[gundam] [Was Kou, the useless pilot] The Solar System, can it work?


Prabal Nandy (nandy@U.Arizona.EDU)
Sun, 31 Jan 1999 22:58:30 +73700 (MST)


  Science fans! Skip past the first two paragraphs for some fun with
numbers!

> 0083, but I could sworn Gato specifically said to Nina that Jaburo is NOT
> the target...

  Yep... and I quote: "Nina, since Jaburo still exists in Zeta Gundam I'm
going to have to enter the colony and leave the New Zeal parked out front
at the meter to go and change its course to some unappreciated random spot
where nobody of any consequence lives... say, North America! So please, be
a good girl and mind the plot and make sure nobody shoots my poor
undefended, untended super-powered mobile armor because that would end
this show an episode early and the only other show that would give me a
spot is some Bruce Willis Die-Hard Part Eight gig..."

> Besides, I'm pretty sure the purpose of the Solar System wasn't to hit it
> hard enough to change the course. It was to burn the Delaz fleet and the
> dropping colony. I really don't think you can actually "move" things with

  Well, it's going to be hard to hit individual ships with the Solar
System, but I think the idea was to melt or break up the falling colony
enough to reduce the damage it does to the Earth.
  Now, considering how enormous a colony is, I hate to say it but even
slagging it with a huge amount of solar radiation isn't really likely to
do anything but scorch it really badly and melt the 'hull'.
  A matter of fact, by my BOE calculations it would take 73,483 Square
Meters of solar-system reflective mirror to melt ONE square meter of the
very outer 'skin' of a colony!!!!

  That's a nearly 300X300 meter square area of mirror needed to melt ONE
square meter of lunar-crete... Football fans, that's three football fields
long by three football fields wide!

  Now, if we assume the front of the colony is a disk 5Km in radius, then
we need 5.77e+12m^2 of mirror to melt the outer edge of the colony. This
requires a giant mirror 2.4 MILLION meters on a side! We're talking a
mirror that's quite literally the size of the North American continent.

  Now I don't know about you... but I just don't see how the Fed could
have kept something that HUMUGNOUS secret. Let's assume that each
Federation ship can carry a giant mirror on its hull that's as big as the
ship is (Which apparently is what they were doing in the anime). This
would require 577 MILLION Salmis-Sized spacecraft!!!!

  Now I dunno much about gundam, but if the Fed had anywhere near half a
BILLION ships to man the Solar-System weapon, I think the 8-Ship Delaz
fleet shouldn't have been much of a problem to them!

> hitting something, rays of lights in focus doesn't have any momentum or
> anything...

  Uh... I'm sure De Broglie would have to argue with you on that. After
all, he did get a Nobel Prize for showing that, in fact, light DOES have
momentum.
  Significant momentum too... heard of "Solar Sails"?

                                                                -Probe



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