Don’t Look Up

The title obviously is ripped off from the 2021 Oscar nominated movie, but I thought it fit. Here in the Earth’s gravity well we are exposed to everything “out there”, even our own stuff which we have put out there, like satellites and space stations. 

Orbiting objects, especially the international space station, in orbiting the earth slowly accumulates an energy debt. This debt is the result of it’s borrowing energy from its surroundings to prevent it from falling out of the sky. Sooner or later this debt gets too high for the object to carry and it balances the books by falling down the gravity well back to earth. The fireball produced by that plunge is the removal of that debt.

This is kind of like the biologic death that happens to all of us. Sooner or later, local entropy, as it increases, wittles away at the bonds that hold together the matter of which we are made.  We breakup into smaller pieces of matter until the critical mass required to stay alive is passed and we “die”.

Here’s an interesting read on the topic.

https://theconversation.com/the-international-space-station-is-set-to-come-home-in-a-fiery-blaze-and-australia-will-likely-have-a-front-row-seat-176690?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Latest%20from%20The%20Conversation%20for%20February%2016%202022%20-%202202821848&utm_content=Latest%20from%20The%20Conversation%20for%20February%2016%202022%20-%202202821848+CID_8e10a0dcb5ad55d2fcc546e7c481066e&utm_source=campaign_monitor_uk&utm_term=The%20International%20Space%20Station%20is%20set%20to%20come%20home%20in%20a%20fiery%20blaze

Because we are usually much closer to the bottom of earth’s gravity well, we break apart much more slowly than the international space station will. Our “death” is usually far less firey and observed and recorded by far fewer witnesses and input sensors.

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