View Single Post
Old 06-13-2016, 01:59 PM
XT XT is offline
Charter Member
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: The Great South West
Posts: 32,816
[QUOTE=Jonathan Chance;19400496]Two things:

1. What is the amount of energy required to move the Earth in such a manner?

From here:

The escape velocity from the Sun at the vicinity of the Earth is about 42 kilometers per second. You need to subtract the Earth's orbital velocity from that (assuming you push in the direction the Earth is already travelling to save energy). So the energy needed to accelerate the Earth up to escape velocity from the Sun is:


(joules) - see (Wolfram Alpha calculation)

To understand this huge number, let's convert it to some other forms:

It is 13.4 days

of the Total Solar Energy output - see (Wolfram Alpha calculation)
and is the energy obtained if you convert 51015 kg
(kilograms) of mass to energy - see (Wolfram Alpha calculation)
To understand this huge mass, it is equivalent to the mass of the all the humans on the planet Earth times 10,000
- see (Wolfram Alpha calculation)
I suppose if you were working very long time scales and could engineer some sort of mass that would stay at a constant distance from the Earth you could, eventually, shift the orbit outward...but we'd probably be talking millions of years (or 10's of millions of years), and today there is no practical way to even start working on something like that....especially if we were wanting to live through the experience.