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What is the fastest man-made object in the Earth's atmosphere? The correct answer is: a manhole cover

"Interstellar Artifacts"

By Fei FeiPublished 2 years ago 3 min read

What is the fastest man-made object in the Earth's atmosphere to date? For this question, I believe that many people will first think of rockets, far supersonic vehicles, re-entry into the Earth's atmosphere spacecraft, and other man-made objects that represent the pinnacle of modern human technology, however, the reality is not the case, because the correct answer to this question is: a manhole cover.

How did a manhole cover become the fastest man-made object in the Earth's atmosphere to date? It starts with an underground nuclear explosion experiment on August 27, 1957, from the Los Alamo Laboratory. Los Alamo Laboratory (Los Alamo Laboratory), the experiment code name "Pascal-A" (Pascal-A), the experimental site is located in New Mexico, the United States.

"Pascal-A" is an underground shaft experiment, which can be briefly summarized as digging a shaft of about 1.2 meters in diameter and 150 meters in depth, and then setting up a nuclear explosion device at the bottom of the shaft, after the preparatory work is done, researchers will start the nuclear explosion device, and then through the field instrumentation to collect the nuclear explosion After the explosion of various data, for subsequent research.

According to the concept, the experiment released energy equivalent to 1 kg of TNT equivalent, its scale can be said to be very small, but to prevent accidents, people still set up a nuclear explosion device above the tons of concrete "cover", its thickness is about 1.5 meters, in addition to people also in the shaft of, In addition, a cover made of solid steel plates, more than 10 cm thick, was installed at the top of the shaft.

What happened later showed that this measure to prevent accidents was not superfluous. Due to a miscalculation by the researchers, the nuclear device in this experiment released about 300,000 times more energy than envisioned, roughly equivalent to 300 tons of TNT equivalent.

The moment the nuclear explosion device started, the "concrete cover" above it was hot and vaporized, driven by the huge energy, a large amount of high-temperature material at a very high speed along the shaft wall rocketing up, at this time, if the shaft is located at the top of the cover will talk, then it should say. "I'm just an ordinary manhole cover, I'm in a panic ......"

The high-speed camera captured the scene of the manhole cover "flying into the sky", surprisingly, although the high-speed camera's lens is pulled far away, its shooting range has included a large part of the space above the shaft, but the manhole cover in the captured image but only 1 frame.

Need to know is that the high-speed camera at that time can shoot 1000 frames per second, that is, within 0.001 seconds, this manhole cover flew out of the high-speed camera's shooting range, and its speed can be imagined.

According to the researchers' estimation, the speed of the manhole cover could reach 70 kilometres per second or even higher at the moment of "take-off", which far exceeded other man-made objects flying in the earth's atmosphere at that time. So this manhole cover is rightly the "fastest man-made object in the earth's atmosphere so far".

See here, I believe we must be very concerned about this manhole cover later how, unfortunately, so far, people have not found any trace of this manhole cover, so for this issue, people can only put forward some speculation.

Some people think that this manhole cover may fly out of the earth's atmosphere, and with its speed, even the sun's gravity can't bind it, so this manhole cover will eventually fly out of the solar system and become an "interstellar artifact", from the initial situation, it will fly to the direction of Nauseous.

However, more people believe that this manhole cover can not fly out of the Earth's atmosphere, there are three main interference factors: 1, the resistance of the air; 2, the Earth's gravity; 3, when this manhole cover in the atmosphere at high-speed flight, will have a violent interaction with the air, resulting in high temperature, at the same time, the internal structure of the manhole cover will also be subjected to enormous pressure.

Under the constraint of these disturbing factors, the manhole cover can only have two endings, one end is that it will become a bottom-up "artificial meteor" and eventually in the atmosphere erosion.

Another ending is that, in the air resistance and the role of the Earth's gravity, the speed of the manhole cover will be dramatically reduced, so that it may leave part of the wreckage when it reaches its highest point will fall and finally fall in the Earth's surface in a rare area.

Well, that's all we have to say today, welcome to follow us, and we will see you next time.


About the Creator

Fei Fei

Fantasy is the poet's wings, hypothesis is the ladder of science。

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