# Thread: lets destroy the sun

1. ## Re: lets destroy the sun

Originally Posted by Crake
That's certainly true if it were to run its natural course, but you could theoretically get any sun to supernova if you were to reduce its core mass enough in a short enough amount of time.
I'm highly dubious of this hypothetical assertion (for the reasons outlined) and also of the ability of gate to perform anything vaguely near the amount of mass reduction you're proposing in anything like the amount of time you're talking about.

However, I'll bite: how many gates will you need opened in order to pull this off, what timeframe do you expect, and what references do you have that support this idea of low-mass supernova in the first place?

2. ## Re: lets destroy the sun

Originally Posted by tuggyne
I'm highly dubious of this hypothetical assertion (for the reasons outlined) and also of the ability of gate to perform anything vaguely near the amount of mass reduction you're proposing in anything like the amount of time you're talking about.

However, I'll bite: how many gates will you need opened in order to pull this off, what timeframe do you expect, and what references do you have that support this idea of low-mass supernova in the first place?
I have no interest in performing the necessary calculations to figure out how many gates you'd need etc. A supernova occurs simply when the explosive fusion/fission force of a star is significantly stronger than its gravitational implosive force. If you can disrupt that equilibrium enough, the star will explode in a supernova or implode into a black hole, depending which way you do it.

Edit: Even if I wanted to throw some calculations at you, there are 3 variables that are unknown, thus detrimental to any calculations i throw your way:
1. We don't know the density of the suns core, thus cant determine how much mass would move through the gate at any one time
2. We don't know the pressure of the sun at its core, thus cant determine the force (and thus velocity) of the ejected mass
and
3. We don't know how much mass would be required to be ejected to cause the sun to supernova

Edit2: I've been informed that *technically* it wouldn't supernova, by simple definition, the magnitude of the explosion wouldn't put it at supernova, or even nova status. Sorry for that.

3. ## Re: lets destroy the sun

Originally Posted by Crake
I have no interest in performing the necessary calculations to figure out how many gates you'd need etc. A supernova occurs simply when the explosive fusion/fission force of a star is significantly stronger than its gravitational implosive force. If you can disrupt that equilibrium enough, the star will explode in a supernova or implode into a black hole, depending which way you do it.

Edit: Even if I wanted to throw some calculations at you, there are 3 variables that are unknown, thus detrimental to any calculations i throw your way:
1. We don't know the density of the suns core, thus cant determine how much mass would move through the gate at any one time
2. We don't know the pressure of the sun at its core, thus cant determine the force (and thus velocity) of the ejected mass
and
3. We don't know how much mass would be required to be ejected to cause the sun to supernova

Edit2: I've been informed that *technically* it wouldn't supernova, by simple definition, the magnitude of the explosion wouldn't put it at supernova, or even nova status. Sorry for that.
Even if you assume pretty severe things, for instance that material flows through the Gate at the speed of light, then it still ends up taking a ridiculous amount of time for anything noticeable to happen. I did this calculation for a sphere of annihilation, which can eliminate material faster than a Gate due to being a sphere rather than a disc, and its still hundreds of millions of years before you move any significant amount of material (e.g. over 1% of the volume of the solar core). And thats assuming material moving through the gate/sphere at the speed of light, which is probably a significant overestimate.

Edit: A possible rules issue also occurs to me. It doesn't look like you explicitly can't do this, but can you open Gate into or from the inside of a solid? I'd guess it comes down to Line of Effect - you need Line of Effect to every point along the minimum-sized gate. Since the mean free path of photons in the sun's core is something like 1cm and the density is ten times higher than most solid metals, it seems likely you wouldn't be able to have line of effect over any extended range (since everything is in 5ft squares and you always round down, any line of effect you could have that is less than 5ft would be truncated to 0ft, which is insufficient to establish the Gate).

4. ## Re: lets destroy the sun

Originally Posted by Crake
Edit: Even if I wanted to throw some calculations at you, there are 3 variables that are unknown, thus detrimental to any calculations i throw your way:
1. We don't know the density of the suns core, thus cant determine how much mass would move through the gate at any one time
2. We don't know the pressure of the sun at its core, thus cant determine the force (and thus velocity) of the ejected mass
and
3. We don't know how much mass would be required to be ejected to cause the sun to supernova

Edit2: I've been informed that *technically* it wouldn't supernova, by simple definition, the magnitude of the explosion wouldn't put it at supernova, or even nova status. Sorry for that.
This is just wrong.

We know how big the sun is, we know what the sun is made of. A quick volume vs mass calculation and you have density. Its right on Wikipedia, its that easy.

Again, the pressure at the core is easy to figure out, its also a function of data we already have. NASA says about 250 billion bar. I assume they rounded.

NASA will also happily tell you how to get a Supernova. One of two ways. Either a star eats enough mass that its core density gets high enough to fuse Carbon, then its core explodes. Or a super-massive star at the end of its life cycle will have a large and dense enough core that once fusion stops the outer layers of the star rapidly collapse back inward.

Our sun cannot go supernova(or nova). Its not big enough. You need to feed our star, around 10 times its own mass to make it go nova. Taking mass from our sun will only get you a red giant.

5. ## Re: lets destroy the sun

Originally Posted by TypoNinja
This is just wrong.

We know how big the sun is, we know what the sun is made of. A quick volume vs mass calculation and you have density. Its right on Wikipedia, its that easy.

Again, the pressure at the core is easy to figure out, its also a function of data we already have. NASA says about 250 billion bar. I assume they rounded.

NASA will also happily tell you how to get a Supernova. One of two ways. Either a star eats enough mass that its core density gets high enough to fuse Carbon, then its core explodes. Or a super-massive star at the end of its life cycle will have a large and dense enough core that once fusion stops the outer layers of the star rapidly collapse back inward.

Our sun cannot go supernova(or nova). Its not big enough. You need to feed our star, around 10 times its own mass to make it go nova. Taking mass from our sun will only get you a red giant.
The density you get is an average density. The core density is most likely higher than the density at the edges, which does matter.

The rest I don't know enough about to make a statement on, but the first is definitely wrong.

6. ## Re: lets destroy the sun

Originally Posted by Qwertystop
The density you get is an average density. The core density is most likely higher than the density at the edges, which does matter.

The rest I don't know enough about to make a statement on, but the first is definitely wrong.
I said even Wikipedia had the information and you didn't even check that before contradicting me? Come on man.

There's a whole article called Solar Core and right there in the summary paragraph it says 150 g/cm³.

This varies of course, but look we have great figure to base any predictions or other calculations on. It certainly isn't an unknown.

7. ## Re: lets destroy the sun

Originally Posted by TypoNinja
I said even Wikipedia had the information and you didn't even check that before contradicting me? Come on man.

There's a whole article called Solar Core and right there in the summary paragraph it says 150 g/cm³.

This varies of course, but look we have great figure to base any predictions or other calculations on. It certainly isn't an unknown.
What you said was "We know how big the sun is, we know what the sun is made of. A quick volume vs mass calculation and you have density. Its right on Wikipedia, its that easy".

A reasonable assumption from that statement is that Wikipedia gives:
Volume of Sun, as a whole
Mass of Sun, as a whole
How to calculate density using volume and mass.

8. ## Re: lets destroy the sun

Originally Posted by Qwertystop
What you said was "We know how big the sun is, we know what the sun is made of. A quick volume vs mass calculation and you have density. Its right on Wikipedia, its that easy".

A reasonable assumption from that statement is that Wikipedia gives:
Volume of Sun, as a whole
Mass of Sun, as a whole
How to calculate density using volume and mass.
Sorry I didn't think I needed to turn around and specify that we can also use the same methods to figure densities of parts of an object too.

Knowing what the sun is made of and knowing its density and volume, you can extrapolate all the rest of the information about it with only a little more data.

We know what pressures are required to fuse hydrogen, we know how much energy that releases, we know how much force of gravity would be required to be pressing in to prevent that reaction from blowing the sun away, we know how much pressure is on the core based on the observable size of the sun. We even know the approximate rate of fusion, we can ballpark the mass of unfuseable material at its core based on its age.

Most of our required information is simply a matter of solving for x.

9. ## Re: lets destroy the sun

Originally Posted by TypoNinja
Sorry I didn't think I needed to turn around and specify that we can also use the same methods to figure densities of parts of an object too.

Knowing what the sun is made of and knowing its density and volume, you can extrapolate all the rest of the information about it with only a little more data.

We know what pressures are required to fuse hydrogen, we know how much energy that releases, we know how much force of gravity would be required to be pressing in to prevent that reaction from blowing the sun away, we know how much pressure is on the core based on the observable size of the sun. We even know the approximate rate of fusion, we can ballpark the mass of unfuseable material at its core based on its age.

Most of our required information is simply a matter of solving for x.
Oh, okay. Didn't realize that there was a way to figure out how much of the sun's mass was specifically in the core. Like I said, not my subject.

10. ## Re: lets destroy the sun

Eh. I did the sun-gate calculation a few years back. Even if the sun matter moves at light speed through the gate, it takes millions of years to eat up the sun, so I'd say even making a small dent in it would take too long (as the mass decreases, so would the pressure and hence the speed).

11. ## Re: lets destroy the sun

Originally Posted by Eldan
Eh. I did the sun-gate calculation a few years back. Even if the sun matter moves at light speed through the gate, it takes millions of years to eat up the sun, so I'd say even making a small dent in it would take too long (as the mass decreases, so would the pressure and hence the speed).
Oh yea, gateing material in (or out) would be like filling the Atlantic with an eyedropper. Our sun makes up over 99% of the mass of our solar system, and you'd need to drop about 10 times the suns current mass into it to give it the mass required to go nova.

Sheer ludicrous scale makes messing with it pretty hard, even with magic.

12. ## Re: lets destroy the sun

Assuming you could get around the logistics of getting in place to do so, what would happen if you placed a reverse gravity effect at the sun's exact center point?

13. ## Re: lets destroy the sun

Originally Posted by Kelb_Panthera
Assuming you could get around the logistics of getting in place to do so, what would happen if you placed a reverse gravity effect at the sun's exact center point?
Probably not much. Assuming reverse gravity provides for 2 g's. (one would neutralize gravity, two to reverse!)

I'm not sure how to convert from Gravities to units of pressure (a quick Googleing has failed me, maybe somebody else knows.) But considering the core of the sun clocks in at a crazy 250 billion bar (oxygen turns into a metal at less than a million) I'd guess that whatever the force is would be pretty feeble compared.

Even were you to cast a reverse gravity large enough to encompass the entire sun somehow, you still couldn't disperse it as surface gravity on the sun is around 28g's giving you around than 1/15th the force needed to lift some surface gasses, never mind budge the core.

Even if it did manage some noticeable effect the area affected by reverse gravity is a little over 30 cubic feet. Compare that to the suns volume of 1.412×10^18 km3, and it becomes hard to imagine it really mattering. The sun is just so ludicrously large.

My best guess? You'd slow fusion down slightly as the repulsive force you added would make it slightly harder for any potential fuel to fuse. But levels of fusion in the sun fluctuate on their own. I'd bet the change made by our reverse gravity spell would be less than normal fluctuations.

14. ## Re: lets destroy the sun

Originally Posted by TypoNinja
Probably not much. Assuming reverse gravity provides for 2 g's. (one would neutralize gravity, two to reverse!)

I'm not sure how to convert from Gravities to units of pressure (a quick Googleing has failed me, maybe somebody else knows.) But considering the core of the sun clocks in at a crazy 250 billion bar (oxygen turns into a metal at less than a million) I'd guess that whatever the force is would be pretty feeble compared.

Even were you to cast a reverse gravity large enough to encompass the entire sun somehow, you still couldn't disperse it as surface gravity on the sun is around 28g's giving you around than 1/15th the force needed to lift some surface gasses, never mind budge the core.

Even if it did manage some noticeable effect the area affected by reverse gravity is a little over 30 cubic feet. Compare that to the suns volume of 1.412×10^18 km3, and it becomes hard to imagine it really mattering. The sun is just so ludicrously large.

My best guess? You'd slow fusion down slightly as the repulsive force you added would make it slightly harder for any potential fuel to fuse. But levels of fusion in the sun fluctuate on their own. I'd bet the change made by our reverse gravity spell would be less than normal fluctuations.
See, I've always assumed that reverse gravity did what it said on the tin. It makes local gravity go the other way in the AoE, rather than creating a force equal to twice G; G being the nomal average gravity of 9.8m/s^2; and pulling up. Pushing outward in the center of the sun with only 2g's in reverse wouldn't do squat, but what about if the local gravity stopped pulling in and started pushing out instead.

15. ## Re: lets destroy the sun

Originally Posted by Kelb_Panthera
See, I've always assumed that reverse gravity did what it said on the tin. It makes local gravity go the other way in the AoE, rather than creating a force equal to twice G; G being the nomal average gravity of 9.8m/s^2; and pulling up. Pushing outward in the center of the sun with only 2g's in reverse wouldn't do squat, but what about if the local gravity stopped pulling in and started pushing out instead.
Well I think a countering force being created is more likely than altering reality in a local area, but either way, sure lets assume you get a reverse gravity that really does reverse it.

Problem of scale comes back in, you get 30 cubic feet at the center, and the other quintillion and a half cubic kilometers of the sun press in anyway.

I'm really not qualified to speak on the nature of solar fusion, but again, my guess would be that sheer scale would render tampering largely irrelevant. An empty spot at the center so that small I just can't picture it mattering.

16. ## Re: lets destroy the sun

Originally Posted by TypoNinja
Well I think a countering force being created is more likely than altering reality in a local area, but either way, sure lets assume you get a reverse gravity that really does reverse it.

Problem of scale comes back in, you get 30 cubic feet at the center, and the other quintillion and a half cubic kilometers of the sun press in anyway.

I'm really not qualified to speak on the nature of solar fusion, but again, my guess would be that sheer scale would render tampering largely irrelevant. An empty spot at the center so that small I just can't picture it mattering.
The more I think about it the more I think you're right, it wouldn't do much besides maybe make a little bubble in the sun.

But "more realistic?" Really?

Ignoring for the moment it's a transmutation, which by definition means it alters something already in place rather than creating anything which would be either conjuration or evocation, you really decided to call a magic spell out for being unrealistic?

It's not any more non-sensical than darkness. Hell, reverse gravity creating microscopic fairies to lift everything in the AoE would be more realistic than a target or point in space radiating darkness.

Edit: Since tone doesn't convey well through text, I'll explicitly point out that the above should be read as incredulity, not mockery.

17. ## Re: lets destroy the sun

Originally Posted by Kelb_Panthera
The more I think about it the more I think you're right, it wouldn't do much besides maybe make a little bubble in the sun.

But "more realistic?" Really?

Ignoring for the moment it's a transmutation, which by definition means it alters something already in place rather than creating anything which would be either conjuration or evocation, you really decided to call a magic spell out for being unrealistic?

It's not any more non-sensical than darkness. Hell, reverse gravity creating microscopic fairies to lift everything in the AoE would be more realistic than a target or point in space radiating darkness.

Edit: Since tone doesn't convey well through text, I'll explicitly point out that the above should be read as incredulity, not mockery.
I have a really.... Logical perception of magic in D&D.

Its not really magical as much as its sort of a new undiscovered branch of science. It has rules, behaves predictably, can be studied, analyzed, developed, and experimented with. Wizardry is a taught art, with the only prerequisite being enough intelligence. Spells of a certain level have certain powers, it takes stronger magic to do more impressive feats. Until you hit epic levels magic is a fairly rigid form. Its very easy for magic to be internally consistent, so you can look at an effect and say if that's typical of magic or not.

In that context (and considering the lodestone and iron filing material components) I think its more likely the generation of an opposing force is what the spell accomplishes rather than a twisting of reality. Just my personal opinion though.

You got me on the transmutation school though. Hrmmm.

18. ## Re: lets destroy the sun

Originally Posted by TypoNinja
I have a really.... Logical perception of magic in D&D.

Its not really magical as much as its sort of a new undiscovered branch of science. It has rules, behaves predictably, can be studied, analyzed, developed, and experimented with. Wizardry is a taught art, with the only prerequisite being enough intelligence. Spells of a certain level have certain powers, it takes stronger magic to do more impressive feats. Until you hit epic levels magic is a fairly rigid form. Its very easy for magic to be internally consistent, so you can look at an effect and say if that's typical of magic or not.

In that context (and considering the lodestone and iron filing material components) I think its more likely the generation of an opposing force is what the spell accomplishes rather than a twisting of reality. Just my personal opinion though.

You got me on the transmutation school though. Hrmmm.
There it is. Your approach is a bit different than mine. Logic says to me that if magic was simply a matter of understanding and sufficient intelligence then it really would be as prevalent as many on this forum think it is/should be. Because of this, I imagine there's some other unknown variable that prevents random commoner A, who has int 13, from simply poking about and discovering how to use magic all by himself.

For one explanation, I go with the notion that wizard casting ability comes from the same source as sorcerer casting; a supernatural creature in the character's lineage. The difference being that it's weaker in the wizard, forcing him to approach it in a manner that's inherently more structured than his sorcerous cousin.

The fact that ordered approach is wildly more efficient is why the wizard gets spells earlier and isn't limited in the number of spells he can learn, but the fact that the magic in his blood isn't as strong is why he gets fewer spells per day in most cases.

19. ## Re: lets destroy the sun

Originally Posted by Kelb_Panthera
There it is. Your approach is a bit different than mine. Logic says to me that if magic was simply a matter of understanding and sufficient intelligence then it really would be as prevalent as many on this forum think it is/should be. Because of this, I imagine there's some other unknown variable that prevents random commoner A, who has int 13, from simply poking about and discovering how to use magic all by himself.

For one explanation, I go with the notion that wizard casting ability comes from the same source as sorcerer casting; a supernatural creature in the character's lineage. The difference being that it's weaker in the wizard, forcing him to approach it in a manner that's inherently more structured than his sorcerous cousin.

The fact that ordered approach is wildly more efficient is why the wizard gets spells earlier and isn't limited in the number of spells he can learn, but the fact that the magic in his blood isn't as strong is why he gets fewer spells per day in most cases.
That's pretty plausible, I'd buy that.

Though from my point of view, I'd say that Social class is the limiting factor. D&D approximates a medieval tech base, and usually Feudal societies as well. The vast majority of the population then is the peasantry, and as such are mostly of the farmer/craftsman profession. The vast majority of whom have not the time to learn to read and write. Illiteracy among the peasantry would be quite high. Going to schools is something that is for rich peoples children, a Magic school would be like a university, even more of a rarity fior this class of people.

Even then, they still actually need the requisite intelligence. I'm sure there are oodles of students who can magic missile, but if 10 represents human average, then even students who can learn to fireball at a 13, are a cut above. There will be plenty of graduates who know some magic, but not enough to make a living, they will then largely ignore magic for more mundane careers.

20. ## Re: lets destroy the sun

Originally Posted by TypoNinja
That's pretty plausible, I'd buy that.

Though from my point of view, I'd say that Social class is the limiting factor. D&D approximates a medieval tech base, and usually Feudal societies as well. The vast majority of the population then is the peasantry, and as such are mostly of the farmer/craftsman profession. The vast majority of whom have not the time to learn to read and write. Illiteracy among the peasantry would be quite high. Going to schools is something that is for rich peoples children, a Magic school would be like a university, even more of a rarity fior this class of people.

Even then, they still actually need the requisite intelligence. I'm sure there are oodles of students who can magic missile, but if 10 represents human average, then even students who can learn to fireball at a 13, are a cut above. There will be plenty of graduates who know some magic, but not enough to make a living, they will then largely ignore magic for more mundane careers.
Yeah, that's a pretty tough issue to ignore too. Lack of the necessary intel is hardly the only obstacle even if intel is the only requirement. There's also access, as you've pointed out, and superstition, prejudice, and active interference from organizations that oppose arcane magic.

My comment about logic dictating that magic would be ever prevalent if not for some other limitation is based in the idea that it's tremendous potential would, given enough time, be enough of a driving force to overcome those obstacles, just like how actuall science has overcome most of those obstacles to one degree or other. If magic were simply a science, then I really can't fathom the medieval stasis the various campaign worlds are stuck in. Magic should've completely replaced technology and run along a fairly similar time-line, maybe even faster since there're things magic can do that science still has no clue about; reverse gravity for instance can make zero-g vehicles.

21. ## Re: lets destroy the sun

Originally Posted by nedz
Bonus points if you hit them with a permanent Gitterdust first.
Yes please. In fact let's just assume from now on that any extraterrestrial solutions also involve liberal applications of Permanent Glitterdust.

Originally Posted by tuggyne
In the short term, [the dust cloud]'d stay in orbit better, but over a span of years it would tend to thin out (due largely to upper-atmospheric drag), so you'd need to refresh it once in a while.
Originally Posted by mattie_p
The dust from disintegrated walls of stone in orbit would eventually coalesce into rings.
I don't have any actual knowledge to back it up, but if you get the stuff into orbit shouldn't both of these things only happen on so long a timescale as to be pretty much irrelevant?

Also, the dust-cloud idea (well, all the ideas that block/extinguish the sun legitimately to any significant extent) still has the problem of turning the world to ice over a few years, though I suppose if you have the resources to blot out the sun, providing warmth for your terrified subjects shouldn't be too big an issue.

I think it's pretty likely, as others have pointed out, that the sheer size of the sun probably makes it immune to directly affecting it with any but the cheesiest of legally-questionable hacks (e.g. Darkness/Light, etc, which frankly would be more effective if applied to the Prime anyway, no?), not to mention the problems inherent if you did actually destroy the thing.

As for more possible "solutions"--I feel like maybe it was mentioned before, but now I can't find it: shouldn't it be possible pre-epic to just put an Immovable Rod ten (or whatever) feet above the ground, cast Reverse Gravity below it, and then get a silly-optimized Hulking Hurler to stand "upside-down" on the Rod and throw the planet into deep space?

22. ## Re: lets destroy the sun

I don't remember what splatbook it is (might be BoVD), but I know one of them has a greater artifact that destroys the sun in it, because I remember seeing it. It's a spear which you leave to charge in an alter, and after a month it fires a ray of energy that destroys the sun. Will hunt for it later and post where it is if I can find it. But it would definitely be easier than most of the solutions listed here (although far far less entertaining to watch you try and pull off).

23. ## Re: lets destroy the sun

[QUOTE=Dr Bwaa;14054047]Also, the dust-cloud idea (well, all the ideas that block/extinguish the sun legitimately to any significant extent) still has the problem of turning the world to ice over a few years ...[QUOTE]

It would be radical but not ice-covering, see the volcanic/nuclear/impact winters

Of course, we're looking at a larger scale event but I think there would be a greenhouse effect to counter this somewhat. And a barren wasteland is a barren wasteland. We're talking evil here.

24. ## Re: lets destroy the sun

Originally Posted by Dr Bwaa
I don't have any actual knowledge to back it up, but if you get the stuff into orbit shouldn't both of these things only happen on so long a timescale as to be pretty much irrelevant?
Ring formation, maybe. Orbital debris removal, not so much. NASA has done a good bit of research into it, and the upper atmosphere is (diminishingly) effective at removing debris from orbits up to at least 800 km, though any given particle often takes years, or even decades, to decelerate enough to reenter and burn up. (The rate is fast enough to be distinctly measurable, but slow enough that it requires help to keep man-made debris levels sufficiently low.)

So it does take quite a while, but it would happen very noticeably over, say, your average drow's lifetime. Assuming of course that you have a roughly Earth-like planet.

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