Firstly I should say that I am a huge fan of Randall Munroe's XKCD and his newer scientific-based blog What If?
which takes "questions to science" to a whole new level of awesome!
Last week he posted something about supernovae. Well, most of you, I assume, know already a lot about supernovae - giant stars, exploding, seen from
earth as a quite bright star. Nice.
A supernova is different, and I want to quote Munroe "However big you think supernovae are, they're bigger than that".
He did some calculations and came up with this nice, little comparison:
What would be brighter - the sun exploding (if she could, which she can't and we should be very, very thankful for that) as a supernova
an exploding H-bomb, PRESSED AGAINST YOUR EYEBALL!
Yepp, you surely guessed the right thing: the supernova would be brighter. By about a billion times!
Okay. A supernova is really, really bright (Whatever kind of spectrum he means, I doubt that there would be a huge difference between a comparison in
the percievable part for the human eye or over the whole spectrum). What else is far more creepy than you would have ever thought?
Would Captain Kirk have a chance to escape by hiding in earth's shadow and give the Enterprise a full start when he sees the moon flashing
Because even if he would go all "Beide dreimalwahnsinnige und durch." "Jawohl, Herr Kaleu!" and accelerate instantly to faster-than-light, all on
board would still die from radiation poisoning. How?! They were protected in earth's shadow, right?
Neutrinos are passing through earth without nearly any resistance. And there are so many neutrinos produced by the supernova, that you would DIE BY
NEUTRINO-RADIATION, up to a distance of over 2 AE!
The facts on What If?
edit on 5-12-2013 by ManFromEurope because: (no reason given)