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Often overlooked likely apocalypse

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If we're within 100LY of a supernova, we would have to deal with a massive radiation storm. Currently, there is no location that is accessible by humans that can protect us from lethal levels of supernova radiation. (that includes hiding behind the various gas giants in our solar system) In addition, it is theoretically possible for a supernova to cause other stars in their vicinity to go nova, which would obliterate all the planets in our solar system if it were to happen to our sun.

 

That said, supernovae are incredibly rare, and only occur to very old or binary stars. All the stars within the supernova 'dangerous' range for our solar system are relatively young, and are not binary. The risk of death by supernova is infinitesimal. (and totally unavoidable if it ever occurred within a dangerous range)

 

More likely would be a massive solar flare caused by something impacting the surface of the sun. This would have a similar effect to a supernova impact, but might be survivable if you were on the opposite side of the planet, and had a dedicated self-sustaining atmosphere. (probably a massive underground complex with gardens) Of course survival of the species would require at least 10,000 individuals to survive in that same complex, and adhere to a strict breeding regimen. (and you'd have to have sufficient genetic complexity to start with)

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Genetic diversity requirements. Less than about 10,000 people is incapable of having sufficient genetic diversity to maintain the human species. This problem is relatively well known in genetic research circles. That 10,000 would also have to use a strict breeding regimen just to keep the diversity sufficiently high to maintain the species. (significant interbreeding for several generations, then add in a new bloodline, then interbreed for a while again) Ideal would be 100,000+ for a self-sustaining colony, as it would be able to have much more lenient breeding requirements.

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On the basis that each individual would have no close genetic ancestor and there is an even male female split, your saying that 5,000 separate bloodlines are needed at the start for sufficient genetic diversity?

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The closest I can find regarding that number of population is requirements to successfully colonize another star system, with a recommendation of 40,000 in case of population death during the journey. http://www.popularmechanics.com/space/deep-space/a10369/how-many-people-does-it-take-to-colonize-another-star-system-16654747/

 

From the looks of it the reasons are the same as this scenario.

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That was one of the studies that I read in regard to genetic diversity requirements, and minimum populations to continue the species for an EotW scenario.

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Why? The information doesn't change by being in a different format.

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Actually, an electromagnetic shield isn't all that bulky, (maybe an extra inch or two thickness for whatever surrounding hull/wall you're using) and would protect you from all but the strongest surges of radiation. (and is vastly more protective than any other shielding currently known) It doesn't even require all that much power to run it. (a normal 12v car battery could power a grid large enough to protect an average bedroom from standard solar radiation for several hours)

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Because you can only power a person sized shield for about 20 minutes, and the contraption would weigh over 300lbs. (last plans I saw called for 450lbs of materials, and it would barely protect you from minor radiation for 30 minutes) In addition, the one installed in the bulkhead/wall/hull will protect other things in the room, like computers and plants. (both of which are rapidly and seriously degraded if exposed to solar radiation)

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I mean, most astronomical phenomena like this are so far beyond our control that there's no point in worrying about it.

 

We're fucked if our sun enters its late age cycle into a red giant (even though ours isn't big enough to go supernova afterwards, it would still fry all life on Earth in the process of burning out), but that's even a remote issue given how far off it is.

 

We're fucked if an asteroid or comet hits (though most are being watched extensively and I wager counter-measures would be made by all global space agencies and governments if one were a serious threat. Hell, the least complicated measure would be to just fire a ton of nukes at it.).

 

Hell, we're potentially fucked as a solar system when Andromeda and the Milky Way collide and form a single mega galaxy if we get shot out into space.

 

All-in-all, I'm not worried about celestial events of this type, fascinating though they may be to briefly think about. Let come what comes, there's virtually nothing most people can do about them anyway. Most are far beyond our time to worry about anyway. All we can do is observe, and develop technology to take our species beyond our system so that such phenomena cannot just wipe us all out within a blink of an eye.

Long is the way; and hard, that out of Hell leads up to Light-Paradise Lost

By the power of truth, while I live, I have conquered the universe-Faust

The only absolute is that there are no absolutes, except that one

Vae Victus-Brennus

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I mean, most astronomical phenomena like this are so far beyond our control that there's no point in worrying about it.

Exactly what I try to tell a lot of people that worry about stuff like this. Death comes for us all; we'll never be able to put it off indefinitely. Try to live your life to its fullest, don't empty your life with worries about things you have no chance of changing.

 

All we can do is observe, and develop technology to take our species beyond our system so that such phenomena cannot just wipe us all out within a blink of an eye.

Unfortunately, I know of no currently existing government that is truly interested in doing this, at least not beyond a "that might be interesting to do sometime down the road, after it's become someone else's problem" way.

Don't insult me. I have trained professionals to do that.

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I mean, most astronomical phenomena like this are so far beyond our control that there's no point in worrying about it.

Exactly what I try to tell a lot of people that worry about stuff like this. Death comes for us all; we'll never be able to put it off indefinitely. Try to live your life to its fullest, don't empty your life with worries about things you have no chance of changing.

 

All we can do is observe, and develop technology to take our species beyond our system so that such phenomena cannot just wipe us all out within a blink of an eye.

Unfortunately, I know of no currently existing government that is truly interested in doing this, at least not beyond a "that might be interesting to do sometime down the road, after it's become someone else's problem" way.

 

My bets are on private corporations leading the charge into space exploration and colonization long before any government does. You can already see the processes of that happening in some places.

 

The markets will force corporations to expand outwards in order to avoid hitting a ceiling for Capitalist expansion and in order to avoid eventual material shortages for many necessary minerals and compounds and thus the death of their businesses, and the only logical next big leap outwards to do that is into space.

 

Hell, I think there's a reason why Mars features prominently in a fair amount of sci-fi literature as a huge industrial center, that planet alone is perfectly situated for massive mineral processing on system-wide scales, and I theorize that heavy carbon gas emissions would be necessary to help terraform Mars anyway (if that ever happens) to raise its temperature up.

 

Once it becomes cheaper, you bet your ass prospective business-minded people will jump at the chance to just score a meteorite with more Gold alone in it than the world's stores combined. That's an inflation catastrophe waiting to happen.

 

But for far-flung colonization, I cannot even guess how long that would take naturally. Maybe under duress it could be done quickly, but it certainly wouldn't be perfect.

Long is the way; and hard, that out of Hell leads up to Light-Paradise Lost

By the power of truth, while I live, I have conquered the universe-Faust

The only absolute is that there are no absolutes, except that one

Vae Victus-Brennus

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NGEs (non-government entities) are doing a lot for the race back to space, but are far from trying to exploit extraterrestrial natural resources. We have the technology to do it, but nobody seems willing to try.

 

Drones right now are sufficiently capable for self-repair and mining of asteroids, including refining and return of the materials to earth. I've even submitted a rough draft of the process to a few different programs, and been laughed at for wasting their time. (none of the programs seem to want to gather resources, just waste the few remaining fuel sources we still have left on this planet)

Don't insult me. I have trained professionals to do that.

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