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Supernova about to give Earth a second sun - Page 2

post #16 of 25

I had to read it again to make sure. What I meant was that we have an article with a sensational title that makes people think, "How can this be true? Sounds interesting. I'll read it." Then they read it, and it's not really that amazing. The title in this case makes it sound like this supernova is something that we could perceive tomorrow...and it could be! But, more likely than not, it isn't. So the article and its title aren't inaccurate, and they work because the event has a huge time frame in which it may occur. I'm not knocking it; in fact, I think it's brilliant.

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Originally Posted by IPodPJ View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by Argyris View Post

This article title is a pretty good example of how to get tons of people to read something sensational and not be factually inaccurate: rely on something that could happen at any point from here on through infinity. Nonetheless, it was entertaining. I would love to live to see this, though with my luck it will happen during the summer in the northern hemisphere, when Orion is out of sight until right before sunrise in August. I guess that just means it would show up later in the day, which would be awesome on its own, but which would deny us the nighttime spectacle I'm imagining in my head.


Don't you mean "not be factually accurate" ?

post #17 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by logwed View Post



Our magnetic field has been weakening over the past decade or so, but it's not really a big deal. It's happened many times in the earth's history.


I got that part, it's the inference I find confusing.

post #18 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by rroseperry View Post


I got that part, it's the inference I find confusing.



It is a mystery to me, too.

post #19 of 25
Cue Champagne Supernova.
post #20 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Erik View Post

Cue Champagne Supernova.


And who would want to listen to that crap?

post #21 of 25

I would love to see earth from the "outside". I honestly believe the world would be a better place if we all had a chance to spend a few days on a space station

post #22 of 25


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by logwed View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by rroseperry View Post


I got that part, it's the inference I find confusing.



It is a mystery to me, too.


The field protects us from the energies that would otherwise kill us. Should we be in the path of a supernova emission with the magnetic field at it's weakest, the result could wipe out life in a blink of an eye. If the weakening of the magnetic field is a pole reversal, it will provide the least protection and at one point in time, there will be a null of no protection.

post #23 of 25

It is unbelievable that you have to explain the function of the Van Allen Belt here.  Man, if this isn't an indictment of the failure of the education system I don't know what would be.  

post #24 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by itsborken View Post

It is unbelievable that you have to explain the function of the Van Allen Belt here.  Man, if this isn't an indictment of the failure of the education system I don't know what would be.  

 

That wasn't the part of HC's assumption that I had an issue with, it was the logical leap that Betelgeuse's supernova could harm life on earth that is absolutely ludicrous.
 

I know what the Van Allen Belt does, however, I don't know that the particles released from a supernova could possibly cause harm on earth. Simple math, folks: the Earth is ~1.5e-5 light years from the sun, Wikipedia informs me that Betelgeuse is ~640 light years away. So, the surface area of the sphere with Betelgeuse at the center and the Earth on the end of the radius is is 4.07e5 light years^2, and with the sun at the center, the SA is 2.25e-10 light years^2. Sooo, the Betelgeuse-centered sphere is 1.81e15 times larger than the Sun-centered sphere. Soooooooo, assuming that Betelgeuse and the sun release the same amount of particles (not true), the number of particles that hit us from Betelgeuse is 5.53e-16 times the amount that hit us from the sun EVERY SINGLE DAY. The article says that a supernova could be 'tens of millions times as bright as our sun,' so if an equivalent number of particles hit us as a result of the supernova, it's still at most 5.0e-8 times as many particles that hit us every day from the sun. Particles from Betelgeuse going supernova would be utterly inconsequential when compared to particles from our own sun. Furthermore, life on Earth has weathered polarity shifts in our magnetic field in the past, there is no reason why it would be any different.

 

It's unbelievable that I have to explain geometry here.  Man, if this isn't an indictment of the failure of the education system I don't know what would be.

post #25 of 25

^ Thanks

 

I'd also like to add that although the earth has undergone several magnetic pole shifts in the past, there's no evidence of any mass extinctions as a result of this "vulnerable" window.

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