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Extreme Boating

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Extreme Boating

What would it be like to navigate a rowboat through a lake of mercury? What about bromine? Liquid gallium? Liquid tungsten? Liquid nitrogen? Liquid helium?

-Nicholas Aron

Let's take these one at a time.

Bromine and mercury are the only known pure elements that are liquid at room temperature.

Rowing a boat on a sea of mercury just might be possible.

Mercury is so dense that steel ball bearings float on the surface. Your boat would be so buoyant that you'd barely make a dent in the mercury, and you'd have to lean your weight into the paddle to get the end of it below the surface.

In the end, it certainly wouldn't be easy, and you wouldn't be able to move fast. But you could probably row a little bit.

You should probably avoid splash fights.

Bromine is about as dense as water, so a standard rowboat could in theory float on it.

However, Bromine is awful. For one thing, it smells terrible; the name "bromine" comes from the ancient Greek "brōmos", meaning "stench". If that weren't enough, it violently reacts with a lot of materials. Hopefully, you're not in an aluminium rowboat.

If that's not incentive enough to avoid it, the Materials Safety Data Sheet on bromine includes the following phrases:

  • "severe burns and ulceration"
  • "perforation of the digestive tract"
  • "permanent corneal opacification"
  • "vertigo, anxiety, depression, muscle incoordination, and emotional instability"
  • "diarrhea, possibly with blood"

You should not get in a splash fight on a bromine lake.

Liquid gallium is weird stuff. Gallium melts just above room temperature, like butter, so you can't hold it in your hand for too long.

It's fairly dense, though not anywhere near as dense as mercury, and would be easier to row a boat on.

However, once again, you'd better hope the boat isn't made of aluminium, because aluminium (like many metals) absorbs gallium like a sponge absorbs water. The gallium spreads throughout the aluminium, dramatically changing its chemical properties. The modified aluminium is so weak it can be pulled apart like wet paper. This is something gallium has in common with mercury—both will destroy aluminium.

Like my grandma used to say, don't sail an aluminium boat on a gallium lake. (My grandma was a little strange.)

Liquid tungsten is really hard to work with.

Tungsten has the highest melting point of any element. This means there's a lot we don't know about its properties. The reason for this—and this may sound a little stupid—is that it's hard to study, because we can't find a container to hold it in. For almost any container, the material in the container will melt before the tungsten does. There are a few compounds, like tantalum hafnium carbide, with slightly higher melting points, but no one has been able to make a liquid tungsten container with them.

To give you an idea of how hot liquid tungsten is, I could tell you the exact temperature that it melts at (3422°C). But a better point might be this:

Liquid tungsten is so hot, if you dropped it into a lava flow, the lava would freeze the tungsten.

Needless to say, if you set a boat on a sea of liquid tungsten, both you and the boat would rapidly combust and be incinerated.

Liquid nitrogen is very cold.

Liquid helium is colder, but they're both closer to absolute zero than to the coldest temperatures in Antarctica, so to someone floating on them in a boat, the temperature difference is not that significant.

A Dartmouth engineering page on liquid nitrogen safety includes the following phrases:

  • "violent reactions with organic materials"
  • "it will explode"
  • "displace oxygen in the room"
  • "severe clothing fire"
  • "suffocation without warning"

Liquid nitrogen has a density similar to that of water, so a rowboat would float on it, but if you were in it, you wouldn't survive for long.

If the air above the nitrogen was room temperature when you started, it would cool rapidly, and you and the boat would be smothered in a thick fog as the water condensed out of the air. (This is the same effect that causes steam when you pour out liquid nitrogen.) The condensation would freeze, quickly covering your boat in a layer of frost.

The warm air would cause the nitrogen on the surface to evaporate. This would displace the oxygen over the lake, causing you to asphyxiate.

If the air (or the nitrogen) were both cold enough to avoid evaporation, you would instead develop hypothermia and die of exposure.

Liquid helium would be worse.

For one thing, it's only about one-eighth as dense as water, so your boat would have to be eight times larger to support a given weight.

But helium has a trick. When cooled below about two degrees kelvin, it becomes a superfluid, which has the odd property that it crawls up and over the walls of containers by capillary forces.

It crawls along at about 20 centimeters per second, so it would take the liquid helium less than 30 seconds to start collecting in the bottom of your boat.

This would, as in the liquid nitrogen scenario, cause rapid death from hypothermia.

If it's any consolation, as you lay dying, you would be able to observe an odd phenomenon.

Superfluid helium films, like the one rapidly covering you, carry the same types of ordinary sound waves that most materials do. But they also exhibit an additional type of wave, a slow-moving ripple that propogates along thin films of helium. It's only observed in superfluids, and has the mysterious and poetic name "third sound."

Your eardrums may no longer function, and wouldn't be able to detect this type of vibration anyway, but as you froze to death in the floor of a giant boat, your ears would be filled—literally—with a sound no human can ever hear: The third sound.

And that, at least, is pretty cool.

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Alpha_Cluster
2659 days ago
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Strange but oh so interesting!
popular
2658 days ago
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jlvanderzwan
2656 days ago
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"Your boat would be so buoyant that you'd barely make a dent in the mercury, and you'd have to lean your weight into the paddle to get the end of it below the surface. [...] In the end, it certainly wouldn't be easy, and you wouldn't be able to move fast. But you could probably row a little bit."
So there's hardly any contact surface so no friction, and instead of rowing you can simply push yourself away with a long pole - should that be much much faster than rowing?
POrg
2658 days ago
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"Liquid tungsten is so hot, if you dropped it into a lava flow, the lava would freeze the tungsten."
Champaign, Illinois
beslayed
2658 days ago
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Third sound.
thaynejo
2658 days ago
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Cool.
Richmond, TX
Michdevilish
2658 days ago
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He came to a whistle stop...
Canada
sleepgoblin
2658 days ago
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Third sound?? I wish I had liked chemistry more in school. It's so awesome.
tedder
2659 days ago
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well, now I want to see Mythbusters row a boat on a pool of mercury.
Uranus
rclatterbuck
2659 days ago
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The lake of mercury is the least deadly of all the possibilities.
ksteimle
2659 days ago
Did no one else immediately look for videos of superfluid helium? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Z6UJbwxBZI
digdoug
2659 days ago
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I officially like What If? more than I like XKCD
Louisville, KY
norb
2659 days ago
I agree!

Lawsuit: "Happy Birthday" is not in copyright, and Warner owes the world hundreds of millions for improperly collected royalties

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Copyright scholars have long been pretty certain that "Happy Birthday to You" is in the public domain, despite the fact that Warner/Chappell claims copyright on it and charges impressive licensing fees to use it in public performances. Those fees, however, are much lower than a copyright lawsuit would be, so everyone shrugs and pays them. Until now.

A documentary film company working on a movie about "Happy Birthday" has assembled a huge body of evidence showing that the song has been in the public domain since the 1920s, and is suing Warner to get them to return the hundreds of millions they've improperly charged in licensing since. This is gonna be great.

The full lawsuit, embedded below, goes through a detailed history of the song and any possible copyright claims around it. It covers the basic history of "Good Morning to You," but also notes that the "happy birthday" lyrics appeared by 1901 at the latest, citing a January 1901 edition of Inland Educator and Indiana School Journal which describes children singing a song called "happy birthday to you." They also point to a 1907 book that uses a similar structure for a song called "good-bye to you" which also notes that you can sing "happy birthday to you" using the same music. In 1911, the full "lyrics" to Happy Birthday to You were published, with a notation that it's "sung to the same tune as 'Good Morning.'" There's much more in the history basically showing that the eventual copyright that Warner/Chappell holds is almost entirely unrelated to the song Happy Birthday to You.

The detail in the filing is impressive, and I can't wait to see how Warner/Chappell replies. As the filing notes, there are a variety of copyright claims around the song, but all are invalid or expired, and the very, very narrow copyright that Warner/Chappell might hold is not on the song itself. In other words, Warner/Chappell is almost certainly guilty of massive copyfraud -- perhaps the most massive in history -- in claiming a copyright it clearly has no right to.

Lawsuit Filed To Prove Happy Birthday Is In The Public Domain; Demands Warner Pay Back Millions Of License Fees [Mike Masnick/Techdirt]

(Image: 53/365 - 02/22/11 - Happy Birthday, a Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image from shardayyy's photostream)

    


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Alpha_Cluster
2661 days ago
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popular
2663 days ago
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marmalade
2660 days ago
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Now that's what I call a birthday present (and mine isn't for another five weeks)
Sussex, UK
pfctdayelise
2662 days ago
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Great news
Melbourne, Australia
dcwarwick
2663 days ago
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Guess we're gonna start hearing the full song on television shows, etc. now.
Edmonton, AB, Canada
grammargirl
2663 days ago
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*pops popcorn*
Brooklyn, NY
shamgar_bn
2663 days ago
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We can finally sing "Happy Birthday" once again!
Wake Forest, North Carolina
glenn
2663 days ago
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Dang it! How am I supposed to keep up my rebel image with friends and family by singing Happy Birthday and not paying the royalty fee? I guess I'll have to start jaywalking again or ride my bicycle without my helmet.
Waterloo, Canada
Courtney
2663 days ago
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HAPPY BIRTHDAY
Portland, OR
tekvax
2663 days ago
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happy birthday to you indeed!
Burlington, Ontario

Sunless Earth

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Sunless Earth

What would happen to the Earth if the Sun suddenly switched off?

—Many, many readers

This is probably the single most popular question submitted to What If.

Part of why I haven’t answered it is that it's been answered already. A Google search for what if the Sun went out turns up a lot of excellent articles thoroughly analyzing the situation.

However, since my recent articles on sunsets, the rate of submission of this question has risen even further, so I’ve decided to do my best to answer it.

If the Sun went out ...

We won’t worry about exactly how it happens. We'll just assume we figured out a way to fast-forward the Sun through its evolution so that it becomes a cold, inert sphere. What would the consequences be for us here on Earth?

Let's look at a few:

Reduced risk of solar flares: In 1859, a massive solar flare and geomagnetic storm hit the Earth.[1] Magnetic storms induce electric currents in wires. Unfortunately for us, by 1859 we had wrapped the Earth in telegraph wires. The storm caused powerful currents in those wires, knocking out communications and in some cases causing telegraph equipment to catch fire.[2]

Since 1859, we've wrapped the Earth in a lot more wires. If the 1859 storm hit us today, the Department of Homeland Security estimates the economic damage to the US alone would be several trillion dollars[3]—more than every hurricane which has ever hit the US combined.[4] If the Sun went out, this threat would be eliminated.

Improved satellite service: When a communications satellite passes in front of the Sun, the Sun can drown out the satellite's radio signal, causing an interruption in service.[5] Deactivating the Sun would solve this problem.

Better astronomy: Without the Sun, ground-based observatories would be able to operate around the clock. The cooler air would create less atmospheric noise, which would reduce the load on adaptive optics systems and allow for sharper images.

Stable dust: Without sunlight, there would be no Poynting–Robertson drag, which means we would finally be able to place dust into a stable orbit around the Sun without the orbits decaying. I’m not sure whether anyone wants to do that, but you never know.

Reduced infrastructure costs: The Department of Transportation estimates that it would cost $20 billion per year over the next 20 years to repair and maintain all US bridges.[6] Most US bridges are over water; without the Sun, we could save money by simply driving on a strip of asphalt laid across the ice.

Cheaper trade: Time zones make trade more expensive; it's harder to do business with someone if their office hours don't overlap with yours.[7] If the Sun went out, it would eliminate the need for time zones, allowing us to switch to UTC and give a boost to the global economy.

Safer Children: According to the North Dakota Department of Health, babies younger than six months should be kept out of direct sunlight.[8] Without sunlight, our children would be safer.

Safer combat pilots: Many people sneeze when exposed to bright sunlight. The reasons for this reflex are unknown, and it may pose a danger to fighter pilots during flight.[9] If the Sun went dark, it would mitigate this danger to our pilots.

Safer parsnip: Wild parsnip is a surprisingly nasty plant. Its leaves contain chemicals called furocoumarins, which can be absorbed by human skin without causing symptoms ... at first. However, when the skin is then exposed to sunlight (even days or weeks later), the furocoumarins cause a nasty chemical burn. This is called phytophotodermatitis.[10] A darkened Sun would liberate us from the parsnip threat.

In conclusion, if the Sun went out, we would see a variety of benefits across many areas of our lives.

Are there any downsides to this scenario?

We would all freeze and die.

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Alpha_Cluster
2661 days ago
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Yeah in the end not a good idea.
popular
2665 days ago
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Almajbary
2657 days ago
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What would happen to the Earth if the Sun suddenly switched off?
Benghazi, Libya
jonjonnyp
2663 days ago
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Safer Children: According to the North Dakota Department of Health, babies younger than six months should be kept out of direct sunlight.[8] Without sunlight, our children would be safer.
Atlanta, Georgia
ripdog
2661 days ago
Yes, we read the article too.
grammargirl
2664 days ago
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Phytophotodermatitis can also be caused by, I swear to Maude, drinking a margarita outside on a summer day and splashing some on your skin. My coworker got it that way.
Brooklyn, NY
rclatterbuck
2666 days ago
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Battle-axe to the stalk is also my preferred method of chopping wood.
pdp68
2666 days ago
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10 benefits and only one disadvantage. What are we waiting for?
Belgium

Cheaters Never Prosper

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"That's quite an impressive resume, Fred," Avi said. The phone interview had gone well so far; among the several hundred applicants for Senior Developer at BigBoxCo, Fred's qualifications put him among the top five Avi had spoken to. Fred himself was amiable, if slightly over-confident.

"Thanks, Avi," Fred replied. "I hope I have what you're looking for."

"Regarding your last position at IniTech," Avi said, "which ended about six months ago, why did you decide to leave? It looks like you'd be taking a step down working for us, since you were the project lead on their flagship software."

"Well, management didn't care for my coding style," Fred said. "I write fast, test faster, and iterate often. More agile than Agile, you might say."

"I might." Avi decided to see what Fred's "coding style" looked like. "Okay, I'm going to establish a guest session on our collaborative IDE. Just type in the URL I give you, followed with the session token."

"URL?" Fred sounded affronted.

"Yes, the address to access the session."

"I, um. . . well, okay."

Avi spelled out the URL and session token, but Fred couldn't seem to figure it out. Finally, Avi just emailed the URL to Fred's address. "Oh, got it now," Fred said.

Avi sighed. "Okay, I'd like you to write a function that merges two integer arrays of arbitrary length. Don't worry about performance for now."

Immediately, a piece of code flashed into the IDE. "Okay, done," Fred said.

The jig was up. "Fred, where did you copy this from?" Fred wasn't getting that Senior Developer position, but Avi wanted a confession before the interview was over, if just to satisfy some need for justice.

But Fred wasn't forthcoming. "I just typed it all right now. Look, you can run it if you'd like--"

"Fine, Fred," Avi interrupted. "Then how would you change this to avoid duplicate entries?"

"Oh, just change that one there to a negative one." Fred's voice faltered.

"What one, there's no--" Avi said, before he spotted a lowercase l, which looked like a 1 in the IDE, twelve lines down. "Okay, we're done, Fred," Avi said, hanging up before Fred could sputter another word.

Although he wouldn't get a confession from Fred, Avi wanted to see where the code came from. He ran a simple search with the idiosyncratic method signature. The first result was a Stack Overflow question. Typical, Avi thought, just before he opened the page and saw the truth: the code came from the question itself, not one of the answers. The code would never have compiled, much less run.

[Advertisement] Make your team a DevOps team with BuildMaster. Pairing an easy-to-use web UI with a free base platform, BuildMaster gets you started in minutes. See how Allrecipes.com and others use BuildMaster to automate their software delivery.
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Alpha_Cluster
2696 days ago
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eternicode
2700 days ago
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TRWTF is the IDE. "a lowercase i, which looked like a 1 in the IDE" -- seriously?
jhojgaard
2698 days ago
Hopefully not. Otherwise "Hello World" could turn into a math problem :)

High Throw

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High Throw

How high can a human throw something?

—Irish Dave on the Isle of Man

Humans are good at throwing things. In fact, we’re great at it; no other animal can throw stuff like we can.

It's true that chimpanzees hurl feces (and, on rare occasions, stones), but they’re not nearly as accurate or precise as humans.[1][2]Antlionsthrow sand, but they don’t aim it. Archerfishhunt insects by throwing water droplets, but they use specialized mouths instead of arms. Horned lizardsshoot jets of blood from their eyes for distances of up to five feet. I don’t know why they do this this, because whenever I reach the phrase “shoot jets of blood from their eyes” in an article I just stop there and stare at it until I need to lie down.

So while there are other animals that use projectiles, we’re just about the only animal that can grab a random object and reliably nail a target. In fact, we’re so good at it that some researchers have suggested rock-throwing played a central role in the evolution of the modern human brain.[3][4]

Throwing is hard. In order to deliver a baseball to a batter, a pitcher has to release the ball at exactly the right point in the throw. A timing error of half a millisecond in either direction is enough to cause the ball to miss the strike zone.[5]

To put that in perspective, it takes about fivemilliseconds for the fastest nerve impulse to travel the length of the arm.[6] That means that when your arm is still rotating toward the correct position, the signal to release the ball is already at your wrist. In terms of timing, this is like a drummer dropping a drumstick from the 10th story and hitting a drum on the ground on the correct beat.

We seem to be much better at throwing things forward than throwing them upward. Since we’re going for maximum height, we could use projectiles that curve upward when you throw them forward; the Aerobie OrbitersI had when I was a kid often got stuck in the highest treetops. But we could also sidestep the whole problem by using a device like this one:

It could be a springboard, a greased chute, or even a dangling sling—anything that redirects the object upward without adding to—or subtracting from—its speed. Of course, we could also try this:

But the deflector box seems easier.

I ran through the basic aerodynamic calculations for a baseball thrown at various speeds. I will give these in units of giraffes:

The average person can probably throw a baseball at least three giraffes high:

Someone with a reasonably good arm could manage five:

A pitcher with an 80 mph fastball could manage ten giraffes:

Aroldis Chapman, the holder of the world record for fastest recorded pitch (105 mph), could in theory launch a baseball 14 giraffes high:

But what about projectiles other than a baseball? Obviously, with the aid of tools like slings, crossbows, or the curved xisterascoops in jai alai, we can launch projectiles much faster than that. But for this question, let’s assume we stick to bare-handed throwing.

A baseball is probably not the ideal projectile, but it’s hard to find speed data on other kinds of thrown objects. Fortunately, a British javelin thrower named Roald Bradstock held a random object throwing competition, in which he threw everything from dead fish to an actual kitchen sink. Bradstock’s experience gives us a lot of useful data (and a lot of other data, too). In particular, it suggests a potentially superior projectile: A golf ball.

Few professional athletes have been recorded throwing golf balls. Fortunately, Bradstock has, and he claims a record throw (to first contact with the ground) of 170 yards.[7] This involved a running start, but even so, it’s reason to think that a golf ball might work better than a baseball. It makes sense; the limiting factor in baseball pitches is the torque on the elbow, and the lighter golf ball might allow the pitching arm to move slightly faster.

The speed improvement from using a golf ball instead of a baseball would probably not be very large, but it seems plausible that a professional pitcher with some time to practice could throw a golf ball faster than a baseball.

If so, based on aerodynamic calculations, Aroldis Chapman could probably throw a golf ball about sixteen giraffes high:

This is probably about the maximum possible altitude for a thrown object.

… unless you count the technique by which any five-year-old can beat all these records easily:

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Alpha_Cluster
2700 days ago
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We should measure more things in giraffes.
popular
2701 days ago
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copyninja
2699 days ago
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I wonder how many giraffe's (high) I can throw ;-)
India
Michdevilish
2701 days ago
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Throwing up stacks up
Canada
rclatterbuck
2701 days ago
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.
jtgrimes
2701 days ago
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"... gives us a lot of useful data (and a lot of other data, too)" will be appearing in every summary report I write from here on out.
Oakland, CA
aliasbee
2701 days ago
Summary for everything ever written almost. You can squeeze useful data with the ease of squeezing fluid out of a rock from most things, but EVERYTHING has a lot of other data too. :-D
cjmcnamara
2701 days ago
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My brain knew which letters to type here 5 milliseconds ago.
digdoug
2701 days ago
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Horned lizards shoot jets of blood from their eyes for distances of up to five feet. I don’t know why they do this, because whenever I reach the phrase “shoot jets of blood from their eyes” in an article I just stop there and stare at it until I need to lie down.
Louisville, KY
dc3
2701 days ago
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Nice
Carlsbad, CA

Longest Sunset

11 Comments and 22 Shares

Longest Sunset

What is the longest possible sunset you can experience while driving, assuming we are obeying the speed limit and driving on paved roads?

—Michael Berg

To answer this, we have to be sure what we mean by “sunset".

This is a sunset:

This is not a sunset:

For the purposes of our question, this is not a sunset:

This is also not a sunset:

This is definitelynot a sunset:

And no matter what happens here, this will not be a sunset:

Sunset starts the instant the Sun touches the horizon, and ends when it disappears completely. If the Sun touches the horizon and then lifts back up, the sunset is disqualified.

For a sunset to count, the Sun has to set behind the idealized horizon, not just behind a nearby hill. This is not a sunset, even though it seems like one:

The reason that can’t count as a sunset is that if you could use arbitrary obstacles, you could cause a sunset whenever you wanted by hiding behind a rock.

Note: We also have to consider refraction. The Earth’s atmosphere bends light, so when the Sun is at the horizon it appears about one Sun-width higher than it would otherwise. The standard practice seems to be to include the average effect of this in all calculations, which I’ve done here.

At the Equator in March and September, sunset is a hair over two minutes long. Closer to the poles, in places like the London, it can take between 200 and 300 seconds. It’s shortest in spring and fall (when the Sun is over the equator) and longest in the summer and winter. at the solstice and equinox.

If you stand still at the South Pole in early March, the Sun stays in the sky all day, making a full circle just above the horizon. Sometime around March 21st, it touches the horizon for the only sunset of the year. This sunset takes 38-40 hours, which means it makes more than a full circuit around the horizon while setting.

But Michael’s question was very clever. He asked about the longest sunset you can experience on apaved road. There’s a road to the research station at the South Pole, but it’s not paved—it’s made of packed snow. There are no paved roads anywhere near either pole.

The closest road that really qualifies is probably the main road in Longyearbyen, on the island of Svalbard, Norway. (The end of the airport runway in Longyearbyen gets you slightly further, although driving there might get you in trouble.)

Longyearbyen is actually closer to the North Pole than McMurdo Station in Antarctica is to the South Pole. There are a handful of military, research, and fishing stations further north, but none of them have much in the way of roads; just airstrips, which are usually gravel and snow.

If you putter around downtown Longyearbyen (get a picture with the “polar bear crossing” sign), the longest sunset you could experience would be a few minutes short of an hour. It doesn’t actually matter if you drive or not; the town is too small for your movement to make a difference.

But if you head a little ways south, you can do even better.

If you start driving from the tropics and stay on paved roads, the furthest north you can get is the tip of European Route 69 in Norway. There are a number of roads crisscrossing northern Scandinavia, so that seems like a good place to start. But which road should we use?

Intuitively, it seems like we want to be as far north as possible. The closer we are to the pole, the easier it is to keep up with the Sun.

Unfortunately, it turns out keeping up with the Sun isn’t a good strategy. Even in those high Norwegian latitudes, the Sun is just too fast. At the tip of European Route 69—the farthest you can get from the Equator while driving on paved roads—you’d still have to drive at about half the speed of sound to keep up with the Sun. (And E69 runs north-south, not east-west, so you’d drive into the Barents Sea anyway.)

Luckily, there’s a better approach.

If you're in northern Norway on a day when the Sun just barely sets and then rises again, When the Sun is near the horizon in northern Norway, the terminator (day-night line) moves across the land in this pattern:

(Not to be confused with the Terminator, which moves across the land in this pattern:)

To get a long sunset, the strategy is simple: Wait for the date when the terminator will just barely reach your position. Sit in your car until the terminator reaches you, drive north to stay a little ahead of it for as long as you can (depending on the local road layout), then u-turn and drive back south fast enough that you can get past it to the safety of darkness. (These instructions also work for the other kind of Terminator.)

Surprisingly, this strategy works about equally well anywhere inside the Arctic Circle, so you can get this lengthy sunset on many roads across Finland and Norway. I ran a search for long-sunset driving paths using PyEphem and someGPS traces of Norwegian highways. I found that over a wide range of routes and driving speeds, the longest sunset was consistently about 95 minutes—an improvement of about 40 minutes over the Svalbard sit-in-one-place strategy.

But if you arestuck in Svalbard and want to make the sunset—or sunrise—last a little longer, you can always try spinning counterclockwise. It’s true that it will only add an immeasurably small fraction of a nanosecond. But depending on who you’re with ...

... it might be worth it.

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Alpha_Cluster
2704 days ago
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popular
2715 days ago
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thameera
2711 days ago
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Not everything is a sunset
Sri Lanka
Brstrk
2714 days ago
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If the sun suddenly hatched, it still wouldn't be a sunset, but it'd be an AWESOME dawn.
mlapida
2714 days ago
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So good.
Houston, TX
Michdevilish
2715 days ago
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What If?: Longest Sunset
Canada
lelandpaul
2715 days ago
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My new favorite illustration of capitonyms.
San Francisco, CA
tedder
2715 days ago
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if it's worth doing, its worth overdoing.
Uranus
roasty
2714 days ago
I am slightly ashamed to say that I looked at your comment and thought, "Wow that's really a great comment. I wish there were a way for me to 'like' this comment" Then I realized that "my liking of a comment adds nothing to it and does not really accomplish anything." Followed by, "Why have I been trained to think that my appreciation of a comment deserves to be expressed." Finally I realized that "if I make this series of thoughts into a reply I would be able to express my enjoyment of your comment while simultaneously exercising my Facebook fueled need to 'like' things."
iiieeeoo
2714 days ago
"Liking" has a purpose. In real life you often express appreciation for things without saying anything, by nodding, smiling etc.. It doesn't add content but it's an important part of casual communication. In text, you don't get that feedback unless people deliberately decide to show it. Sometimes they don't bother, sometimes they do and you get a series of contentless comments. When you can express appreciation with just a click you can do your virtual smile-and-nod with a little less effort and a little less inanity.
Andi_Mohr
2714 days ago
@roasty, try favouriting the comment (click the star). You'll like it.
roasty
2713 days ago
@iiieeeoo I hadn't considered that. Worth thinking about. @Andi_Mohr Interesting. I don't see a star to click.
dreadhead
2713 days ago
I wish you could star/favourite replies...
roasty
2713 days ago
Ah. The star is in the dev interface.
rclatterbuck
2715 days ago
reply
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beslayed
2715 days ago
reply
//
cori
2715 days ago
reply
Funniest. WhatIf. Evar.
Madison and Stoughton, Wi
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