What if they decided to shut down the sun? The world as we know it would be over, over, over. Life could not exist. Forget fake political crises and debates about climate change--this would be real trouble.
It would take about 8 -1/2 minutes for the Earth's day side to be plunged into darkness, time enough to say goodbye to the light, time for a last cigarette, a kiss with a stranger on the street. What would you do, who would you call? Would everybody write about it on Facebook? What if it happened just after lunch? Don't worry about that afternoon meeting!
Ancient civilizations worshipped the sun. They knew that it was the source of life. How fortunate we are now to live on this world, with its breathable atmosphere and liquid water. Our carbon-based life prevails here.
Be glad politicians can't vote on the sunrise! Oh wait, there's Daylight Saving time, spring forward, fall back, remember? Don't forget to set your clocks accordingly. It's dark at 6 am again---it's the law.
The sun rises anyway. In this uncertain world, that's one thing we tell ourselves we can be sure of. Even in the dark of 2am, or the bright lights of Emergency rooms, we cling to the certainty that the sun will rise again.
No world-wide rolling blackout, like they predicted for Y2K. A blown fuse in the basement of the Matrix? Flip the switch, re-set reality. How would we ever know? Maybe there would be an unsettling sense of deja vu--- maybe, a familiar-looking stranger, different cats rolling on the sidewalk.
No need for immediate concern, at least. Our sun may be around for 5 billion years! Plenty of time to go shopping. We need more batteries. Maybe by that time we'll be ready for what's next, ready for the stars.
In the meantime, the U.S. government remains shut down. Even NASA programs are affected, but fortunately support for the International Space Station continues.
And, just in case, NASA is also closely monitoring the near-Earth asteroids.
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