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Space Science

Massive Star Burps, Then Explodes 110

Posted by Zonk
from the oof-excuse-me dept.
gollum123 writes with a link to the Berkley site about an impressive star explosion that took place some tens of millions of years ago. We first caught sight of it in 2004, when there was a bright outburst, ahead of a massive supernova. "All the observations suggest that the supernova's blast wave took only a few weeks to reach the shell of material ejected two years earlier, which did not have time to drift very far from the star. As the wave smashed into the ejecta, it heated the gas to millions of degrees, hot enough to emit copious X-rays. The Swift satellite saw the supernova continue to brighten in X-rays for 100 days, something that has never been seen before in a supernova. All supernovae previously observed in X-rays have started off bright and then quickly faded to invisibility."
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Massive Star Burps, Then Explodes

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  • supernova burps (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Uksi (68751) on Thursday April 05, 2007 @02:43PM (#18624455) Homepage
    Interesting older article [findarticles.com] on supernova burps.
  • by jimstapleton (999106) on Thursday April 05, 2007 @02:44PM (#18624471) Journal
    I wonder what it ate? I hope it wasn't the fish...
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by darjen (879890)

      I wonder what it ate? I hope it wasn't the fish...
      And there's no mention of it saying "excuse me" afterwards. I guess a little politeness is too much to ask from an exploding star...
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Columcille (88542) *
      some of that tainted dog food, I'm sure.
    • by dkleinsc (563838)
      No, if you eat fish for dinner, this is what happens, as described by Dr Rumack:

      It starts with a slight fever and dryness of the throat. When the virus penetrates the red blood cells, the victim becomes dizzy begins to experience an itchy rash, then the poison goes to work on the central nervous system, severe muscle spasms followed by the inevitable drooling. At this point, the entire digestive system collapses accompanied by uncontrollable flatulence until finally, the poor bastard is reduced to a quiveri
  • by krbvroc1 (725200) on Thursday April 05, 2007 @02:45PM (#18624489)
    Did the White House force the scientists to change their qualified 'fart' into a 'burb'? Investigations are needed.

    Also, is there a term for Astronomers such as the one we use called 'Anthropomorphism?'
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by krbvroc1 (725200)
      How is this a troll? Its supposed to be funny. All these Astronomers describe their 'work product' with Antrhopomorphic terms, add 'pretty colors' to their space images, etc. Apparently you guys have no sense of humor either!
  • by morgan_greywolf (835522) * on Thursday April 05, 2007 @02:47PM (#18624509) Homepage Journal
    Phew. Before I RTFA'd, I thought they were talking about Rosie O'Donnell....

  • by qazxswedc (821424) on Thursday April 05, 2007 @02:49PM (#18624531)
    It's just a wafer-thin mint!
    • by treeves (963993)
      Bring me another bucket!
    • by awright69 (821812)
      News has it that a star cluster dining nearby had this conversation during this event:

      MAÎTRE D: Monsieur, is there something wrong with the food?
      STAR A: No, the food was excellent.
      MAÎTRE D: Perhaps you're not... happy with the service?
      STAR A: No, no. No complaints.
      STAR A'S WIFE: It's just that we have to go. I'm having rather a heavy period.
      STAR B: Hmm.
      STAR B'S WIFE: Mm mm.
      STAR A: And... we... have... a... hydrogen cloud to catch.
      MAÎTRE D: Ah.
      STAR A'S WIFE: Oh. Yes. Yes, of course. We have a
  • Eta Carinae Next? (Score:5, Informative)

    by ackthpt (218170) * on Thursday April 05, 2007 @02:49PM (#18624533) Homepage Journal
    Eta Carinae [wikipedia.org] could go any time and it's only 7,500 to 8,000 LY away.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 05, 2007 @02:57PM (#18624653)
      You mean it could have gone any time? I mean, if it exploded 7000 years ago we'd still not have seen the explosion, and wouldn't for another several hundred years.
      • by ackthpt (218170) *

        You mean it could have gone any time? I mean, if it exploded 7000 years ago we'd still not have seen the explosion, and wouldn't for another several hundred years.

        This is true. When we look up into the night sky we see history, not the present -- where stars, galaxies, globular clusters, nebulae, et al, were at their respective lightspeed/distance relative distances.

        In any event, when the various wavelengths of light and radiation get here will we survive? An event like this could have played a rol

    • by operagost (62405) on Thursday April 05, 2007 @03:13PM (#18624895) Homepage Journal
      You mean it could have gone at any time...
      • by Lockejaw (955650)
        And if it hasn't, "any time now" on an astronomical scale is... well... longer than I want to wait.
      • by ajs (35943)

        You mean it could have gone at any time...
        Not exactly. It could go at any time implies a time in the present or future. What you said implies any time at all. We know that it didn't happen more than 7,500 years ago (since that's the light we see).
      • "You mean it could have gone at any time..."

        It hasn't happened until we know it has happened.
        • by Cervantes (612861)
          It hasn't happened until we know it has happened.

          So, if I shoot your mother, she isn't dead until the cops call you?
          • "So, if I shoot your mother, she isn't dead until the cops call you?"

            Consider that example yourself, for a moment. Your world hasn't changed until the news has arrived. Think of it another way: Is your neighbor alive right now? He could be. He probably is. He may not be. You really couldn't say that he is or isn't already dead. To put it another way: The odds of his survival are in his favor, but they become 1 in 1 when you find out the outcome.

            Think about it. :P
            • by Cervantes (612861)
              Consider that example yourself, for a moment. Your world hasn't changed until the news has arrived. Think of it another way: Is your neighbor alive right now? He could be. He probably is. He may not be. You really couldn't say that he is or isn't already dead. To put it another way: The odds of his survival are in his favor, but they become 1 in 1 when you find out the outcome.

              Think about it. :P


              Ah, but you're arguing a different outlook on the universe. It's been a long time since I took my philosophy class
              • "Ah, but you're arguing a different outlook on the universe."

                No, though I understand how you interpreted that from what I said. I apologize for not being clearer. I'm saying we don't actually know that the star is gone so it isn't entirely appropriate to use the phrase: "You mean it could have gone at any time..."

                "Your relatavistic outlook on the universe may be different, but "the cold hard truth" is what it is."

                Right, but in this context, the truth isn't known. A relatavistic outlook is all you get. I
              • by tm2b (42473)
                It's more than that, though.

                If the light from an event hasn't reached us yet, physicists don't say that it's happened in the past. They only talk about events as having occured in the past when we are in the event's "light cone."

                There are competing interpretations of relativity, but they all pretty much agree that you can only really say that something happen in an observer's absolute past if the light from an event has already met the observer. Your "dead mother" example really only works in a cart
            • by alc6379 (832389)

              Consider that example yourself, for a moment. Your world hasn't changed until the news has arrived. Think of it another way: Is your neighbor alive right now? He could be. He probably is. He may not be. You really couldn't say that he is or isn't already dead. To put it another way: The odds of his survival are in his favor, but they become 1 in 1 when you find out the outcome.

              But what if we're dealing with quantum neighbors? He is both dead and not dead until I go check out the situation. I don't know a

            • by whimmel (189969)

              Consider that example yourself, for a moment. Your world hasn't changed until the news has arrived. Think of it another way: Is your neighbor alive right now? He could be. He probably is. He may not be. You really couldn't say that he is or isn't already dead. To put it another way: The odds of his survival are in his favor, but they become 1 in 1 when you find out the outcome.


              So what you're saying is his neighbor is both alive and dead at the same time
          • by Xayma (892821)
            We can't be affected by this until the light reaches us. If it blew up 1000 years ago in our frame of reference, then there is some velocity at which an observer will see today happening here before the star explodes. If the light has had time to reach us, then there is no velocity in which that will occur. However, in the case of the mother, the distance between him and his mother is quite small, so she isn't dead until the light has time to reach him (ie if it is a distance ct away, time t)
      • perhaps a better way of putting it would be "we could see it any time now"?
    • "The possible Eta Carinae Hypernova could affect Earth nearly 7,500 light years away, but would not likely affect humans directly, who are protected from gamma rays by the atmosphere. The damage would likely be restricted to the upper atmosphere, the ozone layer, and spacecraft, including satellites, and any astronauts in space."
    • by master_p (608214)
      It's actually on the borders of the Federation!

      (what do you mean mom by cooking? aren't the replicators working again? what do you mean we are not in Star Trek? mom? ...) :-)
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Massive Star Burps, Then Explodes

    First seen in 2004... the same year Marlon Brando died... coincidence?

  • by Cristofori42 (1001206) on Thursday April 05, 2007 @02:51PM (#18624551)
    4) The star finally runs out of fuel and the core collapses

    That's like a segmentation fault right?
  • Oops (Score:3, Interesting)

    by aktzin (882293) on Thursday April 05, 2007 @02:55PM (#18624601)
    Is this what Sir Arthur C. Clarke meant when he said that supernovae may be "industrial accidents"?
  • by tanguyr (468371) <tanguyr+slashdot@gmail.com> on Thursday April 05, 2007 @03:06PM (#18624775) Homepage
    ...impressive star explosion that took place some tens of millions of years ago...

    Oooooooold news!
  • by wildsurf (535389) on Thursday April 05, 2007 @03:06PM (#18624779) Homepage
  • I really don't know if I'd call Rosie O'Donnell a star...

    At least I can start watching The View again. (Oh, boy!)
  • Ejecta, eh? (Score:2, Funny)

    by bubbl07 (777082)

    As the wave smashed into the ejecta, it heated the gas to millions of degrees, hot enough to emit copious X-rays.
    Strange, that usually happens when my ejecta smashes into something else, not the other way around...

    Oh wait...
  • by StefanJ (88986) on Thursday April 05, 2007 @03:12PM (#18624883) Homepage Journal
    [ ] G'Thak Meld testing out new nova bomb. Gas / dust shell was actually a cloud of mothballed habitats and light collectors towed to the system to see how blast would effect a dyson shphere.

    [ ] Elder Race equivalent of Jackson Pollock at work.

    [ ] Young Earth creationists are right; like anything more distant that 6,000 LY, this was actually elaborate illusion created by God.

    [ ] Extremem upper limit of Mentos / Diet Pepsi reaction now known.

    Stefan

    Download The MacGuffin Alphabet [sjgames.com].
  • ...Malcom McDowell whistles innocently, and tries to slip out the backdoor and through Nexus unnoticed.
  • So how much longer until Superman gets here?
    • by CatsupBoy (825578)

      So how much longer until Superman gets here?
      Just shortly after his legacy fades away... 77 Million years from now.
  • Wow... and damn (Score:2, Redundant)

    by zappepcs (820751)
    I read the headline and thought this was going to be a John Candy story...
    • by Kozz (7764)

      Hey! John Candy is dead. You should have said Chris Farley, instead.

      What? oh... nevermind.

  • Tom Cruise?
  • These Berkeley assholes need to get their priorities straight. After all the whole point of letting them do their million dollar research is so that I can have a pretty new desktop wallpaper to impress/alienate my coworkers with my profound appreciation of the cosmos. Paging down through their "print-quality" photo section all I can see are disturbing pictures of smiling old men, like some haunting NAMBLA forum.
  • Huh? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by SirKron (112214)
    about an impressive star explosion that took place some tens of millions of years ago

    But my priest told me God made the universe 10,000 years ago. How can that be? Maybe it exploded in the universe we had previous to ours, you know, the one with the dinosaurs.

  • What I am wondering is who would win in a belching contest? Massive star or Booger?
  • Picture it: The future, our sun is getting ready to explode, and then a massive mission is sent to the sun to infuse it with...antacid?
  • I nominate this for besttagever. And if anyone is wondering what it refers to, first hand over your honorary nerd badge, and then watch this [youtube.com].
  • Star Jones? We can only hope...
  • gollum123 writes with a link to the Berkley site about an impressive star explosion that took place some tens of millions of years ago
    "News for nerds. Stuff that matters."... right!!! You expect us to care about a thing that happened tens of millions years ago??? I can even complain this was on digg already since is it predates it. Pfew!
  • My first thought when reading the headline was some fat actor belched and then exploded. Just one more, it's wafer thin!
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I did a little calculating. At 10 million miles per hour, that means the pieces of the star are traveling at about 15 times the speed of light. I would think that would have been something to bring up in the article. I've been led to believe that nothing can go faster than light speed.
    • I hope you aren't an accountant, because your math sucks. A speed of 10 million miles per hour works out to about 3000 miles per second which is way below the speed of light.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Rick Genter (315800)

      I did a little calculating. At 10 million miles per hour, that means the pieces of the star are traveling at about 15 times the speed of light.


      You did your calculations wrong.

      c is approximately 186,282 miles per second. That translates to over 670 million miles per hour. 10 million miles per hour is only about 1.5% of lightspeed.
  • the plans (Score:3, Funny)

    by f1055man (951955) on Thursday April 05, 2007 @09:30PM (#18629915)
    for the hyperspace bypass have been on public display for some time now. They should have taken a greater interest in galactic affairs.

    -----
    am I strange for wondering if I'm being callous?
  • maybe a bit too much garlic?
  • Excuse Me!!
  • ...I honestly expected to see an "oldnews" tag on this article.
  • I started working as a programmer at a radio aobservatory in januari 2005, just weeks after this had been detected. I remember one of the first talks on how much energy was approximately in the explosion. Then I learned that numbers in astrophysics are indeed astronomical, as they came up with something like 10^48 Joule, or approx. 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 , 000,000,000,000 Joule. This is purely from memory, so the unit might have been erg instead. I'm definately sure about the 10^48

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