ROBOTICK (jercar@aristotle.net)
Sat, 8 Jul 2000 22:37:49 -0500


Well, I haven't taken physics yet, but wouldn't the velocity of the falling
colonies matter? I mean, most meteors are going pretty fast when they hit
the Earth, right? But, colonies are only falling as far as any space craft
falls during reentry.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Roland Thigpen" <jenius@unspacy.org>
To: <gundam@aeug.org>
Sent: Saturday, July 08, 2000 12:51 PM
Subject: Re:[gundam] What would be worse for Earth? Mass Colony Drop or
Zentraedi Bombardment?

On Sat, 08 Jul 2000 10:31:44 PDT Henry Bigone <slickwillie1998@hotmail.com>
wrote:
>Could you please tell me using BOTH real world and Gundam phisics what
would
>be worse? And could I have EVERYBODIES opinion on the matter!
>

Using Gundam Physics, I'd have to say that the Zentreadi bombardment was
slightly worse for the human race (they really only targeted major cities
for the most part, thus easily killing off most of the human race), while
colony drops would be worse overall for the effects on the environment, and
taking out those outside of the cities.

In real world physics, I believe that the mass colony drops of X would be
far worse. In the Zentreadi bombardment, most of the damage would be caused
by the mass disintegration of matter in and around the cities, and its
transformation into energy in the form of heat and light. Therefore, little
residual mass is left to enter the atmosphere. Although this would still
happen to some extent.

In a colony drop however, you do not have disintegration of matter so much
as its displacement. Sure, some will be disintegrated at the impact site,
but much of the resulting damage would be from the displacement of the soil,
rock and other sedentary particles which comprise most of the Earth's
surface. This debris enters the atmosphere, completely blocking off sunlight
from the world for a period of years, meaning that little plant life
survives (as they need sunlight to produce chlorophyll to survive). The
death of plant life would kill off much of the plant eating animals that
exist today, and their deaths in turn would result in the death of the meat
eaters.

This is similar to what scientists think happened to the dinosaurs 65
million years ago. At that time, it is believed an asteroid 6 miles or so (I
can't remember the exact size, might have been said to be 25 miles wide)
impacted just off the coast of Central America. This impact resulted in the
expulsion of so much dirt into the atmosphere that the sun was cut off world
wide and temperatures dropped to below freezing for years afterwards. Only
the most hardy or wily (meaning the early mammals here) survived this event.

More recently, in the mid to late 1800s, a volcano known as Krakatoa
exploded, destroying the upper half of itself above the surface. This
explosion was heard thousands of miles away, and released so much dust and
dirt that in snowed in July and August of that year in the Southern United
States and other areas like that in other parts of the world. Crops failed
repeatedly, and people were forced to rely mostly on stored supplies to
survive. And that was just from one volcano. And one asteroid in the case of
the Dinosaurs.

Now, imagine the results of the impact of several dozen (at least) colonies,
as seen in Gundam X. Although hollow for the most part, these cylinders are
probably almost as dense and of equivalent or greater as many planet-killer
asteroids, meaning that they would displace as much debris as these
asteroids. Little of the Earth's surface would be left, and the sun would be
blocked out for years.

Which would be worse? Overall, I'd have to say it is almost a toss up, with
the Colony drop being slightly more devastating if simply for the fact that
it is not over in a mere instant, but that the people would see them coming
and know that they are doomed, and the fact that if anyone actually does
survive, they would be forced to struggle for years to find something to eat
and defend themselves against other survivors.

Then again, I'm not a physicist, so I might be a little off in my thinking
here. But I believe what I said is mostly right. It has been about 5 or 6
years since my last, elementary physics course though.

Roland

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