Articles in Supernova
I’ve just been reading Parallel Worlds by Michio Kaku. He is very skilled at making complex topics easy to follow. And that helps me to generate ideas rather than just trying to keep up. This is from page 126:
Gamma Ray Bursters… releasing within seconds the entire energy output of our Sun over its entire life history (about 10 billion years).
That amount of energy is hard to imagine. The current thinking is that a GRB is the result of a hypernova – a super supernova. And all the energy would be released in two narrow directions which are known as a jets. The closest potential hypernova that we know of is Eta Carinae.
This from Wikipedia:
It is possible that the Eta Carinae hypernova or supernova, when it occurs, could affect Earth, about 7,500 light years away. It is unlikely, however, to affect terrestrial lifeforms directly, as they will be protected from gamma …
Before we get to the debunk itself, here’s a couple of thoughts:
LAZY: The first 3 pages on Google for 2012 supernova find a straight-to-video mockbuster movie of the same name, and a website called 2012supernova.org that doesn’t actually mention supernovas. And that’s it. They are debunking something that didn’t need debunking because nobody believes it.
Of course now there’s a web page about it written by NASA…
NO DISCLAIMER: Every time scientists tell us about space, they should really put a disclaimer at the bottom, saying: We are constantly learning about outer space, every year we find many things that we didn’t expect, and everything we tell you could be proven to be wrong if new data arrives.
The NASA debunk itself is pretty standard:
Yes – supernovae and gamma-ray bursts could fry us.
No – there’s no stars or black holes close enough to harm us, and anyway they won’t happen soon.
Given the incredible …
Experts are saying the sea levels will rise by 13 feet in the next thousand years. This is the first time such a long-range forecast has been made, and presumably the authors will never see their work disproved. I presume this work, which focuses on climate change, does not consider that the long-term rise since the last Ice Age will cause a good degree of rise anyway. The good news is an architectural group has designed an extravagant ark to survive the rising sea (seemingly moving to higher ground is not an option).
A race of giants may have sprung from a mutant gene that first emerged around 1,500 years ago and causes uncontrolled body growth, scientists believe. The ‘gigantism gene’ was identified in the DNA of an 18th century man known as the Irish Giant who stood almost eight feet tall. Make it 10,000 years and I …
There has been enough internet chatter for the Bad Astronomy blog to address the subject. The known facts appear to be:
The shape of Betelgeuse is changing, indicating a potential supernova – although it might be many, many years away…
Orthodox science says that only a supernova of 25 light years away (or closer) could harm us, but Betelgeuse at 600 light years cannot
When it does explode, it will be as bright in the sky as the full moon. But appearing much smaller, it will be more intense, and perhaps painful to look at directly
My key concern is the absolute certainty scientists seem to have regarding the harm that can come from supernovas more distant than 25 light years. We receive regular reports of new types of supernova, or stars that do not fit pre-existing models. It seems quite clear that our knowledge of stars is far from complete, that new types …
The standard spiel from orthodox science is that only supernovae within 100 light years of Earth could wipe us out. It’s refreshing to see in an article (at Space.com) this admission:
Astronomers have previously said that any supernova explosion within 100 light-years of Earth would likely be devastating, but beyond 100 light-years, it’s not known for sure what the effects might be. However, astronomers have also been keeping an eye on Eta Carinae, a potential supernova about 7,500 light-years away. One factor, astronomers say, is how powerful a given supernova is.
Nicely said. We don’t know enough about supernovae to make predictions about one occurring in our vicinity. About all we do know is, all other things being equal, closer is more dangerous. But all supernovae are not equal, so we should still be wary of those that we are not 100% sure of.
Now we have a newly identified threat:
The two stars …
It looks like the previously accepted theory regarding the life cycle of Luminous Blue Variable (LBV) stars is faulty. It had been thought that LBVs needed to first evolve a massive iron core of nuclear fusion ash, lose most of their hydrogen envelope, and only then would they be primed for a core implosion that would trigger a supernova.
However before and after photos of supernova SN 2005gl have shown that pre-explosion it was a LBV that had not lost most of its hydrogen envelope. This places it in the same category of LBV Eta Carinae, which is only 7500 light years from Earth.
Due to the similarity of Eta Carinae and SN 2006jc, Stefan Immler of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center suggests that Eta Carinae could explode in our lifetime or even in the next few years. However, Stanford Woosley of the University of California in Santa Cruz disagrees …
Swiss physicists have unleashed a large-scale experiment that proves what Einstein described as “spooky action at a distance.” Although this has been proven previously, this is the first time it has been shown to work over a long distance.
From Geneva they sent a pair of photons along fiber-optic cables, one to each village. When they measured one photon upon its arrival, the other changed instantaneously —though it was 11 miles away. This weird linkage, called quantum entanglement, raises exotic possibilities like teleportation. When two particles are entangled, the measurement of one immediately affects the other, no matter how distant.
…One might assume that one particle sent an ultrafast signal to its partner, says physicist Nicolas Gisin, a member of the University of Geneva team. If that were true, the quantum communiqué would have traveled at more than 10,000 times the speed of light, something difficult to reconcile with the known laws …
Supernovae usually flare for 3-7 weeks, so scientists don’t think SCP 06F6 is one, as it “continued to brighten over the next 100 days, peaked, and then finally faded to oblivion over another 100 days.”
According to the report at Wired:
The scientists can tell very little about the source of the flash — not even how far away it is, or how intrinsically bright. That means it could have come from some event in our own galaxy, or from some distant region of the universe. There is no visible star or galaxy at the site of flash to offer hints of what caused it.
Since the astronomers first announced the mystery sighting, many experts have offered guesses about what type of phenomenon could be behind it. Suggestions include a new type of supernova (such as the collapse and explosion of a unique star), a collision between a white dwarf star and a …
According to a recent report, it could affect Earth when it goes supernova, but not in a way you’d think…
The Good News (according to current models)
Fortunately, Eta Carinae is far away, at least 7,500 light-years from Earth. If it explodes, most of its energy will be scattered or absorbed in the vast emptiness of space. It also happens to be tilted about 45 degrees from the line of sight to Earth, so any type of gamma-ray burst, a high-energy outburst expected with this star’s eventual eruption, would miss the Earth. Cosmic rays would be diffused by magnetic fields, and most of the damaging light would not affect life on Earth.
The Potentially Bad News
But what if a supernova were 100 times brighter than usual? Would there be any risk to life on Earth then? Astronomers found such a record-breaking supernova last year, SN 2006gy.
It turns out that even though SN 2006gy …