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Richt, just when you lot thought it couldnea get any better here on earth, someit else is going on in the galaxy, so here's a wee wan fur ye to mull over an start saying yer prayers, it seems according to some yankee boffins, oor wee parade is aboot tae get seriously pished aon.

The Earth could be wiped out by the explosion of a star more than 3,000 light years away, according to US scientists.

The star, known as T Pyxidis, is about to self-destruct in an explosion called a supernova with the force of 20 billion billion billion megatons of TNT. Aye ricth, that jist a wee fart in astronomical terms, so dinnae be to worrit.

The 3,000 light-year distance is considered a fairly short way in galactic terms and the blast from the thermonuclear explosion could strip away the Earth's ozone layer. Which is not good, apparently. tongue.gif

The doomsday scenario was described yesterday by astronomers from Villanova University, Philadelphia, US. Villanova? is that a pish take or what, trust the elmers haw haw

T Pyxidis is really two stars, a double, one is a wee white dwarf that is sucking in gas and steadily growing. When it reaches a critical mass it will blow itself to pieces. Timely reminder for the burger munchers tae cut doon the blubber intake.

The "experts" <coff > said the Hubble space telescope has photographed the star gearing up for it's big bang with a series of smaller blasts or "burps", called novas. These explosions came regularly about every 20 years from 1890 - but stopped after 1967.

So the next blast is over 40 years overdue. Oh nooo. Didnea ken the Hubble had been up that long an husnea been working right fur haulf the time it been up anywi.

Noo then, could this be the big one, squeaky bum time

Noo, no tae be too much o' a doom monger, jist wit did the Mayor o ' Hiroshima say?

OK thats the fun oot the way noo fur the meat an tatties.

Scientists at the American Astronomical Society's 215th meeting, in Washington DC, said earlier this week that new observations of T Pyxidis in the constellation Pyxis (the compass) using the International Ultraviolet Explorer satellite, indicate the white dwarf is part of a close binary system with a sun, and the pair are 3,260 light-years from Earth and much closer than the previous estimate of 6,000 light-years.

The white dwarf in the T Pyxidis system is a recurrent nova, which means it undergoes nova (thermonuclear) eruptions around every 20 years. The most recent known events were in 1967, 1944, 1920, 1902, and 1890. These explosions are nova rather than supernova events, and do not destroy the star, and have no effect on Earth. The astronomers do not know why the there has been a longer than usual interval since the last nova eruption.

Astronomers believe the nova explosions are the result of an increase of mass as the dwarf siphons off hydrogen-rich gases from its stellar companion. When the mass reaches a certain limit a nova is triggered. It is unknown whether there is a net gain or loss of mass during the siphoning/explosion cycle, but if the mass does build up the so-called Chandrasekhar Limit could be reached, and the dwarf would then become a Type 1a supernova. In this event the dwarf would collapse and detonate a massive explosion resulting in its total destruction. This type of supernova releases 10 million times the energy of a nova.

Observations of the white dwarf during the nova eruptions suggest its mass is increasing, and pictures from the Hubble telescope of shells of material expelled during the previous explosions support the view. Models estimate the white dwarf's mass could reach the Chandrasekhar Limit in around 10 million years or less.

According to the scientists the supernova would result in gamma radiation with an energy equivalent to 1,000 solar flares simultaneously - enough to threaten Earth by production of nitrous oxides that would damage and perhaps destroy the ozone layer. The supernova would be as bright as all the other stars in the Milky Way put together. One of the astronomers, Dr Edward Sion, from Villanova University in Pennsylvania, said the supernova could occur "soon" on the timescales familiar to astronomers and geologists, but this is a long time in the future in human terms.

Astronomers think supernova explosions closer than 100 light years from Earth would be catastrophic, but the effects of events further away are unclear and would depend on how powerful the supernova is. The research team postulate it could be close enough and powerful enough to damage Earth, possibly severely, although other researchers, such as Professor Fillipenko of the Berkeley Astronomy Department, disagree with the calculations and believe the supernova, if it occurred, would be unlikely to damage the planet.

Ohh oh....
I think the scientists meant that it might destroy what's left of the ozone sheild rolleyes.gif
Well Rabbie, we'll just have to hope that our Antipodian members on GG post us a few nice pictures when it happens. tongue.gif
So if we aw get sprinkled by pixiedust will we aw be able tae fly? Always wanted tae be able tae fly.
You must be using the wrong dust tongue.gif
Ashes tae ashes an awe that.

Supernovas, it's where all the wee bits that make up life came / come from, the heavy element cooker. Jist a hyped up pressure cooker that the big man / woman <jist tae ne PC> left behind after grafting fur 6 days aon the trot.

What they giveth they taketh away, looks like Labour have got to them as well. No doobt they will try to tax that too, b'stages.

That's aboot tae chinge, yeeharr!

Ye packing yer bags yit Mr. Broon?
We certainly live in interestin times, when we kin watch stars bein born an dyin, in full technicolour. Awsome.
Here's the recently phographed Supernova found in the neighbouring galaxy M101 in Ursa Major on August 24 (2011) and tips on how to see it over the next few nights with the aid of good binoculars.

Click to view attachment

M101 location 2230hrs. Click to enlarge.
Click to view attachment

The Great Bear. Click to enlarge
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Hopefully the clouds will stay away long enough to have a look.
rolleyes.gif It started raining here (SW Germany) ten minutes ago. If that keeps up for the next 4 to 5 hours at most then I might have a clear sky when it's finished. unsure.gif
Typical, UK weather ruins one of the universes exciting events.

This one turned supernova around 22 million years ago, its output is peaking soon. It was a star on the edge one of the spiral arms of The Pinwheel Galaxy (Mess 101) which lies in the constrenation of The Big Bear.

Here is a wee piccie of M101 afore the supernova.

Click to view attachment

Cannea wait for Betelguex to turn turtle. That wee bugger is a lot nearer, so just might have to put on the welding googles and leadpaint facescreen when that goes up.
Auld Beetlejuice laugh.gif
About 800 times the size of the Sun and 10,000 times more luminous ... after you wi' the welder's goggles and facescreen Rabbie when that one shed's it's skin. laugh.gif
A wee bit early to be arranging a back garden Betelguex goes supernova party just yet Rabbie, maybe in a million tears or so, I'll bring the crisps and dips.
QUOTE (JAGZ1876 @ 8th Sep 2011, 05:12pm) *
A wee bit early to be arranging a back garden Betelguex goes supernova party just yet Rabbie, maybe in a million tears or so, I'll bring the crisps and dips.

Aye, b Orionis has got a wee while to go, it's brewing wan up away jist nicely tho, still it will have nothing on Patrick Moore after a night on Guiness. and Heenz Beenz and Pork Vindaloo.

Still, thurrs nea harm in having plenty of pre supernova practice swallys we can get in some rain dancing time as well.

Tomi when that wee beastie sheds its skin, it wont be be the only thing shedding a few layers of skin, Auld beetleguts is just a wee bit close fur comfort in super nova terms.

Jings, the flux might even send auld Lord Kinnedy's pacemaker intae overdrive or short oot his mobility trike!
I used to enjoy dancing the Super-Nova back in the 70s biggrin.gif
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