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  #101  
Old 01-08-2020, 08:24 PM
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If I get some kind of chance neutrino interaction, might it turn me into some sort of mutant super-hero?
No, but it gives you a good excuse to call in for a day off.

"Sorry boss, I was hit by a neutrino and my DNA is unraveling, so I have to miss work."
  #102  
Old 02-04-2020, 09:08 AM
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Seen on twitter -

Betelgeuse: I install one dimmer switch in my dining room and the whole galaxy loses its shit.
  #103  
Old 02-04-2020, 09:20 AM
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I read that it can take "a few million years" for the process to complete and the star to explode.
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  #104  
Old 02-04-2020, 09:37 AM
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That's one guess. But nobody really knows.
  #105  
Old 02-04-2020, 11:27 AM
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Just how dangerous to us would Betelgeuse going supernova be? Would it cause health or climate effects dangerous to us or infrastructure we depend on? Would the delivered thermal energy contribute to global warming? Would the radiation cause massive deaths from radiation poisoning, a more moderate effect in increased cancer rates or birth defects, problems with livestock, mutated supergerms, a zombie apocalypse? Would it crash the Internet or screw up my TV reception? And how long a delay would there be between when the visible light that lets us see the event arrives and the following storm of radiation arrives?
Well, for the locals, it's definitely going to be worse than The Great Collapsing Hrung Disaster of Gal./Sid./Year 03758.
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  #106  
Old 02-04-2020, 11:36 AM
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Well, for the locals, it's definitely going to be worse than The Great Collapsing Hrung Disaster of Gal./Sid./Year 03758.
I'd say you found the prefect response to this topic.
  #107  
Old 02-04-2020, 12:45 PM
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That's one guess. But nobody really knows.
Sure, but are there no spectroscopic techniques to detect, say, the proportion of carbon fusion?
  #108  
Old 02-04-2020, 03:05 PM
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I'm certainly rooting for an explosion as soon as possible! It would add some excitement to my overly tame life.

OTOH, might there be a slight chance that boring conspiracy theories and annoying new fake religions will flood the Internets when Betelgeuse really does blow up?
  #109  
Old 02-04-2020, 03:27 PM
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I'm certainly rooting for an explosion as soon as possible! It would add some excitement to my overly tame life.
Yeah! She's gotta pop sometime; why not do it for my benefit? I don't feel like I've gotten to witness any great astronomical oddities and I am at the point where I am very aware that I am not getting any younger.
  #110  
Old 02-04-2020, 04:01 PM
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Sure, but are there no spectroscopic techniques to detect, say, the proportion of carbon fusion?
That's all happening deep in the core. We can only do spectroscopy on the parts we can see, i.e., the surface.

In principle there'd be a way to tell from the spectrum of the neutrinos, but neutrinos are so hard to detect in general, and Betelgeuse is so far away, that we're not going to detect any neutrinos from it (at least, not any that we can identify as being from it, and certainly not enough to get a useful energy spectrum) until it does blow.
  #111  
Old 02-06-2020, 03:25 PM
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Yeah! She's gotta pop sometime; why not do it for my benefit? I don't feel like I've gotten to witness any great astronomical oddities and I am at the point where I am very aware that I am not getting any younger.
Throughout the whole of the 70s, we were told how great Halley's comet would be in '86...
  #112  
Old 02-06-2020, 04:09 PM
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Throughout the whole of the 70s, we were told how great Halley's comet would be in '86...
Okay, Halley was a bit of a dud. But Hale-Bopp in 1997 was pretty cool!

So maybe the lesson is that Betelgeuse won't go supernova in our lifetimes, but some other star in our galaxy that we weren't paying as much attention to will.
  #113  
Old 02-06-2020, 04:27 PM
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Throughout the whole of the 70s, we were told how great Halley's comet would be in '86...
Some of us are old enough to remember the disappointment of comet Kohoutek in 1973:
https://www.universetoday.com/100234...-that-fizzled/
  #114  
Old 02-06-2020, 06:11 PM
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Honestly, I suspect that Hale-Bopp was about as good as Haley 1910, and that the stories of Haley 1910 were a combination of hyperbole and skies being darker back then.
  #115  
Old 02-06-2020, 06:14 PM
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I saw two comets that year (1997), and both were much better than Halley.

Last edited by eburacum45; 02-06-2020 at 06:15 PM.
  #116  
Old 02-06-2020, 08:28 PM
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Wasn't Hyakutake the year before?
  #117  
Old 02-06-2020, 08:54 PM
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Honestly, I suspect that Hale-Bopp was about as good as Haley 1910
Yeah, Hale-Bopp was the comet of a lifetime.
  #118  
Old 02-07-2020, 07:57 AM
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Comet West was the big one for me. 1975 and yet didn't get a fraction of the publicity of Halley or Kohoutek.

Absolutely beautiful large, classic comet appearance in the dawn hours.
  #119  
Old 02-07-2020, 08:47 AM
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Wasn't Hyakutake the year before?
Yeah- I intended to say 'within the period of a year' rather than limiting it to 1997, but it didn't come out right.
  #120  
Old 02-14-2020, 04:01 PM
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New information and image.
  #121  
Old 02-15-2020, 10:11 AM
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That image looks almost like Betelgeuse is being eclipsed...by something around as big as the star itself.

What evidence do we have that the star is in the middle of a solar system full of debris like nebular gas and dust?
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  #122  
Old 02-15-2020, 10:30 AM
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Honestly, I suspect that Hale-Bopp was about as good as Haley 1910, and that the stories of Haley 1910 were a combination of hyperbole and skies being darker back then.
There are photographs of Halley's in 1910, and man, it was something to behold. Even accounting for the use of long exposure, it was huge. (Artists' renditions are often very, very similar, too, suggesting a degree of illustrative honesty.) You are certainly right in that it was a lot easier to appreciate its full glory back when there was like one-hundredth as much urban light, but if you could, it was spectacular. The 1910 approach was very close even by its standards; its looking awesome was predictable.
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  #123  
Old 02-15-2020, 10:33 AM
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I think at this point we can probably rule out the starspot explanation. I don't think it's possible for starspots to cover that large a percentage of the surface, or at least, anything that does cover that large an area operates on sufficiently different principles from the starspots we know that it should be called by a different name.

That image certainly looks consistent with the dust cloud hypothesis.
  #124  
Old 02-15-2020, 01:20 PM
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The ESO picture seems to show a lot of dust in the region around Betelgeuse. I think occluding dust cloud is the most likely hypothesis right now.
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