if the earth was the size of eta carinae

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if the earth was the size of eta carinae

Postby TerraFrost » Tue May 20, 2008 4:13 am

If the Earth was the size of Eta Carinae, with the same land-ocean ratio, how much of it do you think we'd have explored?

We've pretty much explored all the land on Earth, but Eta Carinae is orders of magnitudes larger than Earth. Exploring it would certainly be cheaper than going into space, but given it's size, exploring all of it might be orders of magnitude more expensive than exploring space.

Also, for the sake of this post, we're going to ignore the fact that if Earth were that size, it'd collapse under it's own gravity until enough heat built up in the core to initiate fusion, thereby halting further collapse.
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Re: if the earth was the size of eta carinae

Postby Dracofrost » Tue May 20, 2008 4:27 pm

Another thing to think about is that life would be completely different due to the differences in gravity, day length, year length, and consequently seasonal variations. If hurricanes lasting hundreds of years can form on Jupiter, an Eta Carinae sized body should be capable of much more, since if placed in our solar system centered on the sun it's boundaries would extend to the orbit of Jupiter. This would essentially be like a Dyson shell on a whole new order of magnitude than the usual design. That would mean billions of times the surface area of the Earth, god knows how many vastly different climatic regions, continents, etc. But assuming we transposed the real earth onto there somewhere in one of the temperate regions, say, during the age of colonialism and imperialism, I don't think that age ever would have ended. We'd just keep getting further away colonies, larger and farther ranging ships, and Empires would essentially be limited by the speed of communications and travel.

Assuming proportional amounts of resources for equivalent amount of land areas, we wouldn't have even begun to start affecting the planetary environment, and concerns like peak oil and nonrenewable resources wouldn't exist. That alone would fuel a continual growth of wealth and consequent growth of education and quality of life across the whole human species equivalent to the Age of Enlightenment fueled by the wealth and resources of the New World, but over and over and over again, unending for at least a few million years.
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Re: if the earth was the size of eta carinae

Postby TerraFrost » Mon Jul 14, 2008 2:06 pm

This slashdot.org post brings up a good point. Maybe an Earth the size of eta carinae would stunt human advancement. A lot of technology is developed out of necessity and a planet the size of eta carinae would eliminate a lot of that necessity.
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Re: if the earth was the size of eta carinae

Postby Dracofrost » Mon Jul 14, 2008 10:29 pm

I don't think it'd eliminate much in the way of necessity, aside from giving you a lot more room to look around in for your necessities. You'd still end up developing improved transportation to quest out necessities, etc. etc.
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