atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#2501: Betelgeuse supernova by 12/2012 predicted

No it's not going to look like Tattooine on Earth. What will happen is that we'll have a VERY bright star in the sky for a while--much brighter than Venus and probably brighter than a full moon, at least for the first couple of years or so.

Even if it happens in summer, when Orion and the sun are in the same part of the sky, we'll know, because it'll be F-ING BRIGHT.

It's not going to cause global warming and it's not going to outshine our star. But in wintertime, for a couple years, you'll probably be able to read by the light of the thing.

Supernovae are the brightest lights in the universe that we understand well. The only thing that makes more light than a supernova is a quasar, and we don't know a heck of a lot about them, but they radiate very furiously and they're the brightest objects in the universe.

Hint: if there were to be a quasar produced by our galaxy--even if it were on the other side, some 100,000 light years away--we would not survive long enough to record the event; all life on Earth would be extinguished. If the Andromeda galaxy, more than a million light years away, were to produce a quasar, we'd still probably die, right down to the microbes on the sea floors.

* * *

"Climate change" destroyed Rome.
Tim Ball, an environmental consultant and former historical climatology professor at the University of Winnipeg in Canada, told WND the explanation for how the Roman Empire fell is completely contradicted by the written history of ancient Europe as well as the archeological record.

"The world was warmer during the Roman period," he said. "The climate was cooler when the empire collapsed in late antiquity."

Researchers at several European universities have "reconstructed" the European summer climate for the last 2,500 years. They say tree rings from Germany, France, Italy and Australia show possible links between past climate variability and changes in human history.

"Climate change" coincided with eras of socioeconomic, cultural and political turmoil, like the collapse of the Roman Empire and the outbreak of the Black Plague in Europe during the Middle Ages, European researchers Willy Tegel and others write in their article "2500 Years of European Climate Variability and Human Susceptibility."
Okay, this needs answering.

First, we have yet another case of academics asking us, "Who are you gonna believe, us, or your own lying eyes?" Because "...the explanation for how the Roman Empire fell is completely contradicted by the written history of ancient Europe as well as the archeological record." Yeah, the people who were there at the time, they didn't know dick about history or politics. (None of them ever went anywhere near Harvard or Yale, after all!) And those archaeologists, they don't know all the important facts of anthropogenic climate change, so what the hell do they know about the history of Europe?

Second: he makes the point that global cooling caused the fall of the Roman Empire. That being the case, wouldn't anthropogenic global warming--assuming that it's actually taking place, which I doubt--wouldn't that be a good thing?

Jesus, these assholes are all grasping at straws now, and their desperation is making them erratic. Excellent.

* * *

Illinois may lose some jobs because of the recent tax increases.

Thanks, Democrats.

* * *

It's going to be a while before the bunker is sold.
5. Illinois

2010 Foreclosures: 2.87% (9th Worst)
Decrease in Building Permits 2006-2010: -81.32% (5th Worst)
Population Change 2005-2010: 1.23% (8th Worst)

Although Illinois has a relatively low residential vacancy rate, finding people to buy homes can be difficult. The state's population only grew 1.23% between 2005 and 2010. This is the eighth worst growth rate in the country. Furthermore, the number of building permits issued since 2006 decreased 81.32%, the fifth greatest drop in the nation. The collapse of the state's industrial base has been so great that its economy will not recover anytime soon.
Kinda related to the bit just above this one, the recent huge tax increase, passed and signed by DEMOCRATS, is not going to help matters one whit.

* * *

California ammo laws ruled unconstitutional. Yet another win for our side!

* * *

The mundane world is getting hep to something Fans have known all along: the moon is a vast treasure trove of resources.

* * *

Man did yesterday wipe me out. After I regained the ability to do arithmetic, I realized that the interview had lasted four hours.

I left the place about 12:15 and was home a bit more than an hour later, with a stop at Subway for food. (It took 1:20 to get there, what with early morning rush hour traffic and snow squalls.) Ate the sandwich, blogged, etc; I was in bed and asleep by 4 PM and slept until 8:30, when I needed food. But I went to bed a bit later and slept until 2 AM, when I got up and had a sandwich.

I managed to play a little bit of WoW last night and got Vicki past 68th level; then I took her to Northrend, set her hearthstone to the inn at Valiance Keep...and went to bed again.

Slept until 8:30-ish this morning, and woke up still feeling well-tenderized but having enough energy to do things like clean out the sink and start the dishwasher.

Well, I didn't really expect it to be easy, anyway. Four hours was more time than I expected it to take, but I knew well in advance that I'd come home and collapse into a tired little puddle afterwards. That was a pretty hard interview, for all that it was friendly and upbeat; but they need to make sure I'm worth hiring. Hopefully, I convinced them I am.

* * *

I'm sitting here contemplating making a Pecanbon run, as planned last week. The only thing I'm really waiting for is Wendy's to open (I think they open at 11). I'll grab a couple burgers from there on my way to the mall in Merrilville.

AND on my way back, grab a 12' HDMI cable at Harbor Freight. I dug out the DVI-to-HDMI adaptor last night (I happened to see the box for the video card while downstairs for a shirt that didn't strangle me) so I'm eager to see a) what the blab slab's native resolution is, and b) what WoW and anime look like on the thing when displayed such. You never know; I might end up rearranging the system so that becomes my primary display! Heh.

(No, not really.)

* * *

BTW, I don't discount the Betelgeuse supernova story because last year (or the year before?) I saw a story about how the star had lost 15% of its diameter and brightness in the past 15 years. That's a sign that it's entering iron fusion; iron is the first element which consumes energy during fusion rather than producing it.

Stars like the sun never get that far. A main sequence star will enter helium fusion and swell into a red giant; but there isn't enough mass in the thing to do much lithium fusion before it collapses into a white dwarf and spends ten billion years cooling. It takes a lot of force to overcome the degeneracy limit of the higher elements; giant stars like Betelgeuse can manage it because they've got so much mass pressing in on their cores.

Regardless, though, the energy of fusion is what keeps a star from collapsing, and when a giant star begins to fuse iron, that energy is consumed in making bigger atoms out of iron atoms...and there's nothing left to keep the thing from collapsing in on itself.

But something happens: there's an upper limit to the density of matter, past which atoms turn into neutronium, and that's a really difficult hill to surmount. The infalling stellar atmosphere hits that limit; and when it does, that's when you get a supernova.

The atoms of the stellar atmosphere are smashed together with such force that all kinds of heavy elements are produced; some of those reactions make energy and some don't, but it's a huge net positive. The explosion is visible on the other side of the universe (eventually, since it takes light time to travel there, so I should say "will be visible") as the stellar atmosphere is fused into elements ranging all the way up to the transuranics; the core of the star collapses into either a neutron star or a black hole, depending on a lot of factors I'm too lazy to enumerate here.

(I have some confidence that forcing a proton and electron into forming a neutron also releases some energy. I don't know that it's the case, but it seems like it ought to be.)

And of course, one all these reactions start taking place, the hyper-compressed stellar atmosphere reinflates again...and there's a massive explosion.

Supernovae are what make every element higher than iron, and they're the entire reason we are made of matter at all. Without them--if stars of all sizes just fused hydrogen to helium and beyond, and then quietly went out--there wouldn't be any free matter in the universe other than hydrogen and maybe some helium. The explosion makes all the higher elements and then flings them into the universe so they can become planets and people and nuclear power plants and Pepsi bottles and trees and chocolate chip cookies.

* * *

Now that it's almost 11 AM, I think I'd better get my butt in gear. Those damn cinnamon rolls ain't gonna go buy themselves, now are they?

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