Wednesday, 12 May 2010

The big bang and a bit of a laugh

There is a white dwarf star which in astronomical terms is close to blowing itself to bits in a type 1a supernova explosion which is one of the most brutal events in the Solar System

it lies in the southern constellation of Pyxis and is approximately 3260 light years away.... you wouldn't think that a star so distant could if it goes Supernova destroy life on earth.... but it can

it would release massive amounts of Gamma radiation the most energetic type of radiation in the Solar System.. basically these highly energetic photons have the ability to to completely destroy the Earth's ozone layer and also any other life form that may exist at the time... the total energy output that will hit us is estimated at "about" 1000 solar flares worth but all at the same time.... one of the first effects of this bathing in Gamma radiation is not that we will all turn into the incredible hulk but that it will produce massive amounts of Nitrous Oxide in the atmosphere which in essence will completely halt the production of Ozone.... it will all be a bit of a laugh as well because Nitrous Oxide is laughing gas... so if everybody starts laughing suddenly the world is going to end :)

The star is thought to be much larger than first observed... if that is the case then the star could already be on the path to the Chandrasekhar Limit, this is the point at which the core of the star collapses and we get a massive explosion.. the type 1a supernova is the biggest bang there is in the universe as we know it... it will briefly outshine entire galaxies... but relax the scientists predict it won't go bang just yet.... we have about 10 million years before that happens... give or take a few million years.....

No comments: