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? A relatively close supernova within our lifetime?

by Ziks511 / June 11, 2009 7:09 PM PDT
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2009/06/090610-betelgeuse-star-shrinking.html

Betelgeuse, the Red Giant at Orion's left shoulder has shrunk by 15% in the last 15 years. whether this is part of a regular and stable contraction cycle or the prelude to something more spectacular is not clear. It's luminosity however is unchanged.

Red Giants are short lived (in star terms) stars of enormous mass which collapse to form Neutron Stars, or black holes. Either way Orion could become rather different looking .

Rob
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Something not right there.
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / June 12, 2009 10:27 PM PDT

That report doesn't seem right.

"But measurements made since then using the same instrument show that Betelgeuse is now only about as wide as the orbit of Venus - a size reduction of about 15 percent in 15 years."

If Betelgeuse was the size of the orbit of Jupiter, and now is just the size of the orbit of Venus, that is a massive contraction, much more than a mere 15%. If I was living in the neighborhood I would be worried. I would consider moving.

Preferably move somewhere around 2000 light years away, which makes the Earth, at only 600 light years away, a little too close for comfort. Happy

I think we should move too!

Mark

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Probably too late to move...
by EdHannigan / June 12, 2009 10:41 PM PDT

If it is "going to" supernova (from our POV) it already HAS. We are just waiting for the shockwave to catch up to us. I doubt we can move fast enough to make any difference.

Oh well. I guess we can stop worrying about "global warming".

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That's comforting to know.
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / June 13, 2009 5:25 AM PDT

I guess I don't need to stock up on my 1000 factor sun-block seeing as I may not be around in 600 years time.

Unless it went supernova 590 years ago of course. I'm off to get my sunblock.

Mark

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15%
by EdHannigan / June 13, 2009 12:07 AM PDT

Perhaps what is meant is that the star has shrunk to 15% of its original size?

I dunno. Math was never my strong suit.

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Another article in the same website
by Diana Forum moderator / June 13, 2009 11:20 PM PDT
Pig Poop Helps Power Netherlands

Methane-rich pig excrement on a large Netherlands farm is being turned into electricity and partially fed into the national power grid.

This man in The Netherlands is combining farming and science to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, as well as generate extra revenue from these livestock.

He uses the waste from 2,700 pigs at Sterksel Research Centre to produce electricity.

The waste from the pigs at Sterksel Research Centre drops through slats in the floor.

The slurry is then channeled into three, four-thousand cubic meter tanks, mixed into a thick paste with other organic waste, and then broken down by bacteria.

The gas is then siphoned off into a generator to produce electricity.

Together with four other commercial farms, the group reportedly saves 40-thousand tons of carbon emissions per year, which can be sold as credits for nearly $7 US dollars per ton to offset carbon emissions.

Though operating expenses for the biogas plant are considerable, the combination of electricity savings, power production and carbon credits makes it profitable.

Wonder how many pig farmers there are in the world?

Diana
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