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The Real Death Star

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posted on Jun, 8 2013 @ 05:33 PM
This is not your typical "Dooms Day" thread. I'm not going to sit here and claim that something is going to happen on such and such date and that we're all going to die, etc, etc.

However, I have noticed over the years talk about a certain subject that once in a while enters main stream news media, and it is a interesting subject except of course for that part about us all dying.

The "Death Star" that I'm talking about here is not our typical Death Star that we've all come to know from the Star Wars movies:

As devistating as the movie makes it out to be, I'm actually talking about something that is much more powerful. So powerful that while our Star Wars Death Star can destroy a planet, it has to do it while in that planet's system. The Death Star that I'm going to talk about can take out a planet at over 8,000 light years away.'s REAL.

The Scenario.....

You're having a normal day, nothing strange or out of the ordinary really going on. It's sunny, not a cloud in the sky as you are walking down the street.
Suddenly, you notice that it seems very bright.....and you have two shadows.

Looking up, shading your eyes, you notice that there is now what looks like a very bright spot in the sky. Not as large as the sun, but seems just as bright.

A special type of star has just gone hypernova. One that is 8,000 light years away, and in that moment that you are bathed in it's light, you, and the entire Earth is also being bathed in a very energetic beam of gamma rays.

You won't feel anything at first. Not right then. But that will change.

First, you'd notice that the air seems to be getting a bit hazy, almost like there is smog everywhere. This is from the gamma rays breaking apart the nitrogen in our atmosphere and it's reforming into nitrogen dioxide, which is a reddish brown gas. Basically it IS smog.

Another thing you'll notice is: you're getting sun burned....even in the shade....even in your house.
That is because the gamma rays stripped 30% of the the ozone layer away globally and even up to 50% in local areas. The ozone holes that we have had are only around 5%.

So what? We'd all have to just run around with sunblock and sun glasses on, right?


You and every living thing on the Earth were just blasted with a large amount of gamma rays. These gamma rays are bad to living organisms because, the keep cells from reproducing. This includes your intestines. You're ability to absorb food is going to stop.

Worst case? Only microbes deep in the Earth will survive this.

There would be no warning at all. It would be something that just happens.

And the scary part? It's not far fetched fantasy. It's something that actually is acknowleged by astronomers as something that could happen, and yes, these stars exist.

But, before you go running of in terror (or trying to build a bunker miles deep into the Earth), let us first talk about what it is that can do this, and then how good the chances of it actually happening are.....

+8 more 
posted on Jun, 8 2013 @ 05:33 PM
The Suspect: WR 104....

So what kind of star could do this to us?

It's called a Wolf-Rayet star, and they are a special kind of star. They are a massive star (over 20 solar masses) which are losing that mass rapidly by means of a strong stellar wind.
Our own sun looses 10^-14 (0.00000000000001) solar masses every year. Where as a Wolf-Rayet star looses 10^-5 (0.00001) solar masses each year.

Wolf-Rayet stars are also very hot, with surface temperatures in the range of 30,000 K to 200,000 K. They are also very bright, having up to several million times the bolometric luminosity of our sun. They are not visually bright, but bright in the ultraviolet to X-ray range.

However, because of their mass, when they are on the verge of dying, they collapse in on themselves, and if they do not loose enough mass, they can create what we call a collapsar.

When a collapsar forms, two jets of gamma ray energy are emitted along the axial poles of the star. These jets have been associated with what we have come to call GRBs or Gamma Ray Bursts.

Gamma Ray Bursts are the most powerful forms of energy that we have ever recorded. GRBs have been recoreded by us from billions of light years away. The amount of energy it has in the few seconds that it exists is more than all the energy our sun will put out in it's 10 billion year life span.

There are two types of GRBs: Long and Short. The distinction is that Long GRBs last for more than 2 seconds, where as Short GRBs last for less than that.

GRBs produced from Wolf-Rayet stars are Long GRBs.

So just how many of these stars are there? Are there any in our galaxy?

GRBs that we have recoreded have originated outside our galaxy. Once it was realized what type of star can make these, astronomers looked.
They found that Wolf-Rayet stars in our galaxy are actually rare.

Before you breath a sigh of relief, let me explain what I mean by "rare". I mean "rare" as in there are about 500 of these types of stars in our galaxy that we have found so far. Considering the amount of stars we have in our galaxy (somewhere between 200 billion to 400 billion), that makes them "rare".

However, rare or not, we have one near by, at about 8,000 light years away. It's designation is WR 104.

It should be noted that not every Wolf-Rayet star would end up becoming a collapsar. There are several sub designations for Wolf- Rayet stars. Unfortunately, WR 104 is one that has been classified as one that could produce a GRB.

So, information on WR 104:

Located in the constellation Sagittarius, RA 18h 02m 04.7s, Dec -23 deg 37' 41.2"
Distance 8000ly
Mass: 25 suns
radius: 3 x sun

WR 104 is a Wolf-Rayet star discovered in 1998, located 8,000 light years from Earth. It is a binary star with a class OB companion. The stars have an orbital period of 220 days and the interaction between their stellar winds produce a spiral "pinwheel" outflow pattern over 200 astronomical units long.[2] The spiral is composed of dust that would normally be prevented from forming by WR 104's intense radiation were it not for the star's companion.

The problem is: we have too many "If's", "Maybe's" and "If We Assume"s when it comes to WR 104.

Even though it's been studied since 1998, it's hard to refine information on a object that is 8,000 light years away. It seemed when first looking at, that it's axial spin lay within 16 deg of Earth.

That gave a lot of astronomer's and astrophycists pause. Having it's poles pointed that close to Earth means that we were looking directly down the barrel of a GRB.
The other reason for concern is that WR 104's evolution is almost over. It's ready to die, and die soon.

How soon? Could be 100 years from now. Or it could be tomorrow. That's the problem, as there is no way to know exactly for sure.

However, before you panic, there is good news. New spectroscopic data suggests that WR 104's rotational axis is more likely at a 30 to 40 deg angle from our planet. That means the barrel is pointed enough away from us that we would not be in any danger.

It's also never been a certainty that WR 104 would produce a GRB either. The only examples we have are from GRBs in other galaxies, measureing in the millions to billions of light years away.

So even if WR 104 were to go hypernova on us tomorrow it would seem that the worst we could expect is radiation slamming in to things that are out in space (satellites, probes, etc), but it would not hurt our ozone much and we would be okay (appart from having a cool light show).

Hope some found this interesting.
edit on 8-6-2013 by eriktheawful because: (no reason given)

edit on 8-6-2013 by eriktheawful because: (no reason given)

posted on Jun, 8 2013 @ 05:51 PM
Dont shoot! Im just the piano player!
The likelyhood seems quite remote from the standpoint of our lifetimes, but then again it would only take once to kill us all off.....i guess its like rain...when it rains it rains on everyone in town........
if earth is dead who would want to survive?

posted on Jun, 8 2013 @ 06:04 PM
reply to post by stirling

I was running survival/prep ideas through my head while researching this subject.

The long GRBs last from 2 seconds to around 110 seconds, and if you were deep underground, you would avoid being bathed in it.

However....all our animals and agriculture isn't underground. Things would be dying off and at some point you'd have to come out of your underground bunker. At that point, you would be entering a "ghost town" of a world. All the structures there, but just about everything dead.

There are several stars that are "near" us that are about ready to die by going super or hyper nova:

WR 104 is one, estimated as any day now to the next 100 years.

Eta Carinae is another:

Within the next million years (that's soon in astronomical time, hehehe)

Betelgeuse is another, they think anywhere in 1000 years to a million years.

I's too bad they can't be more precise, but keep in mind that most super or hyper novas that we study are far away and the precursors can be hard to research.

posted on Jun, 8 2013 @ 06:08 PM
reply to post by stirling

True the likelyhood is remote, but the dinosaurs probably thought that too.

Between asteroids, population explosions, other natural catastrophes, resource depletion and cosmic catastrophes, this is just further evidence that we need to spend less on killing our own species and more on settling the galaxy...starting in our own back yard of course. We either expand into space or inevitably sometime in the next couple thousand years, maybe sooner we'll be wiped out.

posted on Jun, 8 2013 @ 06:21 PM
Nice thread Erik. About the rotational axis (barrel) of the original post---
is it possible the first data set wasn't flawed about the focusing of the primary
star's axis; and it's doing a conical orbit? It's probably way too premature to
ask if there's been a periodic study of intensity, but is it even plausible?
Rephrased, is the "barrel possibly wobbling" in order to occasionally put us in
a region of damaging radiation intensity? It sounds like the scenario would be
like a roulette wheel with a baseball bat parked vertically on it. We're goin down
if we come into azimuth sufficiently for the big event.

posted on Jun, 8 2013 @ 06:32 PM
reply to post by derfreebie

Here's a interview that was done back in 2010 with the people that determined the larger degree of angle:

WR 104:The Dying Star

There are several links where they talk about the data:

Regarding the orientation of the orbit of WR 104... looking at the images, it is very hard to believe the orbit is not face on. The thing really does look like it is pointed right at us. Having said that though, there are several reasons why I am not so sure. First, I have been able to measure velocities for both the WR star and its companion. With those velocities I can calculate the orbit and by extension say something about the orbital inclination if I assume reasonable masses for the stars. Doing that implies the inclination is at least 30 or 40 degrees. I can also use some computer code I have written to model the changing shape of that carbon line. That modeling includes the orbital inclination. I am working hard right now trying to find the smallest inclination which results in reasonable model fits. So far the lowest I can get it is around 30 or 35 degrees.

Of course, not to be a fear monger, astronomers have been wrong before...........

But they've also be right too.

This is something that I would classify as: What? Me worry?

There is nothing anyone here could do about it if it ended up being pointed at us, and if it produces a GRB. There is no way to tell ahead of time that it's going to happen, so one would have to spend their entire lives living in a deep underground bunker.

However, the more that it gets studied and observed, I'm hoping the more refined the data becomes.....and in our favor.

posted on Jun, 8 2013 @ 06:44 PM
"Fear will keep them in line. Fear of this battle station. We are now the ultimate power, in the universe."
( ~ Moff Tarkin)

posted on Jun, 8 2013 @ 07:00 PM
That would be a very frightening situation.
Sun burn indoors? No thank you.

posted on Jun, 8 2013 @ 07:32 PM
tq so mugh sir for share this bright information..and i would like to ask..

if the wolfeye star explode what the speed of the gama ray spread and reach earth? if there is a planet like jupiter block the ray before reach earth would the earth harm by this ray too? tq2 so much

posted on Jun, 8 2013 @ 07:33 PM
tq so mugh sir for share this bright information..and i would like to ask..

if the wolfeye star explode what the speed of the gama ray spread and reach earth? if there is a planet like jupiter block the ray before reach earth would the earth harm by this ray too? tq2 so much

posted on Jun, 8 2013 @ 07:33 PM
tq so mugh sir for share this bright information..and i would like to ask..

if the wolfeye star explode what the speed of the gama ray spread and reach earth? if there is a planet like jupiter block the ray before reach earth would the earth harm by this ray too? tq2 so much

posted on Jun, 8 2013 @ 07:51 PM

Originally posted by cheesy
tq so mugh sir for share this bright information..and i would like to ask..

if the wolfeye star explode what the speed of the gama ray spread and reach earth? if there is a planet like jupiter block the ray before reach earth would the earth harm by this ray too? tq2 so much

wow, looks like ATS went a little crazy on your postings,

The GRB is released at the same time that the star goes Hypernova. The gamma rays would reach here at the same time as the visible light (gamma rays are electromagnetic energy...just of much, much higher frequency than light).

As for Jupiter blocking the rays, I'm afraid that won't work. I realize that my OP might be a little misleading in that I talk specifically about these rays hitting the Earth.

The truth is: the rays would hit our entire solar system.

The other problem is Jupiter does not ever occlude (get in front of) WR 104 in it's orbit around the sun.

posted on Jun, 8 2013 @ 07:53 PM
Well a book i read (info below) states that we are bombarded with GRB every second of every day. You may disagree with Henrik Svensmark and his work in 'The Chilling Stars' but it is a book that sort of explains what is happening today. Myself, I have not seen the sun for 3 days straight. Last week we had the largest downpour I have ever seen. 87 mm in less than 3 hours.

"Exploded stars do chill the world by making more clouds. Only the most energetic charged particles can travel right down to sea level. These are called muons, or heavy electrons, produced when the cosmic rays hit the atmosphere. In Svensmark's theory the muons help to make clouds low in the air, which cool the world." (pg 5)

"Unlike some of the higher clouds, which can have a warming effect, the clouds less than 3,000 metres above the surface keep the planet cool. When the penetrating cosmic rays are scarcer, and the low clouds become fewer and the Earth grows warmer." (pg 5)

He goes on to talk about our 'Lazy Sun'.

"A scarcity of dark spots on the face of the Sun whch are made by pools of intense magnetism, was one such sign. Reports of auroras, which light the northern skies when the Sun is restless, were also scanty when the when the cosmic rays were making lots of radiocarbon. And most significantly, Bray linked our solar laziness and high cosmic rays with historically advances of glaciers, pushing their cold snouts down many valleys. The advances were most numerous in the 17th and 18th centuries, which straddles the coldest period of the Little Ice Age.” (p 15)

These Quotes are from:
The Chilling Stars A Cosmic View of Climate Change
By: Henrik Svensmark and Nigel Calder

I have noticed that the Weather is now being forecast to say what the temp is going to be and what it will feel like, they predicted a high of 19 but feels like 21, only got to 16 and felt like 16. Said we would have approx 7 hours of sunshine, we had 0. I don’t know how the temp is expected to feel higher than it is when the wind is coming out of the north?? Next week high of 21 but feels like 27, yeah ok.

Not sure if they are trying to be smart of what, but one of their little sayings was to the effect of -- The sun will come out soon, don’t be in a bad mood, smile.

Another article I read was to do with the Noctilucent Clouds getting an early start put out by NASA.

The early start is extra-puzzling because of the solar cycle. Researchers have long known that NLCs tend to peak during solar minimum and bottom-out during solar maximum—a fairly strong anti-correlation. "If anything, we would have expected a later start this year because the solar cycle is near its maximum," Randall says. "So much for expectations."

Maybe we aren’t really having a solar maximum, maybe the far side of the sun is but they don’t seem to point in our direction when they occur? Objects are flying through the atmosphere left and right, the temperatures are crazy, Suspicious Observeraddresses the GRB that are detected every day on his 4 min news.

posted on Jun, 8 2013 @ 07:55 PM
The original post is an example of why I keep coming back to ATS even if it's easy to get frustrated .


Awesome read, thank you.

posted on Jun, 8 2013 @ 08:10 PM
It is all related cosmic rays, our weather, GRB and if that thing does go off in our lifetime, we are all toast anyway, but maybe the whole universe is acting up and changing everything.

posted on Jun, 8 2013 @ 08:48 PM

Originally posted by opethPA
The original post is an example of why I keep coming back to ATS even if it's easy to get frustrated .


Awesome read, thank you.

You are most certainly welcome. Even if only a handful of people take the time to read stuff I post here on ATS makes it worth doing the research and sharing.

That's one thing I like about ATS, you can share stuff, no mater how mundane or how far out there it might be, their are always people that will take an interest in the material.

We can debate it, support it, debunk it or speculate about it and it's all good. Unlike some places like GLP.

posted on Jun, 8 2013 @ 08:52 PM
reply to post by whatnext21

Thanks for sharing. I'm not familiar with his work and will have to take the time to do some reading.

We are hit with a GRB on the average of one per day. Here's a pic of some of that being mapped by the BATSE mission:

Gamma Ray Bursts

posted on Jun, 8 2013 @ 09:10 PM
Cool story

Im glad we have Jupitar and Saturn as our body guards

Ur-anus is pretty big too, that will deffinately stop some G-rays

All serious now - the OP isnt trying to cause a fear-factor; Earth has been around for a LONG time, I think much longer then scientists beleive. Many stars have gone -KABOOM - since, we are still here.

Human kind will always be preserved, this may not be understood currently, but it will in the future. I can say this with confidence, but I cannot give "physical evidence" to assure the reader..
Whatever happens, happens. Your soul-life will not end because of any 1-in-a-trillion stars going 'Boom'.

Thanks for posting this scientific data OP - gives us a more realistic look on the "what if" scenarios. Reminds us who is really in control of things (nature).

posted on Jun, 8 2013 @ 10:34 PM
reply to post by stirling

The problem with saying "remote from the standpoint of our lifetimes" is that we can only observe the star as the light reaches us. The light we see today, emanated from the star 8000 years ago. So, for all we know - this star went collapsar 8000 years ago tomorrow, and tomorrow we die (if, indeed we are looking down the barrel).

So, you could go all heavens gate and drink the cool-aid - or you could realize that tomorrow you might get hit by a car, bit by a snake, or come into contact with ebola. Like the TV show says, every day we live - we face 1000 ways to die. GRB is just one of them.

Rest easy knowing that our rich, fat and lazy leaders might have enough notice to make it to the deep underground shelters and be spared to repopulate the earth. Imagine a world filled with politicians.... I'd rather eat a GRB sandwich.

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