About 800 to 600 million years ago the greatest ice age in the history of Earth occured, the Cryogenian, which may have produced a "Snowball Earth" -an Antarctic-like shell of ice that covered the planet, believed due to a fall in solar radiation of about six percent.
Imagine what Planet Earth would be like if scientists discovered that the Sun's eventual death was accelerated, that what should happen in 5 billon years, is happening a bit sooner. Imagine that a "Q ball", the nucleus of a supersymmetric particle, has itself lodged in the Sun, eating through normal matter, ripping apart the Sun's neutrons and protons and converting them into supersymmetric particles. In short, our Sun is dying.
In Sunshine, the forthcoming Danny Boyle (Trainspotting, The Beach) sci-fi epic, it is 2057 and our Earth is freezing over. Rising Hollywood star Cillian Murphy is on board the Icarus II, a spacecraft with a suicidal mission to launch a bomb the size of Manhattan island – and made of dark matter and uranium – into the Sun to neutralize the Q-ball effect.The ship is staffed with the sort of pirate crew that we're familiar with from Alien, or say, Solaris. There’s the charismatic captain, the sensitive and attractive woman officer, the macho, one-dimensional guy. And, of course, without giving too much away, there's a mysterious dark presence on board.
With a leading star like the Sun, that, how could this not be a blockbuster. It's a breatking, philosophical exploration of a scifi fantasy that's not without real value both was a consumate thriller and a lesson in nature's fragility -at the galactic level -a meditation on the power of nature and how the Sun nourishes life on Earth, and about what is called the "heat death" of the solar system. Brian Cox, the CERN physicist and film consultant who works on the Large Hadron Collider, says "There is a sense that we are safe if we stay on this planet and don't mess around. Sunshine is more realistic. Eco catastrophes can be the work of Mother Nature too - just look what happened to the dinosaurs in the wake of a massive asteroid impact 65 million years ago. And the only chance we have got for survival comes from science. Finding out how the universe works is not a luxury but a necessity. We are in a dangerous universe and if we don't learn about it, we really are in trouble."
Sunshine is released in the UK on April 5. Original post by Casey Kazan.