xkcd 'what if

How long would it take to slide down from the Moon? 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. If you get up to escape velocity, then at the last minute remember that you need to slow down, you'll be in for an unpleasant surprise as you try to grab on to the pole. If you don't stop yourself, you'll reach the top of the atmosphere at roughly escape velocity—11 km/s[8]This is why anything that falls into the Earth hits the atmosphere fast enough to burn up. : Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions is due out September 2. Assuming you descend slowly and enter the atmosphere in a controlled manner, you'll soon encounter your next problem: Your pole isn't moving at the same speed as the Earth. Get a constantly updating feed of breaking news, fun stories, pics, memes, and videos just for you. The illustrated book, released on September 2, answers reader-submitted questions about imaginary scenarios that spark Munroe’s interest. United States - Audio | Blackstone Audio | September 2, 2014 available to order from: Downpour, Amazon, Barnes & Noble. Hopefully you brought some kind of safety line so you can recover if that happens. People often ask why we don't use rockets to slow down, to avoid the need for a heat shield. World-record pole climbers[4]Of course there's a world record for pole climbing. If you climb up the pole far enough, Earth's gravity will take over and start pulling you down. [Books-a-million], Google Play, iBooks. Cayambe's southern slope also happens to be the highest point on Earth's surface directly on the Equator. 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. What If? from $19.00 Tech Support. Let's buy a little time by trying to figure it out anyway. Updated erratically, he answers off-the-wall reader questions using math, science, and xkcd -style cartoons. every 29 days or so. That thing is definitely a safety hazard.). A somewhat more obscure piece of trivia is that the point on the Earth's surface farthest from its center is the summit of Mt. Cayambe's southern slope also happens to be the highest point on Earth's surface directly on the Equator. For one, someone at NASA would probably yell at us. 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. More details. Munroe announced in March, 2014 that he had signed a deal with publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt to compile a large number of his What If? Apply for a chance to participate in the Hangout by Monday, August 25. If you’re willing to spend $1,700, you could actually buy a ready-made set of the elements online. Unfortunately for you, the Earth is also spinning,[11]I mean, unfortunately in this specific context. On the Moon, gravity is much weaker, so it will probably be easier to climb. In my opinion, it's worth going outside and looking at the Moon whenever it's full, regardless of whether it's super or not. More details. Its orbital speed also changes depending on whether it's at the close or far point in its orbit. Even if you climb at better-than-world-record speed, it will still take you several years to get to the L1 crossover point. 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. : Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions is out now in the US, published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt! 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. People can climb poles pretty fast. The World Out now and coming soon from publishers worldwide. 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. Reddit has thousands of vibrant communities with people that share your interests. 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. Mt. Then, at last, you can drift safely to the ground, having traveled from the Moon to the Earth completely under your own muscle power. 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. From the creator of the wildly popular webcomic xkcd, hilarious and informative answers to important questions you probably never thought to ask. 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. {{Title text: I once made an anniversary card for my then-girlfriend with this layout. What If? Munroe, a former NASA roboticist with an undergraduate degree in physics, is known for drawing xkcd, stick figure comics that cover a range of topics including math, coding and physics. Unfortunately for you, space is big, so "pretty close" is still a long way. 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. The land and atmosphere below you are moving very fast relative to you. The answer isn't Chimborazo or Everest. from $19.00 Woodpecker. You could use it as the basis for a statistics Ph.D. However, while the idea seems silly, in a sense it's sort of the principle behind both Project Orion and laser ablation propulsion. Sunday, September 14 Alternatively, find out what’s trending across all of Reddit on r/popular. But really, the full Moon always looks surprisingly large and pretty when it's near the horizon, thanks to the Moon illusion. [12]It's common knowledge that Mt. The Earth is pretty big, so you reach this point—which is known as the L1 Lagrange point—while you're still pretty close to the Moon. It's not a big difference,[3]You may occasionally see people get excited about the "supermoon," a full Moon that appears slightly larger because it happens at the time of the month when the Moon is closest to Earth. Warning: this comic occasionally contains strong language (which may be unsuitable for children), unusual humor (which may be unsuitable for adults), and advanced mathematics (which may be unsuitable for liberal-arts majors). People often say, "It's not the fall that kills you, it's the sudden stop at the end." 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. When you're hanging onto the pole, there are three forces pulling on you: The Earth's gravity pulling you toward Earth, the Moon's gravity pulling you away from Earth, and centrifugal force[6]As usual, anyone arguing about "centrifugal" versus "centripetal" force will be put in a centrifuge. 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." The comic's tagline describes it as "A webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math, and language". It peaks twice every month as it passes over the fast-moving equator, then reaches a minimum when it's over the slower-moving tropics. Chimborazo in Ecuador, due to the fact that the planet bulges out at the equator. More details. You're about to drop into some extremely strong winds. from the swinging pole pulling you away from Earth. As you approach the Earth and the pull of its gravity increases, you'll start to speed up quite a bit. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.5 License. and its surface moves a lot faster than 35 mph; at the Equator, it can reach over 1,000 miles per hour. Come to discuss the comics and other work by Randall with other fans. It's actually a pentagon. That's how fast the top end of our hypothetical fire pole will be traveling. When this happens, be careful—soon, you'll need to start worrying about going too fast. After another few weeks of gliding along the pole, you'll start to feel gravity take over, speeding you up faster than you can go by pushing yourself. Created Jan 25, 2008. : Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions would eventually be released in September that year. [9]People often ask why we don't use rockets to slow down, to avoid the need for a heat shield. /r/xkcd is the subreddit for the popular webcomic xkcd by Randall Munroe. As you approach the L1 point, you'll start to be able to switch from climbing to pushing-and-gliding: You can push once and then coast a long distance up the pole. When you do finally enter the atmosphere, you'll be coming down near the edge of the tropics. Then, as the air carries you away and you fall toward the Earth, you can open your parachute. Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.5 License. Language | Publisher | Pub Date; United States | Houghton Mifflin Harcourt | September 2, 2014 available to order from: Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Indie Bound, BAM! XKCD's Randall Munroe is publishing a book of science explainers! The art of doing to fictional Continuity what Alternate History does to Real Life history. The Moon orbits around the Earth at a speed of roughly one kilometer per second, making a wide circle[10]Yes, I know, orbits are conic sections which in the case of the Moon is technically not exactly a circle. At best, you'll be flung away and plummet to your death. The bottom end of the pole makes a much smaller circle in the same amount of time, moving at an average speed of only about 35 mph relative to the center of the Moon's orbit: 35 miles per hour doesn't sound bad. And now you know.​[13]Mt. Sadly, no one's figured out a practical way to build a "reverse heat shield" rocket. You may occasionally see people get excited about the ", As usual, anyone arguing about "centrifugal" versus "centripetal" force will. (When you're done, remember to remove the fire pole. from $19.00 Shark. Regardless of where you come down, you'll need to contend with supersonic winds, so you should wear lots of protective gear. What if we had a magical pole that dangled from the Moon down to just above the Earth's surface, expanding and contracting so it never quite touched the ground? 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. 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? Ok, that's a lie—there are, like, hundreds more problems. A few of my favorites: * What happens when a Baseball is pitched at 90% of the speed of light? By Randall Munroe. Note: While you're flinging yourself along, be careful not to drift out of reach of the pole. For Want of a Nail is a what-if … In general, the fact that the Earth spins is very fortunate for you, and for the planet's overall habitability. 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. Make sure you're tightly attached to the pole, since the wind and various shockwaves will be violently battering and jolting you around. I'm not even sure how I feel $19.00 Linux Cheat Shirt. [‡ 3] [2] Munroe states on the comic's website that the name of the comic is not an initialism , but "just a word with no phonetic pronunciation". entries into a book. You can read a brief introduction about this wiki at explain xkcd.Feel free to sign up for an account and contribute to the wiki! I have a lot of mountain facts. How far into the periodic table could you get? 154. can climb at over a meter per second in championship competition. When the Moon is over a point farther from the equator, it has a lower "ground speed," so the lower end of the sine wave goes lower. In his new book, What If? On the other hand, you'll have to wear a spacesuit, so that will probably slow you down a little. We can’t go around linking to xkcd all the time or it would just fill up the blog, but this one is absolutely brilliant. This means you're free to copy and share these comics (but not to sell them). [5]Of course there are championship competitions. ~AgentMuffin. [7]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. [17]If it helps, people have survived supersonic ejections before—and even a supersonic aircraft disintegration—so there's hope. Not even close. 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. XKCD College-Style Shirt. What If? 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. 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. Let's all just be glad that Earth keeps rotating. |< >| This means you're free to copy and share these comics (but not to sell them). This work is licensed under a is a blog by Randall Munroe, the creator of the Stick-Figure Comic xkcd. 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. Since you have this handy metal pole, you can control your descent by clamping onto it and controlling your rate of descent through friction. What If? 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