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The End We Wouldn't Even See Coming


Karnos
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Gamma-ray burst - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 

There are other ways that life could catastrophically end on earth, but something about the potential of a gamma-ray burst makes it seem particularly nasty to me.

 

 

The greatest danger is believed to come from Wolf–Rayet stars, regarded by astronomers as likely GRB candidates. When such stars transition to supernovae, they may emit intense beams of gamma rays, and if Earth were to lie in the beam zone, devastating effects may occur. Gamma rays would not penetrate Earth's atmosphere to impact the surface directly, but they would chemically damage the stratosphere.[5]

For example, if WR 104, at a distance of 8,000 light-years, were to hit Earth with a burst of 10 seconds duration, its gamma rays could deplete about 25 percent of the world's ozone layer. This would result in mass extinction, food chain depletion, and starvation. The side of Earth facing the GRB would receive potentially lethal radiation exposure, which can cause radiation sickness in the short term, and, in the long term, results in serious impacts to life due to ozone layer depletion.[5]

Edited by karnos
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hah, this is my field of study!

 

Actually there are some research about the possibility of gamma ray bursts having something to do with past extinctions.. but I wouldn't say you "cant see them coming". There are no stars going supernova near us in a radius of 500 light years or more, aka we have plenty (edit: actually not that much) of time to see it coming as the energy would travel at light speed.

 

Edit: What I meant was that we have enough time to scan and control all the stars near us to predict when and if they're gonna explode.

Anyway, I chose words poorly (blame my english), read my next post for clarifications.

Edited by fenrisddevil

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hah, this is my field of study!

 

Actually there are some research about the possibility of gamma ray bursts having something to do with past extinctions.. but I wouldn't say you "cant see them coming". There are no stars going supernova near us in a radius of 500 light years or more, aka we have plenty of time to see it coming as the energy would travel at light speed.

What travels faster then a light so scientists discovered that there is nothing near 500 light years of radius?

Asking out of curiousity

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But if it travels at light speed then we couldnt see it was coming. Until it got here right?

Depends on how many light years away we are able to see, fenris will correct me if i am wrong :o

Edited by rajah
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Depends on how many light years away we are able to see, fenris will correct me if i am wrong :o

We see in lights, so you should be incorrect on that statement :P

1 Light year, means we will see what happens 1 year afterwards.

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What travels faster then a light so scientists discovered that there is nothing near 500 light years of radius?

Asking out of curiousity

 

Well it's not like stars go supernova out of the blue.. they pass through a couple of stages first.

The 500ly thing is based on the fact that there are no stars massive enough to go supernovas anyway (even if they DID explode out of the blue).

 

Depends on how many light years away we are able to see, fenris will correct me if i am wrong :o

 

I think I confused some of you with my previous post!

 

We can see up to 14gy away (giga = 10^9), but only the stars in our galaxy neighborhood could be of danger, and that's a radius of 5000ly or so. I think there's only one star massive enough, near enough (600ly) and very likely to go supernova soon (= hundreds to thousands of years), and that's Betelgeuse. Gamma ray bursts come out of the northern and southern poles, though.. it's highly unlikely Betelgeuse would point right at us (and in theory we could predict it a couple of days or months before, not sure if that helps!).

Edited by fenrisddevil

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Well it's not like stars go supernova out of the blue.. they pass through a couple of stages first.

The 500ly thing is based on the fact that there are no stars massive enough to go supernovas anyway (even if they DID explode out of the blue).

 

 

I think I confused some of you with my previous post!

 

We can see up to 14gy away (giga = 10^9), but only the stars in our galaxy neighborhood could be of danger, and that's a radius of 5000ly or so. I think there's only one star massive enough, near enough (600ly) and very likely to go supernova soon (= hundreds to thousands of years), and that's Betelgeuse. Gamma ray bursts come out of the northern and southern poles, though.. it's highly unlikely Betelgeuse would point right at us (and in theory we could predict it a couple of days or months before, not sure if that helps!).

Just don't say his name 3 times.

 

(I know it's not pronounced that way, before anyone says it)

I'm in this for the Experience, not the XP.

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I came across this page the first time after reading about the Fermi Paradox

 

Life is periodically destroyed by naturally occurring events

 

On Earth, there have been numerous major extinction events that destroyed the majority of complex species alive at the time. The extinction of the dinosaurs is the best known example. These are believed to be caused by events such as impact from a large meteorite, massive volcanic eruptions, or astronomical events such as gamma ray bursts.[70]It may be the case that such extinction events are common throughout the universe and periodically destroy intelligent life (or at least destroy their civilizations) before the species is able to develop the technology to communicate with other species.[71]

 

 

Regarding "seeing it coming", maybe fenrisdevil can clarify, I thought this section was saying that the Wolf-Rayet stars most likely to go supernovae (and potentially cause a gamma-ray burst) are not bright enough to be detected from earth, so we wouldn't have any early warning at all until the burst hit us. Maybe I'm reading it wrong though...

 

 

 

Supernovae

Although it is widely accepted that most or all type Ibc supernovae progenitors were WR stars, no conclusive identification has been made of such a progenitor.[42] WR stars are very luminous due to their high temperatures but not visually bright, especially the hottest examples that are expected to be supernova progenitors. Theory suggests that the progenitors of type Ibc supernovae observed to date would not be bright enough to be detected, although they place constraints on the properties of those progenitors. One candidate is under observation as pre-outburst observations show a likely WR star at the site of iPTF13bvn.[45]

It is possible for a Wolf–Rayet star to progress to a "collapsar" stage in its death throes if it doesn't lose sufficient mass. This is when the core of the star collapses to form ablack hole, either directly or by pulling in the surrounding ejected material. This is thought to be the precursor of a long gamma-ray burst. The compact object of Cygnus X-1 is one possible example.

Edited by karnos
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Point is they have to be close to us, else the gamma burst won't reach the earth or it would reach us when it's not so powerful. While it's true that some progenitors aren't easy to be detected (when the distance is high) it's also true that we can see every star near enough to be troublesome. There are other things to worry about, I thnk!

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ummmmmm....

 

math seems to indicate that Space is nothing if not vast...

 

soooOOOoooo. ... odds of intersections between Orbit and Burst multiplied by the Timing of the two as well as Distances...

 

equals.....pretty custarding slim, imo

 

asteroids...meteors....sure cuz gravity wells....

 

could just be me....but odds are better for some GMO frankenstein Bug

FIQw0eP.png

let the Code build the World and it's Laws....let the Players build the rest...

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The most immediate threats to earth are rogue Asteroids, near earth orbit Asteroids and Comets.  

And to a lesser extent the Sun making a plasma ejection.  In a twist of Irony, if it were not for our Sun's giant magnetosphere, life on earth wouldn't exist due to cosmic rays, they are at a level of radiation and speed that they would tear DNA apart if they hit you.  Space outside of solar systems is 100% inhospitable and you need some hardcore protection to stop it killing you even inside a spaceship.

------------(ஜ۩۞۩ஜ)------------


Now in GLORIOUS 'HDvisioning60fpsblahg'


------------(ஜ۩۞۩ஜ)------------

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yes, yes, yes, there is a deep question lying underneath.

 

well, here in cologne, near the siebengebirge, iiimbeded in two thousand years of myth and wisdom (blah-blah :D), we follow (or at least have) the so-called rhenish constitution.

 

§1. it is, like it is.

§2. it will come, like it will come.

§3. (up to now) it always turned out well.

 

in this special case, you might want to ignore the next extendend paragraph (§4. what is gone, is gone ;)) and immediately switch to §5: all nonsens.

 

due to this constitution -- wich all rhinelanders imbibe with their mothers milk (we don't use cup feeding *claim* (i don't know exactely why, but initial investigations suggest the background: all rhinelanders suck) -- i just can't think "too" much/seriously about this kind of scemes.

 

sure, we could think about a mass of scemes. what if golithyrakmi, the god of semiconscious problemsolving, challenges us with a new problem of going down, by sending his sink-chicken to earth, wich will eradicate everybody who has not been presented with a magic kit in his childhood? or just let some asteroid crash with earth. however.

 

the truth is: beyond all clever scemes, we have to keep our feet on the ground. worries can be useful -- if we use them "on (personal) reasonable ground" to shield us and others from harm (and please don't missunderstand me: i appreciate discussions like this).

but we loose ground (and i like to remind of that), if we get drowned by such worries and "take off". remember: we have a life to live. if you can't help to build a global shield against a gamma-ray burst -- then don't worry about gamma-ray bursts.

 

go on with your life, be as positive and life-affirming to yourself and others as you can be. you might not have been able to build this shield -- or do one of the other billion unpredictable things that might save mankind. but you might have lived a fulfilled live and by this inspirated others with your attitude. and maybe one of those people you touched, will be able to do, what you couldn't do in your time.

 

with best regards and

good luck

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dr. kraahk

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