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Herschel telescope 'fingerprints' colossal star

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posted on Nov, 27 2009 @ 10:50 AM
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The death throes of the biggest star known to science have been observed by Europe's new space telescope, Herschel.

VY Canis Majoris is some 4,500 light-years from Earth and could explode as a supernova at any time. It is colossal. If it was sited at the centre of our Solar System, it would extend beyond the orbit of Saturn. The star, in the constellation Canis Major, is what astronomers call a red hypergiant - a highly evolved object that is exhausting its nuclear fuel.

Now thats a big star.


Its end days see it spew vast quantities of gas and dust into interstellar space, including elements such as carbon, oxygen and nitrogen - the raw materials that will go into the production of future planets, and, who knows, perhaps life elsewhere in the galaxy.

news.bbc.co.uk...

Perhaps life elsewhere in the galaxy ?, well I guess that as out Galaxy is around 10 billion years old and in the early days of the Galaxy there would probably have been a lot more of these thing around , A lot of Star seed has been thrown around since then ,give it a couple of Billion years to germinate and bobs yer close relative .




posted on Nov, 27 2009 @ 11:06 AM
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So this means that if the star explodes now, in 4500 a huge wave of radiation will arrive at Earth...



posted on Nov, 27 2009 @ 12:39 PM
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reply to post by masterp
 

After traveling 4,500 light years the radiation will be greatly diminished and not a problem.
en.wikipedia.org...



posted on Nov, 28 2009 @ 03:12 PM
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reply to post by Phage
 


But why is it diminished? it's not as if radiation will go through a medium...



posted on Nov, 28 2009 @ 03:17 PM
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reply to post by masterp
 

It's diminished because it spreads out.
Hold your hand near your stove. You feel the infrared radiation from it. Move your hand further away, you feel less. It's not because the air is absorbing the infrared (air is transparent to infrared, for the most part), it's because the radiation is spreading out.

It's the same reason the Earth isn't cooked by the radiation of the Sun. If we were where Mercury is, we wouldn't be here. The radiation would be too intense.

[edit on 11/28/2009 by Phage]



posted on Nov, 30 2009 @ 04:42 PM
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Originally posted by masterp
So this means that if the star explodes now, in 6509 a huge wave of radiation will arrive at Earth...

fixt.



posted on Nov, 30 2009 @ 04:46 PM
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Have to wonder if it will turn into a black hole and have one of those Xray jets. No guarantee that the process could not change its tilt to be toward us. Do those jets reach out 4500 light years?



posted on Nov, 30 2009 @ 04:47 PM
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Originally posted by STFUPPERCUTTER

Originally posted by masterp
So this means that if the star explodes now, in 6509 a huge wave of radiation will arrive at Earth...

fixt.


If it exploded 4500 light years ago we might see its effects tonight!



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