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Thread: Relativistic Kill Vehicles and the Fermi Paradox

  1. #46
    Former Staff Senior Contributor Ironduke's Avatar
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    If there were say, 100 or 200 survivors in a metropolis that formerly had 5 million, non-perishables that would have fed 25,000 or 50,000 for however long would feed 1.

    Also, bicycles. The most energy efficient form of transportation. And edible fungus growing on decayed and dead plants could very well be a viable source of nutrition.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ironduke View Post
    If there were say, 100 or 200 survivors in a metropolis that formerly had 5 million, non-perishables that would have fed 25,000 or 50,000 for however long would feed 1.
    Yeah, the problem there isn't food. It's water. An ELE asteriod hit would make a nuke strike a camp fire by comparison. Once you talk metropolis, a whole bunch of other problems crop up.

  3. #48
    Senior Contributor Monash's Avatar
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    I think you can could pretty much write off food stores in large cities or metropolitan regions. They would be mostly burned or buried and without specific local knowledge you would never find them anyway.

    I imagine as a rule of thumb that survival rates would tend increase with distance from the point of impact. So any survivors would be located on the opposite side of the globe to the impact point.

    If the meteor strike at Chicxulub happened today I suspect best odds of survival would be rural Australia, possibly inland NZ as well although it's location on a fault line plays against it. Other than that I would suspect the polar dwelling nomads of northern Europe and maybe anyone at the tip of south America or the Himalayas would have the best chance of making it. Plus maybe some remote south Pacific/Atlantic islands - but again they would have to be mountainous.
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  4. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Monash View Post
    I imagine as a rule of thumb that survival rates would tend increase with distance from the point of impact. So any survivors would be located on the opposite side of the globe to the impact point.
    Actually no. The resulting shockwave from the impact would converge directly on the other side of the planet, meaning earthquakes that would toss mountains into the air.

    Frankly, there is no point on this planet where your first focus is not to survey how much damage you sufferred. Any mineshaft anywhere on this planet is under direct threat of collapse.

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    Also, let's not ignore such an impact would displace a hell of a lot of atmosphere and water and not an insignificant percentage with escape velocity. Most certainly a hell of a lot of water is going to boil, killing it's plankton. The question is still is would we have a survivable environment with adequate oxygen and fresh water. Do note that most of planet's water is salted. And with the boiling, it would become even more salted.

  6. #51
    Former Staff Senior Contributor Ironduke's Avatar
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    Good points. There would also be chunks of the Earth thrown into orbit, that would rain back down to the planet for who knows how many years to come. That's what's believed to have happened in the aftermath of the Chicxulub impactor event.

    Colonel's comments about mountains being tossed on the other side of the planet from a ELE asteroid got me thinking again on something regarding relativistic kill vehicles. We know that a high-velocity round, for example, can cause an exit wound much larger than the entrance wound. If a relativistic kill vehicle were to impact the Earth or any other planet, would it go clean through and create a giant exit wound on the opposite side of the planet? Say, for example, something like a hole perhaps a hundred meters in diameter where it entered, but several thousand kilometers in diameter on the other side?
    Last edited by Ironduke; 31 Mar 18, at 04:24.

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    Such a hit would shatter the planet. We have a molten layer with an iron core.

  8. #53
    Former Staff Senior Contributor Ironduke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WABs_OOE View Post
    Such a hit would shatter the planet. We have a molten layer with an iron core.
    Yeah, that was my original thought... an asteroid belt circling the sun at 93 million miles.

  9. #54
    Senior Contributor Monash's Avatar
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    A mega hit by a small planetoid on the early Earth is what they think formed the moon but confining ourselves to dinosaur killer scale events or smaller there 'might' be a chance of survival.

    Concerning the probably of survival increasingly on the opposite side of the world to the impact I was not referring to the exact, geometric opposite to the point of impact where yes, shockwaves would concentrate but rather to geographic areas more broadly circling that point. There is evidence for instance that plant extinctions in NZ were less severe than in North America.

    Also bony fish as a order/family? appear to have survived better than other marine species as did various marine diatoms and photosynthesizing species of microorganisms. So in parts of the world at least there might be a chance to survive.h
    Last edited by Monash; 31 Mar 18, at 11:11.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Monash View Post
    So in parts of the world at least there might be a chance to survive.h
    There's no one place. The place you can survive at at the time of impact will not be the place you can survive at a year or even 2 years down the road. The question then becomes can you find out where? And can you get to it?

  11. #56
    Senior Contributor Monash's Avatar
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    Yes, I just highlighted some areas where I thought the probability of survival was highest. That said, based on the geological evidence a strike of the same size in the same place pretty much rules out anywhere in North America. Even Cheyenne Mountain would probably be toast.

    Your right though. After the initial impact survival would depend on moving. Which is why I suggested some of the last surfing nomadic groups on remote regions might have the best shot at long term survival.
    Last edited by Monash; 31 Mar 18, at 11:10.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Monash View Post
    Your right though. After the initial impact survival would depend on moving. Which is why I suggested some of the last surfing nomadic groups on remote regions might have the best shot at long term survival.
    That's the point though. The Australia regions and any costal areas would suffer tsunamis for months if not years. The intial survival group would not be anywhere near a coast, meaning that these people would not know how to travel the seas if their lives depended on it and it does.

  13. #58
    Senior Contributor Monash's Avatar
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    I was thinking more of groups living in the Russian Artic (possibly Canada as well although they might be to close to the impact point?).

    Australia is very flat and areas far inland of the Gulf of Carpentaria and the Great Australian Bight may well be inundated for hundreds of kilometers inland. On fact for a few years after the event me might have a vast albeit shallow inland area.

    Any Australian survivors would have to exploit river systems sling the west of the Dividing Range or the Kimberlies until the tsunamis ended.
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    The Artic is an ocean subject to the same effects of every body of water. The ground beneath the water will shake causing its own tsunamis. Basically, there is not one patch of earth on this entire planet that will not experience a Richter magnitude 7+ earthquake and the resulting effects be it tsunamis or tossing mountains into the air.

  15. #60
    Senior Contributor Monash's Avatar
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    Agreed, which was basically why I was dubious about the long term genetic prospects for any surviving human groups. I never thought there would be many survivors, perhaps a few thousand at best, scattered in penny packets across thousands of klms of devastated country side. Small groups of people might (I stress might) be able to make it through the first few years but what are the chances of hooking up with other groups in the long term?
    Last edited by Monash; 01 Apr 18, at 02:49.
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