So sometime during the night, the Sun up and moved itself from its position at the center of the solar system to a position 1/24th of a full revolution off from where humanity would expect it. It seems to be static, relative to its former position in the solar system (so only the full 1/24th off from the Earth twice a year). What is the fate of humanity and the solar system?
Not quite sure what you mean by “1/24th of a full revolution.” Do you mean the Earth jumps ahead in Earth’s orbit by a couple weeks?
Or do you mean the Earth is now a distinctly different distance from the Sun than we used to be?
If the latter, we all die. (Fritz Leiber, in his story “A Pail of Air” offers some very minor hope, if we just sail off into space.) It’s also possible we would take up an extremely elliptical orbit that causes us to come much nearer the Sun than we do now. Also not good, and deadly for humanity. Life on Earth might survive, but it also might not.
The orbits of all the planets would be altered.
The cosmos, as a whole, would only shrug.
I think he’s asking, what if Daylight Saving Time were a real thing.
To which the answer is, it depends on what else you’re changing, and what you’re keeping the same. If the Earth retains its previous orbital elements, then it matters very little. On the other hand, if the Earth retains its previous position and velocity, then you’ve given us a Hell of an eccentricity, and the planet is very quickly going to become very inhospitable for us.
Yeah, I think the OP is adding a sizeable eccentricity. The answer is going to depend upon whether the movement has created the new eccentricity of 1/24, as per the OP, in the major or minor axis.
Major, and we freeze, minor and we bake. You can assume that the return to the normal distance from the sun won’t be able to make up for the time spent either closer or further away. An obvious example is the onset ice ages. Once there is enough snow on the ground that the next summer cannot melt it all, you are down the path to an ice age. It builds and builds and the climate switches. A hot change could send us down the path to a full blown greenhouse loop, and the planet cooks its self into a wetter version of Venus.
[quote=“Sage_Rat, post:1, topic:683402”]
So sometime during the night, the Sun up and moved itself from its position at the center of the solar system to a position 1/24th of a full revolution off from where humanity would expect it . . . /QUOTE]
1/24th of a full revolution of what?
Honestly it reads like the sun revolves around the earth and has moved 1/24 of a revolution forward/backward.
I think that’s how to read it - model the solar system as geocentric (in geometric terms only), then move the sun an hour ahead or backward from where it’s supposed to be from our point of view. What happens?
I think the whole solar system is screwed in this scenario - all of the orbits become more eccentric - affecting the inner planets probably quite badly; the asteroid belt is perhaps perturbed enough for some of it to scatter and endanger Earth (if the other effects don’t screw us first).
[quote=“UDS, post:5, topic:683402”]
A full revolution. I.e. 360 degrees. The sun should be (from the standpoint of someone standing on the Earth) 1/24th of 360 degrees off from where we would expect it to be.
Unfortunately, diagrams of circles and angles are hard to do with ASCII art. But if you draw a line from the Sun to the Earth (length = ~8 light minutes = SELength), and a second line extending from Earth out SELength with the angle at the Earth being 15 degrees. The Sun has moved to the end point of this second line.
Nothing else has changed. The Sun was very quickly pushed by Q to a new position relative to its previous one. I don’t think it matters too much whether the Sun blinked from one place to the other or was slowly trucked over over the night - on the scale of the solar system, I imagine that either is fast enough to throw a serious kink into things.
Would humanity just fry/freeze in a month or two? Would tidal waves take us all out before then? Would the Moon come crashing into us?
In what direction are you measuring this 15 degrees? Is it in the plane of the Earth’s orbit? Is it perpendicular to it?
While the inspiration for the question is based on daylight savings time, I would be curious about what would happen if the Sun moved along the central plane of the Earth’s orbit versus perpendicular.
If the motion were perpendicular to the plane of the Earth’s orbit, it wouldn’t actually have any significant effect on us. The other planets might see some smallish effects, though.
Over the short term, a shift in the location[sup]a[/sup] of the North Star would have a huge and negative effect on systems that rely on the North Star for navigation.
[sup]a[/sup][sub]Well, not the actual location of the North Star. But the direction of a line pointing to the North Star from Earth.[/sub]