What If a Tiny Piece of the Sun Was Coming Closer to Earth
You’re driving to your sister’s house when all of a sudden, the sky changes. The cool weather becomes scorching hot in a matter of minutes. People who were going for casual autumn strolls, have now taken off their jackets and are sweating. People who were planning on going for a weekend ski trip have canceled their plans at the last minute to head to the beach.
It was sunset, but the sky has become as bright as day. You fish out your sunglasses and continue driving. Nothing seems normal, but people don’t seem to care.
You put on the radio and hear everyone panicking about the sun, nothing is cohesive. They’re jumbling up their words and saying a gazillion things at the same time. You take out your phone and see what’s happening on social media, and it’s all the same thing — nothing is comprehensible, it’s just people talking about how the sun is getting closer to the Earth.
Footsteps are clacking along a quiet hallway. A man dressed in a sharp suit is making his way to one of the most important meetings of his life. Adam walks through the meeting room while everyone is waiting to hear what he has to say. As the head astrophysicist, it’s Adam’s responsibility to figure out what is happening and not let the public know what’s going on. Otherwise, the whole world will succumb to panic and mass hysteria, which won’t be good.
He takes a seat at the head of the table while everyone waits for what he has to say. The room is tense and no one is saying a word. He takes off his glasses and places them on the table. Everyone is watching his every move. He takes a few files out of his folder and starts reading. His voice can command a room.
“My fellow colleagues. I’m afraid the worst has fallen on us. After countless hours of consistent observation and analysis, we have discovered that a piece of the sun has abandoned its orbit and is making its way toward us. We still don’t know which part of the sun, but we know that once it strikes us, we may not have an Earth to call home any longer.” The tension in the room is palpable. Everyone looks at each other confused. Adam answers as many questions as he can but he himself doesn’t even have some of the answers. In a matter of minutes, the press leaks some voice recording of Adam’s speech and the world goes berserk. Back to you.
You just heard a snippet from Adam’s speech and aren’t too convinced of its validity. Even though the sky is getting brighter by the second, there’s still no reason to panic. You continue driving, and suddenly you sense an intense vibration. Your car lifts off the ground and the windows shatter. You get out and duck for cover. You saw a comet-like object strike down in the middle of nowhere, miles away. More of these objects look like they’re heading toward the ground. You start your car and drive off trying to find a place to hide. Ashes start covering the sky which makes it even hotter than it already is.
The Earth is scorching, meanwhile traffic is piling up for people who want to escape but who don’t have any real place to hide. You eventually abandon your car and go on foot trying to find a place to cool down and get away from the sun’s rays. Even though ash is covering the sky, the sun is still blasting through it. You head to the woods and find a cave to cool down in. It’s still hot but at least you can calm down and figure out your next move from there. You get out your phone and try to see if there’s any news updates on what’s happening. But nothing seems to be updating. You keep refreshing it but nothing works. Suddenly, you hear some people getting closer, and they order you to step outside of the cave.
Adam is with the top scientists in the world trying to figure out a solution. Everyone is presenting him with solutions but, in the end, none of them are achievable. They’ve spent hours in the office but with each passing minute the sun is getting stronger, and the sky is getting brighter. It feels like nothing can be done until Adam has an AHA moment. He calls for everyone’s attention and asks for the extra people who are not contributing to leave the room. He mentions that they need to launch a rocket into space that can divert the large mass heading toward the Earth before it breaches the atmosphere.
They only have a few hours before the sky becomes completely dangerous and unsuitable for flying. As for now, all flights around the world have been canceled. There is only a small window of opportunity to get this rocket out there and save the world. Adam summons the best engineers he can find to adjust the rocket and the astronauts who will volunteer for the mission. They go into quick basic training and start planning for the next steps. After many briefings, they’re ready, but they only have one shot at diverting the large object.
The astronauts are ready and begin to enter the rocket. Suddenly, you pop out of nowhere, dressed in a spacesuit. You’re one of the prominent astronauts for the mission. Those people who found you in the cave were from NASA, trying to recruit you for the mission. You meet with Adam, and he quickly briefs you about your role. Because the mission is very last-minute, there wasn’t even time for Adam to sit with you and give you the proper training or brief. You enter the rocket and take your seat.
The engineers and scientists gather around to make sure that everything is in order before takeoff. The large object is getting closer and if the rocket is delayed, then it’ll melt when it reaches the final part of the mission. You’re strapped in, and the rocket starts rattling. All systems are in order. 3, 2, 1, blast off! The rocket picks up and shoots in the sky. There are extra layers of visor shield protection since it feels like you’re getting closer to the sun.
After a few minutes, the rocket leaves the Earth’s atmosphere and is at the forefront of the large object. The rocket suspends itself in a certain strategic position, waiting for the right time to swat the object out of the Earth’s trajectory. Meanwhile, everyone back on Earth is hiding in bunkers when the loose debris strikes. A clean-up team will be ready to get rid of the space rocks that will be scorching hot. The bunkers are equipped with food, water, and electricity in case they have to remain underground for a while.
Only a few minutes left until the moment comes. You press a button and get ready to deploy a large spike, that’s as long as the Statue of Liberty. The spike is kept on a stand that’s attached to the rocket. It will fire the spike, like a bow and arrow, and shoot it straight through the large object, breaking it before it melts. There’s less than 1 minute before impact.
The arrow is stretched and released. The tip of the arrow has a titanium drill that will continue drilling through the object as soon as it hits. The arrow is released and shoots through space breaking little pieces of space objects along the way. As it speeds through, it finally hits the large object and drills through it. But nothing seems to be happening. The drill is barely getting through the center.
Luckily, Adam had already thought of a backup plan. The rocket, still suspended in its spot, fires a laser where the spike is to speed things up. The laser starts melting through to get to the core. The object is getting closer and is speeding up. The object still hasn’t broken into pieces yet. Less than 2 minutes until impact and everyone is running out of options.
Adam has one last trick up his sleeve. He orders everyone to evacuate the rocket and move to the backup pods. He wants to put the rocket on a straight collision course with the large object. There’s too much confusion, everyone, including you, quickly heads to the pods and ejects to a safe distance.
These pods won’t float around in space since they have pressurized air that allows the pod to move in whatever direction the driver wants. Everyone shoots out of the rocket while it goes full speed at the object. They’re both going heading for each other at full speed. There are only a few seconds until impact. The whole world is watching. This rocket is now the only hope there is to save everyone on Earth. The rocket starts melting before impact.
And suddenly a large shockwave ripples through the sky. The rocket was able to break the large object into many pieces. The problem now is the smaller debris falling onto Earth. But since everyone is in bunkers, they’re safe.
Adam and his colleagues celebrate. You and the rest of the astronauts are safe and make it safely back to Earth. The next phase for everyone on Earth is to rebuild everything that was destroyed. People will have to start everything from scratch, but this is only the beginning of a new chapter in life.