Possible Supernova Alert - Betelgeuse's bizarre dimming has astronomers scratching their heads

  

Category:  News & Politics

Via:  dignitatem-societatis  •  7 months ago  •  62 comments

By:   Erika K. Carlson

Possible Supernova Alert - Betelgeuse's bizarre dimming has astronomers scratching their heads
The unusual dimming episode has made some astronomers wonder whether Betelgeuse is about to go supernova.

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T




Betelgeuse's bizarre dimming has astronomers scratching their heads


One of the night sky's brightest stars is now the faintest it's been in a century. Astronomers aren't sure what it means.

Over the last few weeks, Betelgeuse, the bright reddish star in the constellation Orion, has dimmed to the faintest it's been in a century. Astronomers have been buzzing with excitement about the event, discussing the star over social media and speculating what might be going on. 

The big question on everyone’s mind is whether the star is about to go supernova and explode. That’s probably not what’s about to happen, astronomers say, but they’re still excited to be witnessing behavior they’ve never seen from Betelgeuse before. There’s a lot astronomers still don’t know about the variable behavior of supergiant stars like Betelgeuse, so any strange activity is a chance to learn more about the lives of stars. 

A Fading Supergiant


For over a century, astronomers have watched Betelgeuse brighten and dim again and again. Betelgeuse is a red supergiant, a star late in its life that has expanded to an enormous size. Bubbles of material rise from inside the star to its surface and sink back down, changing the mix of hotter and cooler stuff on the star’s surface. These changes make Betelgeuse appear brighter and fainter over time.

For about 25 years, Richard Wasatonic, an astronomer at Villanova University in Pennsylvania, has measured the brightness of Betelgeuse with a 10-inch diameter telescope in his backyard. He's worked with another Villanova astronomer named Edward Guinan, as well as an amateur astronomer named Thomas Calderwood. In October, they noticed that Betelgeuse was getting fainter again. By early December, they realized that Betelgeuse had gotten fainter than it had in the past 25 years and put out a post on a site known as The Astronomer’s Telegram to alert other astronomers.

“It kept getting fainter,” Guinan said. “Every night, it was fainter than the previous night, and I said, ‘Well, it has to stop soon.’ And it hasn’t.” 

On Dec. 23, they posted an update . Betelgeuse had gotten fainter still, and it was now the faintest it has been in the last century or so — for as long as astronomers have been able to measure its brightness with detectors rather than judging by eye. At its brightest, Betelgeuse is usually one of the six or seven brightest stars visible to humans in the night sky. By mid-December, it had dropped several places on that list, to 21st brightest. 

About to Blow?


The unusual dimming episode has made some astronomers wonder whether Betelgeuse is about to go supernova.  Life on Earth would be fine if Betelgeuse did explode.

Based on its mass, astronomers estimate that the supergiant will go supernova when it’s roughly 9 million years old. According to Guinan, Betelgeuse is probably between 8 and 9 million years old now. Astronomers have recently estimated that Betelgeuse might be due for a supernova in about 100,000 years or so. When it blows, it'll be spectacular. The explosion will be about half as bright as the full Moon, Guinan said. Anyone lucky enough to be around would be able to see it shine during the day for months until it fades away.

Astronomers have carefully observed the behaviors of many stars after they exploded as supernovae. But no one has had a detailed look at how a star behaves leading up to a supernova. So astronomers don’t really know whether the current dimming event is leading up to a supernova. What they do know is that it’d be pretty unlikely for the explosion to go off now when there’s so much uncertainty in their understanding of Betelgeuse’s behavior and even its age. 

Guinan and his team will keep monitoring Betelgeuse, as they have been for decades. Based on Betelgeuse's past dimming and brightening patterns — the star seems to cycle in brightness both every 6 years or so and every 425 days — they expect that it'll get its faintest in January and then get brighter again. But they'll have to see if that's the case.

"It defies prediction," Guinan said. "It's hard to predict what it’s going to do in the future."

From Astronomy.com



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Dignitatem Societatis
1  seeder  Dignitatem Societatis    7 months ago

Here's what Betelgeuse usually looks like:

512

If you have clear skies and visible stars, step outside sometime before midnight and you should be able to see Orion almost directly overhead (find it by looking for the "belt" in the middle). Check out how dim Betelgeuse is right now compared to this photo (which is exactly how I remember it).

From other articles I've read, if it doesn't start brightening back up by mid January or so, then it really might be on the verge of going supernova.

Here's something from Scott Manley, a Scottish astrophysicist whose channel I follow on YouTube. He doesn't expect it to blow, but there's so much good info in this video I thought I'd post it anyway.

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
2  sandy-2021492    7 months ago

So, I had to go outside and look for Betelguese, and yeah, it looks pretty dim, relative to other stars and to its "normal".

 
 
 
Dignitatem Societatis
2.1  seeder  Dignitatem Societatis  replied to  sandy-2021492 @2    7 months ago

It's kind of spooky, isn't it? Its throwing off matter right now that is obscuring our view, or rather, it did that about 600 years ago and we're just seeing it now.

A life span of only 9 million years? I know big stars burn fast, but I didn't realize Betelgeuse was big enough to burn that fast.

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
2.1.1  sandy-2021492  replied to  Dignitatem Societatis @2.1    7 months ago

It's been so long since I've done any stargazing that I hadn't noticed it was getting dimmer until this article prompted me to check.

 
 
 
Gordy327
2.1.2  Gordy327  replied to  Dignitatem Societatis @2.1    7 months ago
I know big stars burn fast, but I didn't realize Betelgeuse was big enough to burn that fast.

Yep, massive stars like Betelgeuse measure their lifespans in the millions of years rather than in the billions. I read that if Betelgeuse was in place of our sun, it's radius would extend to Jupiter's orbit. When it goes Supernova, it's probably leave a nice black hole in its place.

 
 
 
al Jizzerror
3  al Jizzerror    7 months ago
The unusual dimming episode has made some astronomers wonder whether x is about to go supernova.  Life on Earth would be fine if Betelgeuse did explode.

Thanx for posting such an informative scientific seed.

Yes, life will be fine and we can enjoy the extraterrestrial light show.

Butt, please do NOT say " Betelgeuse" three times in a row!  We don't need that pervert to show up.

800

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
3.1  sandy-2021492  replied to  al Jizzerror @3    7 months ago
Yes, life will be fine and we can enjoy the extraterrestrial light show.

Probably won't happen for quite a while, it seems.  It would be pretty awesome to get to see a supernova, though.

 
 
 
al Jizzerror
3.1.1  al Jizzerror  replied to  sandy-2021492 @3.1    7 months ago
It would be pretty awesome to get to see a supernova, though.

Yes.  It would be a once in a millennium event.

And, yes, it would be "pretty awesome" (as long as it outside of our solar system).

I probably shouldn't have posted that Betelguese gif on this serious thread butt I sometimes find difficult to be serious.

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
3.1.2  sandy-2021492  replied to  al Jizzerror @3.1.1    7 months ago
I probably shouldn't have posted that Betelguese gif on this serious thread butt I sometimes find difficult to be serious.

It was a pretty funny movie.  I rewatched it on Halloween, and had forgotten just how funny it was.

By the time any star close enough to affect us goes supernova, we'll probably have killed ourselves off, anyway.  A light show from a safe distance would be pretty fun, though.  I remember driving out of town to see Comet Hale Bopp for months, just fascinated.  Same with Mars, when it made a "near" approach to Earth back in '03.

 
 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
3.1.3  Perrie Halpern R.A.  replied to  sandy-2021492 @3.1    7 months ago

Would we even know when it would have happened? It's all a guessing game when you are talking about something that happen long ago.

That having been said, I thought that this would be interesting: 

Say Betelgeuse

How   do   you pronounce that star, that constellation, or that astronomer’s name?
By   Bob Berman    |  Published: Tuesday, September 5, 2017
Betelgeuse is returning to the morning sky, but few can pronounce it. That’s because almost none of our friends know the stars and constellations, so we rarely hear them spoken. But even during star parties, mispronunciations abound.

Gibberish is nobody’s fault. In the case of Orion’s alpha star, the movie Beetlejuice, starring Michael Keaton, permanently implanted that pronunciation in everyone’s mind. Looking it up in the dictionary is of little help — even its meaning varies with each reference book. Grab the nearest dictionary, and you’ll find that the word Betelgeuse means “the shoulder of the giant,” “the armpit of the sheep,” “the House of the Twins,” or one of several other contradictory things.

The final judge? My favorite authority was the late George Davis of Buffalo, New York, an attorney, avid amateur astronomer, and noted Arabic scholar. Starting in the 1930s, he spent seven years researching star names, traveling to the East to seek original sources. Most star names come from Arabic, but that language, like all others, has changed over the centuries. That’s one reason why so many myths and false ideas appear in print. To get at the truth, Davis started with 2,000-year-old Arabic and then traced those star names to their roots from the even earlier Sumerian.
 
 
 
sandy-2021492
3.1.4  sandy-2021492  replied to  Perrie Halpern R.A. @3.1.3    7 months ago
Would we even know when it would have happened?

True.  If Betelguese went supernova right now, we (or more accurately, our descendants) wouldn't see it for 650 years.  But the dimming we're seeing happened 650 years ago, too.  Give or take a bit.

 
 
 
Dignitatem Societatis
3.1.5  seeder  Dignitatem Societatis  replied to  sandy-2021492 @3.1.2    7 months ago
I remember driving out of town to see Comet Hale Bopp for months, just fascinated.

Hale Bopp blew my mind. The surprise of it all. I had it in the evening sky over my back yard at the time. Absolutely gorgeous contrasted with sunsets. Hell, you could even see it in broad daylight. What an awesome event.

It happened while DS9 was airing, too. That comet wooshing by in the opening credits always reminds me of Hale Bopp.

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
3.1.6  sandy-2021492  replied to  Dignitatem Societatis @3.1.5    7 months ago
It happened while DS9 was airing, too.

After a few false starts, I'm finally watching DS9.  I'm in the third episode of the 3-part season 2 opener.  I'm enjoying it much more this time around.

 
 
 
Dignitatem Societatis
3.1.7  seeder  Dignitatem Societatis  replied to  sandy-2021492 @3.1.6    7 months ago

Great to hear! I love that show. You're already past the worst of its character-establishing 'finding itself' phase.

To be honest, you can treat the entire first 2 seasons as a stage-setter of sorts for the main event, which begins with the season 2 finale and runs all the way to the end.

So many great characters (villains included), and so many complex and interconnected storylines. I just love it. You have some absolutely fantastic episodes ahead of you.

Were you able to find time to watch 'Valiant' back when I suggested it after Aron Eisenberg died? If so, what did you think?

 
 
 
al Jizzerror
3.1.8  al Jizzerror  replied to  Dignitatem Societatis @3.1.5    7 months ago
Hale Bopp blew my mind.

It was beautiful.  We set up lawn chairs and passed my binoculars around.

800

Unfortunately, a religious cult marred the memory of that event.

800

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
3.1.9  sandy-2021492  replied to  Dignitatem Societatis @3.1.7    7 months ago

I think the complexity was the downfall for me the first time I tried to watch.  I was in college, and could only watch when I was home for a visit.  Once I missed a few episodes, I was completely lost.

I haven't watched "Valiant" yet.  I figure I'll take it in order with the rest.

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
3.1.10  sandy-2021492  replied to  al Jizzerror @3.1.8    7 months ago

Oh, yeah, the Heaven's Gate cult.  Sad and bizarre.

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
3.1.11  sandy-2021492  replied to  Dignitatem Societatis @3.1.7    7 months ago

Speaking of characters, I already want to strangle Vedek Winn, and I know she becomes Kai.  Good drama, even if it makes me grind my teeth.

 
 
 
Dignitatem Societatis
3.1.12  seeder  Dignitatem Societatis  replied to  sandy-2021492 @3.1.11    7 months ago

The quality of actors they found for that show is simply amazing. You know an actor is good when they can literally make your skin crawl. Winn does that repeatedly throughout the show. She's there to the very end (not really a spoiler, there are never any cliffhangers where you're wondering if she's dead or anything).

So many great actors. Winn, Dukat, Martok, Weyoun, Garak. Even many of the one-time guest spots, like the Cardassian prisoner in 'Duet' (the Gul Darheel impersonator), which you probably just watched recently.

By the way, and on a slightly different subject, here's a little just-for-fun factoid from the DVD extras: Apparently there was a running joke in the writers room about making Chief O'Brien's life a living hell whenever they could fit it in. You'll probably notice it before long. Writer and producer Ronald D. Moore referred to it simply as "O'Brien must suffer" (with a sly grin, of course). Just something funny to keep an eye out for.

 
 
 
Dignitatem Societatis
3.1.13  seeder  Dignitatem Societatis  replied to  al Jizzerror @3.1.8    7 months ago

That Heaven's Gate thing was about as crazy as it gets. Kill yourself so a passing UFO can pick you up? Something like that? Sad and tragic, but at least they removed themselves from the gene pool.

 
 
 
al Jizzerror
3.1.14  al Jizzerror  replied to  Dignitatem Societatis @3.1.13    7 months ago
Kill yourself so a passing UFO can pick you up? Something like that?

Yep.  Here's the weird story:

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Heaven's Gate was an American UFO religious millenarian cult based near San Diego , California. It was founded in 1974 and led by Marshall Applewhite (1931–1997) and Bonnie Nettles (1927–1985). [1] On March 26, 1997, members of the San Diego County Sheriff's Department discovered the bodies of 39 members of the group in a house in the San Diego suburb of Rancho Santa Fe . They had participated in a mass suicide ; specifically, a coordinated series of ritual suicides , in order to reach what they believed was an extraterrestrial spacecraft following Comet Hale–Bopp . [2] [3]

Just before the mass suicide, the group's website was updated with the message: "Hale–Bopp brings closure to Heaven's Gate... Our 22 years of classroom here on planet Earth is finally coming to conclusion—'graduation' from the Human Evolutionary Level. We are happily prepared to leave 'this world' and go with Ti's crew."

Religious cults can be hazardous to gullible people's health.

 
 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
3.1.15  Perrie Halpern R.A.  replied to  Dignitatem Societatis @3.1.12    7 months ago

You have to love Garak. Such a complex character. 

Winn was such a witch. But hey, look who's playing her.

 
 
 
Dignitatem Societatis
3.1.16  seeder  Dignitatem Societatis  replied to  Perrie Halpern R.A. @3.1.15    7 months ago
Winn was such a witch. But hey, look who's playing her.

Hehe. Nurse Ratched. She won a bunch of best actress awards for that, the Oscar included.

 
 
 
Gordy327
3.1.17  Gordy327  replied to  sandy-2021492 @3.1.6    7 months ago
I'm finally watching DS9.  I'm in the third episode of the 3-part season 2 opener.  I'm enjoying it much more this time around.

Just wait until you start season 3. Then the show really picks up.

 
 
 
Gordy327
3.1.18  Gordy327  replied to  Perrie Halpern R.A. @3.1.15    7 months ago
You have to love Garak. Such a complex character. 

Garak was awesome. Definitely one of the best Trek characters ever. Especially considering he was "just a tailor."

Gul Dukat had some strong character moments too.

 
 
 
Gordy327
3.1.19  Gordy327  replied to  Dignitatem Societatis @3.1.7    7 months ago
Were you able to find time to watch 'Valiant' back when I suggested it after Aron Eisenberg died? If so, what did you think?

That was an awesome episode. And Nog summed up events perfectly: "He may have been a hero, he may even have been a great man, but in the end, he was a bad captain." I think that shows how much growth Nog was going through. 

Little trivia: the Valiant's "1st officer" Farris (played by Courtney Peldon) also acted in various fan Trek productions, such as "Star Trek: Of Gods and Men." It's on YouTube and is quite good.

 
 
 
cjcold
3.1.20  cjcold  replied to  Perrie Halpern R.A. @3.1.3    7 months ago

I renamed Orion several years ago and even told Neil deGrasse Tyson about it. Orion's new name is Vegas Elvis. 

You can just see him in a white jump suit with that big silver Concho belt, his legs wide apart, his hips cocked to one side and his arms upraised just like he finished My Way. There is even the hint of one of those sausages he used to tape to his leg to drive the blue haired ladies at the Hilton crazy. 

Neil told me (after he could stop laughing) that while constellations are still being named, my chances of getting the IAU to agree to an Orion name change were close to zero. Damn! 

As a result I tend to look at Vegas Elvis quite often with or without a telescope. I'll have to keep an eye on Betelgeuses (the microphone). 

 
 
 
Dignitatem Societatis
3.1.21  seeder  Dignitatem Societatis  replied to  cjcold @3.1.20    7 months ago

LOL

Do you really know Neil deGrasse Tyson?

 
 
 
al Jizzerror
3.1.22  al Jizzerror  replied to  Dignitatem Societatis @3.1.21    7 months ago

Issac Asimov was born 100 years ago today.

Isaac Asimov

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Isaac Asimov ( / ˈ æ z ɪ m ɒ v / ; [b] [c] c.   January 2, 1920 [a]  – April 6, 1992) was an American writer and professor of biochemistry at Boston University . He was known for his works of science fiction and popular science . Asimov was a prolific writer who wrote or edited more than 500 books and an estimated 90,000 letters and postcards . [d] His books have been published in 9 of the 10 major categories of the Dewey Decimal Classification

512

 
 
 
Dignitatem Societatis
3.1.23  seeder  Dignitatem Societatis  replied to  al Jizzerror @3.1.22    7 months ago
Issac Asimov was born 100 years ago today.

Strange that he wasn't sure about that, isn't it? Probably because of the revolution.

Asimov was born in Petrovichi, Smolensk Oblast, Russian SFSR on an unknown date between October 4, 1919 and January 2, 1920, inclusive. Asimov celebrated his birthday on January 2. [a]

 
 
 
cjcold
3.1.24  cjcold  replied to  Dignitatem Societatis @3.1.21    7 months ago

No. I called in to Star Talk while he was discussing Orion and the naming of constellations and stars. The screener busted a gut and put me to the front of the queue. Neil loves him some comedy to go along with his science.

I was one of those long time listeners but first time callers.

 
 
 
Paula Bartholomew
3.1.25  Paula Bartholomew  replied to  sandy-2021492 @3.1.2    7 months ago

I was able to see Hale Bopp clearly from my yard.  Yet I didn't see any tiny space ship following it.

 
 
 
Tacos!
4  Tacos!    7 months ago

It would be so cool to see this thing blow, but every time I see it written up, it’s a thing that could happen tomorrow or several thousand years from now. So I guess I won’t get my hopes up.

 
 
 
Dignitatem Societatis
4.1  seeder  Dignitatem Societatis  replied to  Tacos! @4    7 months ago

Ah, but apparently it's gone way dimmer than it ever has before in the little over a century that we've been able to measure its luminosity. It may be about to hit that 'iron wall' of stellar nucleosynthesis and succumb to a total collapse. Maybe not, of course. But still, this is something new.

 
 
 
Ed-NavDoc
4.1.1  Ed-NavDoc  replied to  Dignitatem Societatis @4.1    7 months ago

If it was, it may already have. The light just may not have reached us yet.

 
 
 
cjcold
4.1.2  cjcold  replied to  Ed-NavDoc @4.1.1    7 months ago

643 light years is a loooong way away.

 
 
 
Ed-NavDoc
4.1.3  Ed-NavDoc  replied to  cjcold @4.1.2    7 months ago

Yep.

 
 
 
Ed-NavDoc
5  Ed-NavDoc    7 months ago

Interesting that it appears nobody noticed a possible misprint in the text of the article where it said the star was "milllions" of years old as opposed to billions of years old. Still a very fascinating article though.

 
 
 
Gordy327
5.1  Gordy327  replied to  Ed-NavDoc @5    7 months ago

Betelgeuse is in the millions of years old, not billions. Supermassive stars like that typically do not reach, much less last, into the billions of years.

 
 
 
al Jizzerror
5.1.1  al Jizzerror  replied to  Gordy327 @5.1    7 months ago

It's probably already gone.

 
 
 
Ed-NavDoc
5.1.2  Ed-NavDoc  replied to  Gordy327 @5.1    7 months ago

You notice I did say possible misprint. My thanks for the clarification.

 
 
 
Gordy327
5.1.3  Gordy327  replied to  al Jizzerror @5.1.1    7 months ago
It's probably already gone.

Quite possible.

 
 
 
Gordy327
5.1.4  Gordy327  replied to  Ed-NavDoc @5.1.2    7 months ago
You notice I did say possible misprint. My thanks for the clarification.

Yes, I noticed. That's why I wanted to clarify.

 
 
 
Freefaller
6  Freefaller    7 months ago

Imagine being able to see it go, that would be amazing

 
 
 
TᵢG
7  TᵢG    7 months ago

If Betelgeuse goes supernova in our lifetimes, it will visibly look like a second (but perpetually full) moon for a year.   It will be something to behold;  knock the hell out of a boring old eclipse.    jrSmiley_100_smiley_image.jpg

One can only imagine the supernatural declarations this will trigger.

 
 
 
Dignitatem Societatis
7.1  seeder  Dignitatem Societatis  replied to  TᵢG @7    7 months ago
One can only imagine the supernatural declarations this will trigger.

I was thinking about that very thing last night. It would probably be declared a 'sign' of any number of things.

When I was growing up I actually thought we were a society that had moved beyond superstition. Silly me. 

 
 
 
TᵢG
7.1.1  TᵢG  replied to  Dignitatem Societatis @7.1    7 months ago

It is difficult to imagine the size of Betelgeuse.   On top of that, 640 light years is actually very, very close given past supernovae  (per records) were thousands of light years away.   Quite a show coming our way.

... moved beyond superstition ...

jrSmiley_89_smiley_image.gif

 
 
 
Split Personality
7.1.2  Split Personality  replied to  TᵢG @7.1.1    7 months ago

On another article, it has become dangerously customary to toss coins at jets and jet engines before boarding the plane.

Closer to home, how many batters make the sign of the cross hoping to increase their odds of making a big hit?

It's all superstition with no signs of abating...

 
 
 
Gordy327
7.1.3  Gordy327  replied to  Dignitatem Societatis @7.1    7 months ago
I actually thought we were a society that had moved beyond superstition.

If only. But alas....

 
 
 
Dignitatem Societatis
7.1.4  seeder  Dignitatem Societatis  replied to  TᵢG @7.1.1    7 months ago
Quite a show coming our way.

Just think, if it should happen in the near future we'll almost certainly have a video record of the actual explosion and not just the after effect, what with astronomers watching it so carefully at the moment. That would be amazing. 

 
 
 
TᵢG
7.1.5  TᵢG  replied to  Dignitatem Societatis @7.1.4    7 months ago

In addition, we would enhance the visualization with modern computing to provide a deep perspective (a pseudo-simulation) on what is going on.

 
 
 
al Jizzerror
7.1.6  al Jizzerror  replied to  Split Personality @7.1.2    7 months ago
On another article, it has become dangerously customary to toss coins at jets and jet engines before boarding the plane.

When I was in a fighter squadron on the USS Independence.  We had a problem with aircraft engines "fodding out".  FOD is foreign object damage.  A foreign object in a jet turbine cause the blades (which spin at extremely high speeds) to break off.  This causes a chain reaction that can cause the engine to explode which can injure personnel close to the aircraft.

Twice a day we would "walk" the flight deck side by side picking up any loose objects on the deck.  We never found anything.  Because we had a high number of FOD incidents, we changed operating procedures. We also started having the engines inspected when planes on the catapults that were ready for take off.  The inspections required someone on the flight line to inspect each engine by peering into the intakes before the aircraft went to "high power".  Because this was not standard procedure pilots were not used to this extra step.  One pilot went to high power while his engine was being inspected and we lost a crew mate.

Eventually, the problem was solved.  The aircraft were being sabotaged by a Marine who was hiding on a catwalk shooting BBs into intakes.  He was arrested and removed from the ship before they informed us of his identity.  He was one of the Marines who guarded the nuclear weapons we had aboard.

 
 
 
igknorantzrulz
7.1.7  igknorantzrulz  replied to  al Jizzerror @7.1.6    7 months ago

?

 
 
 
al Jizzerror
7.1.8  al Jizzerror  replied to  igknorantzrulz @7.1.7    7 months ago

That was a reply to   Split Personality @ 7.1.2  .

On another article, it has become dangerously customary to toss coins at jets and jet engines before boarding the plane.
 
 
 
cjcold
7.1.9  cjcold  replied to  Dignitatem Societatis @7.1    7 months ago

Like The Mote in Gods Eye by Niven and Pournelle.

 
 
 
Freefaller
7.2  Freefaller  replied to  TᵢG @7    7 months ago
One can only imagine the supernatural declarations this will trigger.

I was thinking the same thing earlier, although different religions would have different interpretations I would think a common one for Christianity would be the second coming.  I have read elsewhere that the supposed bright star at Jesus's supposed birth could be explained by another supernova.

 
 
 
Gordy327
7.2.1  Gordy327  replied to  Freefaller @7.2    7 months ago
I was thinking the same thing earlier, although different religions would have different interpretations I would think a common one for Christianity would be the second coming.

Somehow, I have little doubt about that. jrSmiley_103_smiley_image.jpg

I have read elsewhere that the supposed bright star at Jesus's supposed birth could be explained by another supernova.

That would be a logical and rational explanation. But when it comes to religion, welllll…...

 
 
 
TᵢG
7.2.2  TᵢG  replied to  Gordy327 @7.2.1    7 months ago

Religions are great at interpreting natural phenomena.   Not so great at the important stuff — prediction — but nowadays we do have science.

So here we have science predicting a supernova and the effects it will have on us (visually);  when it occurs there will be plenty of religious people interpreting it as a divine event.

 
 
 
Gordy327
7.2.3  Gordy327  replied to  TᵢG @7.2.2    7 months ago
Religions are great at interpreting natural phenomena. 

All one needs is an active imagination.

Not so great at the important stuff — prediction — but nowadays we do have science.

Who need science when you have religion, with it's usual one-answer-fits-all setup, right? Lol

 when it occurs there will be plenty of religious people interpreting it as a divine event.

No doubt. I'll bet there are still those that hold a solar eclipse as a divine event too.

 
 
 
Gordy327
7.2.4  Gordy327  replied to  TᵢG @7.2.2    7 months ago

What would be really interesting to see is if new stars and planets from the supernova aftermath. Of course, such a process would take tens of thousands of years or more. But to observe stellar formation would be quite fascinating.

 
 
 
TᵢG
7.2.5  TᵢG  replied to  Gordy327 @7.2.4    7 months ago

I agree.   Obviously will not apply here, but I am confident we will encounter formations from extant debris from other supernovas.   The best we will ever have, of course, is a simulation that compresses millions of years into a few minutes.

 
 
 
Freefaller
8  Freefaller    7 months ago

Not sure if anyone is curious but I was so apparently the minimum safe distance from a supernova is thought to be 50 - 100 light years.

 
 
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