25 January 2011

A new sun in the sky soon, maybe, perhaps.....



A few days ago the Telegraph carried a short item about a supernova that could provide the biggest light show since Earth was formed – so bright that night will become like day for one or two weeks.

The star Betelgeuse, 640 light years away from Earth, is a red supergiant, meaning that it is nearing the end of its life and is due to explode. When it does it will burn so brightly that the earth will appear to have two suns in the sky.


Well that sounds great. I can’t wait to see that display! Hold on there s one small turd in the swimming pool: astronomers are not quite sure when it will go supernova. Brad Carter, senior lecturer of physics at the University of southern Queensland in Australia, said the explosion could take place before the end of the year – or indeed at any point over the next million years.

A million years? I won’t wait up then.,,, (Sighs)

20 comments:

Francis Hunt said...

For now you'll have to make do with this, Jams :-)

CalumCarr said...

Journalism at its best!!

Utter trash. Mind you it is the DT!

Stan said...

For a moment, I thought this was one of your abstract photos!

jams o donnell said...

Gah not Oasis Francis!!!

An utter shaggy dog story eh Calum!

Ah this one isn't mine Stan

H. insciens said...

Significant. We could maybe play golf all night as well as all day. Very significant!

jams o donnell said...

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!

H. insciens said...

I don't find it at all "trash" to report that a specific supernova can and indeed will produce that effect on Earth, I find it very interesting, even if the possibility that I will see it is about one in a million. It's a statistical thing like radioactive decay, with any specific radioactive atom capable of decaying right now or (depending on the isotope) in many millions of years. It's all fascinating stuff. I like the Daily telegraph by the way, and I am definitely not a Tory (or worse).

CherryPie said...

I am glad that isn't one of your photos, it is doing weird things to my eyes!

jams o donnell said...

Don't get me wrong H I find it fascinating too and it does sound like we may be in for a treat if it happened in our lifetimes.

Still it struck me as an awful lot of very little. Then again a headline saying that Betelgeuse will go supernova within the next million years would hardly catch the eye I suppose

jams o donnell said...

the colours and the pixelation really do mess up the eyes don't they Cherie

H. insciens said...

I could probably get the "treat" triggered for you if you want Jams, but the octoplogulons would expect something from you in return. Maybe best just to take your chances with the one in a million shot rather than taking your chances with them.

jams o donnell said...

Ah God, I presume they will want an intergalactic gang bang... I'll wait it out instead!

susan said...

I think it would scare me.

jams o donnell said...

It would be something so unusual. Perhaps scary too Susan

SnoopyTheGoon said...

Patience, Jams, with a bit of patience we'll get to witness the blow.

jams o donnell said...

I think we had better invent some potent ant ageing drugs though!

H. insciens said...

"ant ageing drugs"??

Ant?

Why do you want to make ants grow old?

jams o donnell said...

If I told you I would have to kill you H!

Steve Hayes said...

Oh well, have to settle for an eclipse then.

jams o donnell said...

An eclipse sounds like the consolation prize but still a damn fine spectacle Steve!