Make sure you're tightly attached to the pole, since the wind and various shockwaves will be violently battering and jolting you around. The end of the pole near the Moon would be pulled toward the Moon by the Moon's gravity, and the rest of it would be pulled back down to the Earth by the Earth's gravity. The best baseball pitchers can move their hands at about 100 mph while flinging objects past them, so you probably can't expect to move much faster than that. Cory Doctorow 11:00 am Mon Jun 2, 2014 . Luckily for us, it doesn't vary that much—it's usually somewhere between 390 and 450 m/s, or a little over Mach 1—so figuring out the precise value isn't necessary. What If? This is tricky to calculate, because the Moon's ground speed varies over time in a complicated way. First, let's get a few things out of the way: In real life, we can't put a metal pole between the Earth and the Moon. If you use all three words, do they all have different meanings, all the same, or are two the same and one different? Get a constantly updating feed of breaking news, fun stories, pics, memes, and videos just for you. The pole would be torn in half. How long would it take to slide down from the Moon? I mean, unfortunately in this specific context. In general, the fact that the Earth spins is very fortunate for you, and for the planet's overall habitability. The Moon's ground speed varies pretty regularly, making a kind of sine wave. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.5 License. However, while the idea seems silly, in a sense it's sort of the principle behind both Project Orion and laser ablation propulsion. Randall has a Twitter feed, @whatifnumbers, of numbers he comes up … from $19.00 QR Code. At best, you'll be flung away and plummet to your death. More details. Then, at last, you can drift safely to the ground, having traveled from the Moon to the Earth completely under your own muscle power. He likes candlelight dinners and long walks on the beach. But really, the full Moon always looks surprisingly large and pretty when it's near the horizon, thanks to the Moon illusion. What if I'm making a mistake? {{Title text: I once made an anniversary card for my then-girlfriend with this layout. When you do finally enter the atmosphere, you'll be coming down near the edge of the tropics. Instead, you should probably wait until you're somewhere near airline cruising altitude, where the air is still thin, so it's not pulling at you too hard—and let go of the pole. Even if an object is moving slowly when it's drifting through space, when it gets close to the Earth it gets accelerated up to at least escape velocity by that final segment of the trip down into the Earth's gravity well.—and the impact with the air will produce so much heat that you risk burning up. Unfortunately for you, space is big, so "pretty close" is still a long way. Cayambe's southern slope also happens to be the highest point on Earth's surface directly on the Equator. At first, the combination of the Moon's gravity and centrifugal force are stronger, pulling you toward the Moon, but as you get closer to the Earth, Earth's gravity takes over. Let's all just be glad that Earth keeps rotating. (EVIL) 0.7; Author: Stewart Shovlin Created Date: 3/22/2016 2:30:23 PM > >| Hopefully you brought some kind of safety line so you can recover if that happens. Not even close. Randall Munroe is the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller What If?, the science question-and-answer blog What If, and the popular webcomic xkcd.A former NASA roboticist, he left the agency in 2006 to draw comics on the Internet full-time, supporting himself through the sale of xkcd t-shirts, prints, posters, and books.He likes candlelight dinners and long walks on the beach. For Want of a Nail is a what-if … : Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions would eventually be released in September that year. [[A large black circle with white bubbles inside it, filled with hearts, question marks, and stick figure couples]] from $19.00 Woodpecker. xkcd, sometimes styled XKCD, is a webcomic created in 2005 by American author Randall Munroe. Munroe states on the comic's website that the name of the comic is not an initialism, but "just a Unfortunately, in this case, it's probably going to be both. What if this isn't everything it should be? entries into a book. I'm not even sure how I feel This leads to a roughly sine-wave shaped ground speed: Ok, fine. You could use it as the basis for a statistics Ph.D. I have a lot of mountain facts. A serious scientific answer to an absurd hypothetical, and the first chapter of Randall Munroe's upcoming book. Try to avoid the tropical jet stream, an upper-level air current which blows in the same direction the Earth rotates. Munroe states there is no particular meaning to the name and it is simply a "treasured and carefully-guarded point in the space of four-character strings." We got the chance to chat with Munroe last year, before the release of his previous book, “What If?” Randall Munroe, the guy behind Internet sensation … Reddit has thousands of vibrant communities with people that share your interests. This means you're free to copy and share these comics (but not to sell them). Join. Members. Everest is the tallest mountain on Earth, measured from sea level. from $19.00 Sysadmin. Chimborazo in Ecuador, due to the fact that the planet bulges out at the equator. The World Out now and coming soon from publishers worldwide. from $19.00 Centrifuge. from the swinging pole pulling you away from Earth. Mt. Note: While you're flinging yourself along, be careful not to drift out of reach of the pole. but it's enough that the bottom 50,000 km of your fire station pole would be squished against the Earth once a month. People often ask why we don't use rockets to slow down, to avoid the need for a heat shield. Asking how fast the pole is moving relative to the surface is effectively the same as asking what the "ground speed" of the Moon is. The answer isn't Chimborazo or Everest. You can read this article for an explanation, but the bottom line is that changing your speed by 11 km/s takes either a tank of fuel the size of a building or a tiny heat shield, and the tiny heat shield is a lot easier to carry. For obvious reasons, you don't want to jump directly onto the ground while moving at Mach 1. Passionate about something niche? Updated erratically, he answers off-the-wall reader questions using math, science, and xkcd -style cartoons. Cayambe, a volcano north of Chimborazo. At the distance of the Moon's orbit and the speed it's traveling, centrifugal force pushing away is exactly balanced by the Earth's gravity—which is why the Moon orbits there. It's actually a pentagon. : Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions is out now in the US, published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt! And now you know.​[13]Mt. Then, as the air carries you away and you fall toward the Earth, you can open your parachute. The Moon's orbit is tilted by about 5° relative to the Earth-Sun plane, while the Earth's axis is tilted by 23.5°. The lowest speed of the next cycle will be on May 1st, 2025, so if you want to wait until 2025 to slide down, you can hit the atmosphere when the pole is moving at only 390 m/s relative to the Earth's surface. The illustrated book, released on September 2, answers reader-submitted questions about imaginary scenarios that spark Munroe’s interest. My son (5y) asked me today: If there were a kind of a fireman's pole from the Moon down to the Earth, how long would it take to slide all the way from the Moon to the Earth? Millions of people visit xkcd.com each week to read Randall Munroe’s iconic webcomic. XKCD's Randall Munroe is publishing a book of science explainers! The Earth's surface spins faster than the Moon goes around, so the end that dangled down to the Earth would break off if you tried to connect it to the ground: There's one more problem:[2]Ok, that's a lie—there are, like, hundreds more problems. Prev; Earth-Moon Fire Pole. Randall Munroe, creator of xkcd, discusses his new book How To, a guide to using science to turn everyday problems into much bigger, more exciting problems. At worst, your hands and the surface of the pole will both be converted into exciting new forms of matter, and then you'll be flung away and plummet to your death. Sadly, no one's figured out a practical way to build a "reverse heat shield" rocket. What If? This means you're free to copy and share these comics (but not to sell them). Online. At what point would your periodic table start killing you? This means you're free to copy and share these comics (but not to sell them). Note: Anyone can view the Hangout live on YouTube (Friday, 9/12, 3:30pm PT), but only 4-6 xkcd readers will be selected using this form to participate and ask questions within the Hangout itself. When this happens, be careful—soon, you'll need to start worrying about going too fast. Thanks to heat shields, slowing down is much easier than speeding up—which requires the aforementioned giant fuel tank. Reddit gives you the best of the internet in one place. Instead of sliding, you'll have to climb. Even if an object is moving slowly when it's drifting through space, when it gets close to the Earth it gets accelerated up to at least escape velocity by that final segment of the trip down into the Earth's gravity well. Its orbital speed also changes depending on whether it's at the close or far point in its orbit. I have a lot of mountain facts. You don't have to wait to stop, either—you can grab the pole again and give yourself a push to move even faster, like a skateboarder kicking several times to speed up. xkcd is a webcomic created by Randall Munroe, a former contractor for NASA.He describes it as "a webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math, and language." xkcd what if, Randall Munroe is the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller What If?, the science question-and-answer blog What If, and the popular webcomic xkcd. (For more on this, see this What If question).Heat shields only work for slowing down; if there were a way to use the same heat shield mechanism to speed up, space travel would get a lot easier. Top posts february 10th 2016 Top posts of february, 2016 Top posts 2016. : Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions is due out September 2. 139k. [5]Of course there are championship competitions. On the Moon, gravity is much weaker, so it will probably be easier to climb. Sunday, September 14 People often say, "It's not the fall that kills you, it's the sudden stop at the end." What If? The Moon doesn't always stay the same distance from Earth. By Randall Munroe. /r/xkcd is the subreddit for the popular webcomic xkcd by Randall Munroe. What If? Since you have this handy metal pole, you can control your descent by clamping onto it and controlling your rate of descent through friction. For aerodynamic reasons, this gear should probably make it look like you're wearing a very fast airplane. That's how fast the top end of our hypothetical fire pole will be traveling. $19.00 Linux Cheat Shirt. [1]For one, someone at NASA would probably yell at us. [9]People often ask why we don't use rockets to slow down, to avoid the need for a heat shield. On the other hand, you'll have to wear a spacesuit, so that will probably slow you down a little. The comic's tagline describes it as "A webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math, and language". from $19.00 Compiling. You're about to drop into some extremely strong winds. The art of doing to fictional Continuity what Alternate History does to Real Life history. Even though the end of the pole is moving slowly relative to the Earth as a whole, it's moving very fast relative to the surface. [1]For one, someone at NASA would probably yell at us. For one, someone at NASA would probably yell at us. There's this recurring theme in xkcd of the possibility and choice to pursue the unknown, with other such comics including 59, 137, 267, and 706. Apply for a chance to participate in the Hangout by Monday, August 25. Let's buy a little time by trying to figure it out anyway. Its orbit takes it closer and farther away. The purpose of a "what-if" scenario is to consider what effects might be caused if some event or invention had come about. Eventually, as you reach the vicinity of the L1 point and are no longer fighting gravity, the only limit on your speed will be how quickly you can grab the pole and "throw" it past you. Make sure to keep your speed low during the whole approach and descent—and, if necessary, pausing to let your hands or brakepads cool down—rather than waiting until the end to try to slow down. ~AgentMuffin. We're not selling it through the store, but you can order it … This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.5 License. In his new book, What If? Everest is the tallest mountain on Earth, measured from sea level. |<