P6_3 Crashing Into The Sun

Kimran Dhaliwal, Katie Jiggens, Johanna Antonelli, Paola Rojas Guijosa, Gemma Bower


During an episode of the popular BBC science fiction show Doctor Who, the Doctor and his companion Martha answer a distress signal for a ship that’s due to crash into the Sun in 42 minutes. During this episode, Martha ends up in a Jettison Escape Pod that detaches from the craft with 17 minutes to go before the collision. At 12 minutes to go, the Doctor activates a magnetic clamp that attracts the pod back to the craft. We calculate the magnetic field strength needed for this and the feasibility given the distances. The magnetic field strength is found to be 0.46 T, which is a feasible magnetic field strength.

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