Thursday, May 25, 2017

9th Doctor, First Season, Third Episode

Yesterday I shared our experience of watching the modern reboot of Doctor Who.  Today I have a few things to share regarding the third episode of the first season of the ninth Doctor.  In this episode the Doctor takes Rose, his traveling companion, 5 billion years into the future when the Sun is ready to expand into a red giant and destroy the Earth.  So far the science on this is correct.  In about 5 billion years the Sun will expand into a red giant.  It will grow in size and potentially swallow the Earth.  The Earth will most certainly move out of the habitable zone in which liquid water on the surface is possible.  (Earth actually moves out of the habitable zone in about 0.5-1.0 billion years.) But it is mentioned in the episode that humans left Earth long ago.

In the episode, the very, very rich of different species gather on a space station to witness the destruction of Earth.  There's even a clock, down to the second, of when the Sun will grow and destroy the Earth.  Wait a second?  The red giant process takes several million to several tens of millions of years.  You can't narrow it down to an exact second.  This is what I'm thinking in my head as the episode continues.  Ah, but the Doctor saved the day by explaining a shielding device was used to contain the Sun until the gathering of the very rich could arrive.  The shield contained the pent up energy from the Sun and released it at a pre-determined moment in time.  Excellent!  Technology has saved the day keeping me from arguing that faulty science was used.  :-)

Yes, I'm a nerd.  Yes, I love Doctor Who.  You should too.  Doctor Who is cool.  Go watch it now!  Watch it with your kids!

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