We Live In A Deadly Neighborhood

WWAGD? (what will Al Gore do?)

Self destructing Supernova explosion may wipe out earth

A STAR is primed to explode in a blast that could wipe out the Earth, according to American astronomers.

A new study shows the star, called T Pyxidis, is much closer than previously thought at 3,260 light-years away – a short hop in galactic terms.

It is set to self-destruct in an explosion called a supernova with the force of 20 billion billion billion megatons of TNT.

The blast from the thermonuclear explosion could strip away the Earth’s ozone layer that keeps out deadly space radiation, scientists said.

The doomsday scenario was described today by astronomers from Villanova University in Philadelphia.

They said the International Ultraviolet Explorer satellite has shown them that T Pyxidis is really two stars, one called a white dwarf that is sucking in gas and steadily growing. When it reaches a critical mass it will blow itself to pieces.

It will become as bright as all the other stars in the galaxy put together and shine like a beacon halfway across the universe.

The experts said the Hubble space telescope photographed the star gearing up for its 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 very overdue, said scientists Edward M Sion, Patrick Godon and Timothy McClain at the American Astronomical Society in Washington.

Robin Scagell, vice-president of the UK’s Society for Popular Astronomy, said, “The star may certainly became a supernova soon – but soon could still be a long way off so don’t have nightmares.”

See also:
Supernova star too close for comfort
Nearby T Pyxidis Supernova Could Destroy Life on Earth
T Pyxidis Soon To Be A Type Ia Supernova
Earth ‘to be wiped out’ by supernova explosion
The death star that may kill us
Supernova explosion may wipe out the Earth
Will Earth ‘Be Wiped Out’ by a Supernova?
American Astronomical Society
Society for Popular Astronomy
International Ultraviolet Explorer

Although the odds are literally astronomical, what if T Pyxidis already exploded 3259 years ago? There’s Al Gore global warming and then there’s supernova global warming.

/what do we do, buy lots of carbon credits or really high SPF sunscreen?

Missed Us By That Much

Asteroid smashes into atmosphere

AN asteroid exploded over Indonesia with the force of three Hiroshima bombs – and no one on Earth knew it was coming.

The New Scientist website reports the dramatic explosion over South Sulawesi, Indonesia, on October 8 underscores how blind humanity is to the danger of giant space rocks.

NASA estimated the explosion was the equivalent to 50,000 tons of TNT, making it one of the largest asteroid explosions ever observed.

However, this time we were lucky – the blast caused no damage on the ground because it occurred at high altitude, 15 to 20km above Earth’s surface.

While the explosion was heard by witnesses in Indonesia and picked up by international nuclear explosion detectors, the asteroid only became visible after it exploded.

See also:
Asteroid blast reveals holes in Earth’s defences
Asteroid explosion over Indonesia raises fears about Earth’s defences
Meteor hits above Indonesia
Cosmic Blast Rattles Indonesia
Asteroid Impactor Reported over Indonesia
Blast in Bone a result of falling meteorite: Experts
Air explosion hits Bone, South Sulawesi
Mysterious Explosion Panics Locals in South Sulawesi, Police Still Investigating
Indonesia police investigate Sulawesi explosion
Police investigate Indonesia blast

Events like this are humbling and put the fragility of life in perspective.

/it’s just a matter of time, one of these days, sooner or later, we won’t be so lucky