Star Goes Rogue in Untimely Collision

Iscariot

macrumors 68030
Original poster
Aug 16, 2007
2,627
3
Toronteazy
Discovery News said:
It's a solid doomsday prediction that in about 5 billion years the dying sun will expand as a bloated red giant and engulf the Earth.

But imagine if in just a few weeks the middle-aged sun suddenly ballooned out to the orbit of Saturn and immediately vaporized Earth and most of the other planets in the solar system! And, even before this happened, imagine that every morning you awoke the sun was ever more sweltering until it began evaporating the oceans, spontaneously starting forests ablaze, and melting asphalt!

This sounds like the stuff of a far-out science fiction movie. But astronomers think that they actually witnessed such an event in 2002. A sun-like star on the edge of our galaxy abruptly grew 600,000 times brighter in a few weeks and ballooned 1,000 times its diameter. Alien astronomers on neighboring galaxies would have dutifully noted it as it briefly becoming one of the brightest stars in our Milky Way galaxy.
link

I'm both awestruck and humbled by this.
 

yg17

macrumors G5
Aug 1, 2004
14,910
2,515
St. Louis, MO
astronomy is beyond my comprehension

very cool

Agreed. I can't wrap my head around it. Just thinking about the infinite universe and the fact that there are billions of stars out in never ending space and other galaxies, possible with civilization at least as advanced as us just makes my brain crash. Too much to comprehend.

And yeah, I would find it very difficult to believe that there's no intelligent life out there. The universe is so bloody huge, there's no way we can be the only ones.
 

davidjearly

macrumors 68020
Sep 21, 2006
2,200
240
Glasgow, Scotland
Agreed. I can't wrap my head around it. Just thinking about the infinite universe and the fact that there are billions of stars out in never ending space and other galaxies, possible with civilization at least as advanced as us just makes my brain crash. Too much to comprehend.

And yeah, I would find it very difficult to believe that there's no intelligent life out there. The universe is so bloody huge, there's no way we can be the only ones.
Ah, but the real question is, do they have the interwebs?
 

notjustjay

macrumors 603
Sep 19, 2003
6,044
118
Canada, eh?
The problem is that the universe is so ridiculously huge in both space and time that should there be other intelligent life out there, it's highly unlikely we'd ever find each other.

Humans (as we know us today) have been around for, depending on who you believe, tens of thousands of years. Of that, we've only had the ability to send and detect radio signals for the last century or so. We don't yet have any practical ability for interstellar travel or communication. We individually live, maybe 80 years, meaning that if we ever do make contact, it likely won't be in your lifetime or mine.

Imagine a two-dimensional grid. One axis represents time -- in billions of years (past and future). The other axis represents space -- billions of light-years. We represent a tiny, tiny speck in the middle -- our ~100 years of radio capability against a few light-years worth of communications range. The rest of that grid could be teeming with intelligent life, but odds are it was, literally, a long long time ago (or in a long time to come), in a galaxy far, far away... :eek:
 

Unspoken Demise

macrumors 68040
Apr 16, 2009
3,692
1
>9,000
"Get your sun explosion insurance here folks! Dont be left in the dark when the sun explodes! Get your sun explosion insurance here!"
 

Abstract

macrumors Penryn
Dec 27, 2002
24,415
124
Location Location Location
Wirelessly posted (Nokia 5800 Tube XpressMusic : Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 3_1_2 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/528.18 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0 Mobile/7D11 Safari/528.16)

Must have been a Nikon. No way a Canon could do that.

*runs and hides*
 

Heilage

macrumors 68030
May 1, 2009
2,592
0
astronomy is beyond my comprehension

very cool
Same here. Kernel Panics when I try to wrap my hear around it.



But those pictures are truly amazing. I can't believe that's actually how it looks. It's no render or anything, that is what a star blowing up looks like.

*amazed*
 

Thomas Veil

macrumors 68030
Feb 14, 2004
2,506
6,879
OBJECTIVE reality
Anybody remember the Twilight Zone episode "The Midnight Sun" in which Earth was slowly being baked to death over a period of a few weeks? In that story, Earth mysteriously changed its orbit and started moving in towards the Sun -- but this is still an all too eerie way for something like that to come true.

 

Iscariot

macrumors 68030
Original poster
Aug 16, 2007
2,627
3
Toronteazy
But those pictures are truly amazing. I can't believe that's actually how it looks. It's no render or anything, that is what a star blowing up looks like.
It's not atypical for astronomy photographs to be colorized to help differentiate bands of light/radiation.
Anybody remember the Twilight Zone episode "The Midnight Sun" in which Earth was slowly being baked to death over a period of a few weeks? In that story, Earth mysteriously changed its orbit and started moving in towards the Sun -- but this is still an all too eerie way for something like that to come true.
No, but I remember the promising and then altogether disappointing movie Sunshine.
 

0098386

Suspended
Jan 18, 2005
21,576
2,908
I'm both awestruck and humbled by this.
Absolutely.
The girlfriend has just finished singing a concert with the BBC orchestra about space and such. They had some a few speeches from astronomers before the show who really did a good job of astounding the audience. Really puts us as such a non-entity in the grand scheme of things.
 

Lord Blackadder

macrumors G5
May 7, 2004
13,697
2,724
Sod off
Anybody remember the Twilight Zone episode "The Midnight Sun" in which Earth was slowly being baked to death over a period of a few weeks?
I saw that episode by chance a few months ago...very interesting scenario.

Not worth worrying about though, because if it were to happen we'd all be equally and rapidly screwed.
 

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