people will say that "I do not have enough time to answer this stupid question". Then also, I proceeded and it took me two days to get some answers, which vary in their logic and are very different from each other.
Some of my friends straight away told me that it is not possible. It is really impossible and then they told me nothing else. Another group of my friends who had some time to spare answered this question. I have listed below those answers and believe me they are really interesting.
Sunil, a Hindu scholar, said that it is easy to land on the sun if you get the body made of fire alone. Right now our body is made of five elements, earth, water, fire, air, and ether, but for landing on the sun, we need to be made of fire alone.
Rohit Bal, a final year college student, told me that landing on surface of the sun if possible if you enjoy high bone crushing gravity, super strong magnetic fields, high rising solar flares, plasma. There is very less possibility of escaping the gravity of sun to get back to planet earth. If this is you, solar surface is the place for you!
Anyways if we are able to find such high technology, why not leave this solar system and move on to another one?
- Looking at current rate of global warming, there is a very thin possibility that we will survive.
- Increasing population has already over-exhausted our planet and most probably we will be wiped out soon by nature, and if not nature, then by some war.
Now lets take a possibility that no such situation occurs and we are so advance technologically, so way beyond we can imagine right now that we would have colonized other solar systems way before the sun would burn out and hence there is no need to worry for human race of that age.
Mehul said that firstly any particle nearing the sun will be burned up by solar flares, the temperature is indeed high and perhaps wait for some 5.6 more billion years, the sun may explode and the matter may cool rapidly and then it would be easier for us to land on the surface of the sun.
The other factor that is to be considered is high gravity of sun. Even if we succeed to land in sun, we will be crushed due to the heavy gravity, even the gravity of Jupiter is high for human beings to live. Solar flares, emission, sun spots are places where the heat is emitted in form of waves enormously and the magnetic field is much more powerful than our earth. Almost all devices will malfunction with no doubt. Like that many questions arises. Scientists do not think this as a major problem for them. Landing on Mars is the next great adventure (as venus and mercury are impossible). Next is what they call as white blinding or when suddenly exposed to very high temperature, our eyes will lose its power but these come in last as the important factors are told above.
Sumit Mehta, a software professional, answered that why do you want to land in a place where nothing can be dug and sample collection is almost impossible.
Prince Sethi, a shopkeeper, said that sun's core is cooler than its surface (which is at 15000 degrees) but the core is made of plasma (which however may cool down further when it will turn into a red giant). But apart from all the radiations from the nuclear reactions in it, if there is something that may be of any concern is - it's massive gravity, that will turn you to human pulp once you land there (even if you are wearing any special suit of any kind).
Anmol Kapoor, an exporter, said that with the present technology, there is no practicable possibility for a solar landing mission and even 100 years from now, the probability is very less to develop any technologies to achieve this goal unless some super brains emerge who can find some newer principles of nature, which help to solve the related problems. So if such a hypothetical situation (Sun converting into a red giant) arises after 5 or 10 years, find a convenient position outdoor with an easy chair. Watch the sun turning red and red and prepare for a long sleep until eternity.
Rajat Issar, a BPO manager, replied that if the human body becomes tolerable to the energy generated by nuclear fission and fusion reactions, than we will definitely land on sun one day. Secondly a huge amount of energy is the net product of these reactions and its fractional part can destroy the whole body tissue. Different radiations like x-rays, gamma rays, etc. emit from these reactions and they are capable of producing cancer in different body tissues.
Red Giant Theory
If sun burns all helium than it cannot be fixed by a fusion reinforcement reaction because helium consumed is transformed into heavier metals and elements that can't support fusion reactions for long, finally blast into a Super Nova. Super Nova is an Event that occurs due to over-burdened fusion reaction of higher elements that cannot carry out fusion chain like helium. This instability causes Super Nova explosions that take place after Red giant formation. This usually ends up in a Dwarf Star, or a neutron star and sometimes rarely into a black hole.
So even if we generate a fusion reaction in the core of the sun, with or without landing on it, we would not be able to revive our dear sun.
Keertana Reddy, a sports instructor, said that suppose we can build something that can withstand all the extreme forms of radiation that are released from the sun such as heat, that is, to put simply, suppose we manage to survive all the extreme conditions from the sun, then landing on the sun is possible, but we must not forget that in order to "land", we need a surface, that is, that you need solid material (or liquid if you take a loose definition for the verb "land" where a ship can be on water and be considered to be landed). Moreover, you need enough of this material to form an area for the landing but I do not think that there is such an area in the sun to land on it.
Karan Kumar, a call center employee, told me that you would find mostly two materials in the sun, hydrogen and helium For Hydrogen to be liquid or solid, it has to be at temperatures under -423.17 °F/-252.87°C while Helium -451.8°F/-268.8°C. The coolest places in the sun are the sunspots in the photosphere with temperatures around 7000°F/4000°C where even the heavier, much less common materials such as iron (which has a boiling point of 4982°F/2750°C) would still be in a gaseous state. The boiling point for these materials in the sun would be different due to the difference in pressure, but it wouldn't be different enough to allow for solid or liquid material, therefore making the discrepancy of low relevance for this question.
To summarize, no matter how much technology and sci-fi ideas we people come up with; considering the sun's composition; unless we are planning to make the sun's temperature some 500°F lower than Earth's, we cannot land on the sun, simply because there's nothing you can land on.
The sun is a bit too hot for any matter to exist there except in plasma state. Hence no ship can be made to withstand the extreme temperatures and keep any human being safe within the gravity of the sun which is too strong and any object traveling towards sun will be sucked straight to the center if it can retain its solid form, but actually it will turn into gaseous form much before and will become part of sun's plasmatic body. Thus, we cannot land on its surface.
Deepak Mishra, my fellow employee) took a keen interest in this question and his points were:
- You would not land on the sun because you will be vaporized (turned into gas) before you reach the chromosphere (outer layer of the sun). Even if you had a spaceship built of Tungsten with robust physical properties (an element with highest known boiling point at 5660 C), it would still get vaporized by the sun's whooping 6000C+ outer temperature.
- You won't burn because well, you already got vaporized.
- Some of your vaporized remnants will get sucked towards the center of the sun due to high gravitational force coming from the sun's center.
- There is already a bit of oxygen in the sun, so I do not think you have to worry about causing catastrophic combustions due to bringing some more. I would be more worried about getting vaporized.
So according to me, the very idea of landing on the sun is funny.
Subhas Mittra, our fellow hubber, told me that about reaching there and being alive too and coming back with some good photographs to show to family and friends is simply not achievable but let me give some of my imaginative inputs:
- We need to create a metal that can withstand temperature higher than that of the sun.
- Hardware that can resist the radiation and the magnetic noise of the sun.
- Engines that can have enough thrust to resist one million g.
- Enough fuel that can bring us back breaking the sun's gravity or technology that will allow us to suck plasmatic hydrogen and convert into liquid hydrogen for return journey.
So do not you think these stories and imaginations are really interesting. After reading these stories, I think that this question is not irrelevant and stupid. People imagine, discuss, think over again and then create something innovative and new. Today, it is not possible to land on the surface of the sun but time (maybe after 200 or 300 years) will come when someone will achieve these imaginations and ideas.
I do not know when that day will come but lets wait............
One more thought
- Talk on anything you want: Landing on Sun – Everything is possible
There was a time when saying that the "Earth is round" was considered without any "rational reasonability." Human beings' knowledge is too limited, and cannot be used to completely dismiss an idea as just "flight of fancy."
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2009 Rajinder Soni