atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#560: Yet more headlines

In no particular order....

Earth might survive sun's explosion.

This is king of the misleading headlines. The article discusses what will happen to Earth in 5 billion years when our sun becomes a red giant. It will do this, it is thought, when it has fused the majority of its hydrogen into helium.

But it's not an explosion.

You get a "nova" when, for example, one star orbits so closely to another that some mass is transferred from one to another, the mass accumulates, and then "flashes over". This is an "explosion".

You get a "supernova" when a supermassive star has run through the periodic table as far as iron. Every element on the periodic table, up to iron, releases energy when its atoms are fused together. Not iron; iron fusion consumes energy rather than releases it. When a star enters iron fusion (if it is massive enough to get that far) the star collapses and explodes, making as much energy as an entire galaxy for a very short time.

These are stellar explosions. The sun entering helium fusion and becoming a red giant is not.


This article on global warming contains no surprises for me. In fact, a lot of what it says are things I have been saying here since I wrote my first Atomic Fungus entry on global warming. (I think that's the first one.)


Ann Coulter deals with Democrats and their constant negativity vis-a-vis the war in Iraq. I love Ann Coulter.

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