The science of time in Grand Theft Auto 5

Grand Theft Auto 5's speedy day-and-night cycle makes it easy for players to pass the time, but how much would it affect the game's world? According to Buzzfeed, such rapid rotation would make the planet a tricky place to live.

The publication did some hypothetical pondering to find out if a planet like GTA 5's could exist. By breaking down time within the game — two real-life minutes for every in-game hour, which eventually translates to about 292 hours for a year — the publication found that the world GTA 5 takes place in would logically rotate the sun or a similar star every 12 days. According to Caleb Scharf, director of astrobiology at Columbia University, that would place GTA 5's world "inside the orbit of Mercury."

"That's a brutal place to be," Scharf told the publication. "My very crude estimate of what the surface temperature would be (keeping everything else about Earth the same, like its absorbency of radiation): 1,200-1,300 Fahrenheit — pretty toasty. That's the melting point of aluminum and twice the melting point of lead (so much for bullets).

"In terms of composition, there would be no surface water (obviously!), rock and metal ores on the surface. If there was an atmosphere it'd be pretty nasty — I suspect a lot of evaporated minerals/metals, etc., and a very nasty radiation environment this close to the Sun."

However, Scharf said that it is possible to have an Earth-like planet under the same time constraints.

"To maintain roughly Earth-like conditions, but have a 12 Earth-day-long year, you'd need your planet to orbit a star one-tenth the mass of the Sun (such things exist, they're called M-dwarf stars) at about 0.03 astronomical units, so roughly 33 times closer to the star than the Earth is to the Sun," Scharf said. "And that star is overall about 1,000 times less luminous than the Sun, and also much redder, it would not look like the Sun."

For more hypothetical musings, check out the full breakdown over at Buzzfeed.

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