Hey there. Welcome to Life Noggin. A few days ago, Triangle Bob and I were doing some lab experiments and blowing things up for research, I promise. But then it got Triangle Bob thinking of some bigger stuff like "What would happen if a planet exploded?" I'm gonna answer that question, Triangle Bob, but just know this is all hypothetical.
哈囉。歡迎來到 Life Noggin。前幾天我跟三角鮑伯在做實驗的時候把東西給炸了，這是為了研究，我保證。結果這讓三角鮑伯想到更大的問題，像是：「一顆行星爆炸的話會發生什麼事？」我會回答這個問題啦，三角鮑伯，但這都只是假設而已喔。
The earth is made up of iron, nickel, magnesium, silicon, and smaller concentrations of other elements. These are all pretty stable, so we don't have to worry about them randomly bursting into flames. Other planets aren't so lucky, though. Take Jupiter for example. This gas giant is composed of mostly hydrogen, which can be extremely flammable when combined with oxygen and some kind of energy like a flame. This reaction does produce some water, but it also creates a big explosion. If some alien army or evil corporation found a way to introduce massive amounts of oxygen in just the right way, a huge boom could rip the entire planet apart. Obviously, this has never happened, at least that we know of.
Another hypothetical scenario that could result in a planet exploding? A really, really, really bad asteroid collision. The infamous Chicxulub asteroid that hit the earth 66 million years ago wiped out the dinosaurs. It came down on what is now Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula, and it made a pretty big dent. But thankfully the planet stayed in one piece. This asteroid was about nine kilometers in diameter, and it hit the planet at about 64,000 kilometers per hour. Even with all that force, it only carved out a chunk of Earth a few kilometers deep. Asteroids that are bigger, denser, or made of different materials, could have the ability to hit us with enough power to shatter our planet. We don't know exactly the specifics of how horrible this asteroid would have to be, but to be honest, I don't really want to find out.
那還有其他可能會導致行星爆炸的假想情境嗎？有，就是超級無敵慘烈的小行星碰撞。惡名遠播的小行星 Chicxulub 在六千六百萬年前撞上地球並讓恐龍滅絕。它墜落在現今墨西哥的猶加敦半島，而且砸出一個超大的坑洞。但幸好地球還是整顆好好的。這顆直徑約九公里的小行星以時速六萬四千公里的速度撞上地球。即使撞擊力道如此之大，它也只把地球撞出幾公里深的洞而已。如果是由體積更大、密度更高，或其他物質構成的小行星撞地球的話，也許就有可能把我們的地球撞得四分五裂了。要是真有這麼一顆可怕的小行星的話，我們無法料想確切的情況會如何，但老實說，我也不想找出答案。
If an asteroid collision could have the potential to obliterate our earth, what would happen if we had a run-in with another planet? Surprisingly, in some cases, if they collided, they wouldn't explode or shatter. If one of the planets is young and in what's referred to as an embryonic stage, they could actually do exactly the opposite and fuse together to form one giant planet. Some scientists think this is what happened when Earth was struck by a very young planet, they call Theia, about four and a half billion years ago.
要是一顆小行星碰撞就有可能毀滅地球的話，那我們如果撞上另一顆行星的話會怎麼樣呢？令人驚奇的是，在某些情況下它們就算撞上了，也不會爆炸或解體。如果其中一顆行星比較年輕、還在胚胎期的話，情況卻會完全相反，它們兩個會融為一體，變成一顆大行星。有些科學家認為這就是在四十五億年前，一顆非常年輕的行星 Theia 撞上地球的結果。
According to new research from UC Davis, it's believed that when two planets do collide, it may form what's called a synestia, a doughnut-shaped cloud of vaporized rock. They stay this way for a few hundred years, which is like a split second in the galactic timeline. They shrink and cool under pressure, creating one planet.
You'd think that since our solar system is pretty well formed at this point, we'd be safe from this kind of planetary collision. But that's actually not the case. In 2008, astronomers were observing a star system about the same age as our sun, just 300 light-years from us. They saw two planets collide with extreme force, creating what scientists say would've been a complete mass extinction if there was any kind of life on either planet. Before this, it was thought that star systems that had been around as long as ours were safe from this kind of fate. But unfortunately, the opposite seems to be true.
你可能覺得現階段太陽系已經發展得很完全了，就算遇上行星碰撞我們也會很安全。但事實並非如此。在 2008 年，天文學家觀察到一個和太陽存在的時間一樣久的星系，離我們只有三百光年遠。學者見到兩顆行星強力碰撞的畫面，令科學家表示，若有任何生命在這兩顆星球上的話，會是大規模的滅絕。在這件事發生之前，人們常認為與太陽系存在時間相近的星系不會面臨這樣的命運。但不幸的是，反例確實存在。
When it comes to apocalyptic scenarios like exploding planets, it's easy to feel a little down. But remember that it's very unlikely that any of these events will happen in our lifetime, so get out there and enjoy this beautiful planet that we get to call home.
Are there any other catastrophic events you want us to look into? What should we talk about next? Let us know in the comments section below.
- 「撕裂、摧毀」- Rip Apart
If some alien army or evil corporation found a way to introduce massive amounts of oxygen in just the right way, a huge boom could rip the entire planet apart.
- 「知道有、聽說過」- Know Of
Obviously, this has never happened, at least that we know of.
- 「徹底消滅、讓...滅絕」- Wipe Out
The infamous Chicxulub asteroid that hit the earth 66 million years ago wiped out the dinosaurs.
惡名遠播的小行星 Chicxulub 在六千六百萬年前撞上地球並讓恐龍滅絕。
- 「墜落」- Come Down
It came down on what is now Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula, and it made a pretty big dent.
- 「一瞬間」- A Split Second
They stay this way for a few hundred years, which is like a split second in the galactic timeline.