Astronomers potentially close to their goal of observing a star just before it goes supernova

Vastet
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Astronomers potentially close to their goal of observing a star just before it goes supernova

"With this galaxy survey, we're making our own luck. We're studying all the variable stars in 25 galaxies, so that when one of them happens go supernova, we've already compiled data on it." The supernova, labeled 2011dh, was first detected on May 31 and is still visible in telescopes. It originated from a binary star system in the Whirlpool Galaxy -- also known as M51, one of the galaxies that the Ohio State astronomers have been observing for three years.
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In the first survey of its kind, the researchers have been scanning 25 nearby galaxies for stars that brighten and dim in unusual ways, in order to catch a few that are about to meet their end. In the three years since the study began, this particular unnamed binary system in the Whirlpool Galaxy was the first among the stars they've cataloged to produce a supernova.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/11/111130142228.htm

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Quote:As astronomers gather

Quote:
As astronomers gather data from more supernovae -- Kochanek speculates that as many as one per year could emerge from their data set -- they could assemble a kind of litmus test to predict whether a particular star is near death. Whether it's going to spawn a supernova or shrink into a black hole, there may be particular signals visible on the surface, and this study has shown that those signals are detectable.

 

Being able to track a star about to go supernova?  Fuck!  Imagine having a front row seat to something like this; I'm not sure the human mind could comprehend lol.

 

Quote:
The team won't be watching our sun for any changes, however. At less than 10 percent of the mass of the star in supernova 2011dh, our star will most likely meet a very boring end.

 

This made me kind of laugh.

 

"Guys, this star about 100 million light years away is about to explode!  Synchronize watches and prepare for chaos because this is going to be awesome!!!"

"Do you think our sun will look this cool before it explodes, sir?"

"Hell no!  We'll be long dead by then so we can conclude that by the time it goes supernova, it'll be like watching grass grow.  Hey, puff puff pass, bitch!"

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I'll take the nosebleeds

I'll take the nosebleeds seats to a supernova, you can see all those guys in the front row disintegrate as every other element higher then iron is created.  I don't think our sun has the type of mass that would trigger a supernova.  We're more in the red giant followed by a white dwarf category... relatively boring.

 

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While the suns death may be

While the suns death may be relatively boring, not so for the Earth. Eye-wink

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Vastet wrote:While the suns

Vastet wrote:
While the suns death may be relatively boring, not so for the Earth. Eye-wink

Heh.  Hopefully, if we're still around as a species (not at all likely ...) we'll have migrated out to one or more of Jupiter's moons.

"Obviously I'm convinced of the existence of G-d. I'm equally convinced that Atheists who've led good lives will be in Olam HaBa going "How the heck did I wind up in this place?!?" while Christians who've treated people like dirt will be in some other place asking the exact same question."


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Quote:Heh.  Hopefully, if

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Heh.  Hopefully, if we're still around as a species (not at all likely ...) we'll have migrated out to one or more of Jupiter's moons.

 

If our star goes supernova, you honestly think Jupiter or any other neighboring planet/moon would POSSIBLY sustain any form of life?  Let's not forget the fact that Jupiter, or it's moons, isn't even proved to be habitable to begin with; never-ending storms, extremely gaseous, gravitationally unstable, unknown flora, etc.  What makes you think it's moons will be any more or less forgiving and offer us anything to survive?  NOTHING will be spared once our star runs out of steam and it dies.  We'd have to exit our galaxy to survive that kind of event.

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Sage_Override

Sage_Override wrote:

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Heh.  Hopefully, if we're still around as a species (not at all likely ...) we'll have migrated out to one or more of Jupiter's moons.

If our star goes supernova, you honestly think Jupiter or any other neighboring planet/moon would POSSIBLY sustain any form of life?  Let's not forget the fact that Jupiter, or it's moons, isn't even proved to be habitable to begin with; never-ending storms, extremely gaseous, gravitationally unstable, unknown flora, etc.  What makes you think it's moons will be any more or less forgiving and offer us anything to survive?  NOTHING will be spared once our star runs out of steam and it dies.  We'd have to exit our galaxy to survive that kind of event.

Our star won't go nova =or= supernova.  It doesn't have the required mass.

What will happen is eventually the sun will run out of hydrogen (more or less -- it won't actually run out completely) and start burning helium, producing carbon via the triple-alpha process.  "Alpha" is just helium nuclei stripped of their electrons.  Glom three helium nuclei together and you've got carbon.

The sun doesn't have the mass to raise the core temperature to the carbon burning stage, so it gets "stuck" and spends much of the rest of eternity cooling off as a white dwarf.

"Obviously I'm convinced of the existence of G-d. I'm equally convinced that Atheists who've led good lives will be in Olam HaBa going "How the heck did I wind up in this place?!?" while Christians who've treated people like dirt will be in some other place asking the exact same question."


Vastet
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Our star hasn't enough mass

Our star hasn't enough mass to supernova. It'll turn into a red giant and either swallow Earth whole, or push Earth outwards towards Jupiter et al. Though I think it'll have been scorched to uninhabitability by then, and the habitable zone will have moved to encompass the area Mars currently inhabits (Mars will likely be pushed further out, not much chance of being swallowed).
I don't know that the HZ will or won't ever reach Jupiter, but if any species survives the Earth desertification then I doubt they'll have any significant problems with environment.

I should note that the Milky Way is huge (100k to 120k lightyears in diametre, and another 1000 ly thick). A star going supernova within wouldn't necessarily have any significant impact on the solar system. Indeed, it's estimated a star in the galaxy goes supernova every 50 years.
Likewise, if Sol did go supernova, you wouldn't have to escape the galaxy to survive it.
As long as you're about 3k ly away, there'd be no real problems from a supernova.

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