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jonfr
2007-Oct-11, 12:12 AM
I have a simple question, but I guess the answer is not that simple. So I am asking a direct question.

What would the effect of the supernova Eta Carinae (http://www.solstation.com/x-objects/eta-car.htm) on Earth when it finally blows up and falls into a black hole or a really dense pulsar.

I ask, since it is only 7500 light years away from Earth. That too close in my opinion. I also think (I think, it is not even a theory) that Eta Carinae might already be gone, but we are yet to see it.

01101001
2007-Oct-11, 12:42 AM
Topic We are safe from Eta Carinae (http://www.bautforum.com/astronomy/59603-we-safe-eta-carinae.html)
Topic eta carinae explosion preview (http://www.bautforum.com/questions-answers/58439-eta-carinae-explosion-preview.html)
Topic Eta Carinae (http://www.bautforum.com/astronomy/15327-eta-carinae.html)
Topic Eta Carinae (http://www.bautforum.com/astronomy/10078-eta-carinae.html)

NASA Ask an Astrophysicist (http://imagine.gsfc.nasa.gov/docs/ask_astro/answers/040323a.html)


If the star eta Carina exploded as a Gamma-Ray Burst during a Hypernova event, would it be dangerous for human beings?

It depends where the human beings are of course!
It's believed by some that gamma ray bursts, produced by the implosion of a massive star to a black hole, produce most of their emission in jets which are directed along the rotational axis of the imploding star. Most people who study Eta Car think that the rotational axis is along the symmetry axis of the homunculus nebula which surrounds eta Car, and this axis is tilted by about 45 degrees to our line of sight, which means that most of the dangerous emission would not be directed at us. So there's probably little danger to humanity. However there might be enough emission to disable communication and other satellites.

jonfr
2007-Oct-11, 01:10 AM
Thanks for the topics, I will look at them tomorrow. But I wonder if there is any current monitoring on Eta Carinae at current time.

Jens
2007-Oct-11, 07:47 AM
Thanks for the topics, I will look at them tomorrow. But I wonder if there is any current monitoring on Eta Carinae at current time.

What do you mean by "monitoring"?

astromark
2007-Oct-11, 09:01 AM
Thanks for the topics, I will look at them tomorrow. But I wonder if there is any current monitoring on Eta Carinae at current time.


Well yes Eta Carinae would be one of the most watched objects in the sky...and not just us amature astronomers. On the highlands of Chile and the South African SALT observatory have time booked regularly to keep us in the know re this object.

jonfr
2007-Oct-11, 12:18 PM
What do you mean by "monitoring"?

Anything that might give a notice if the Eta Carinae goes on the final stages before the estimates that scientists have estimated. I know that they are giving it 10.000 to 20.000 years, but the universe is full of surprises.

Code Red
2007-Oct-11, 12:29 PM
I ask, since it is only 7500 light years away from Earth. That too close in my opinion. I also think (I think, it is not even a theory) that Eta Carinae might already be gone, but we are yet to see it.

Even if it has, it would take 7,500 years for any emissions to reach earth. There's a lot that could happen in that time. Personally, I'm not too worried about how it will affect me...

01101001
2007-Oct-11, 01:38 PM
Anything that might give a notice if the Eta Carinae goes on the final stages before the estimates that scientists have estimated. I know that they are giving it 10.000 to 20.000 years, but the universe is full of surprises.

Do you mean some sort of intensive hourly scrutiny so that we aren't more than 60 minutes away from noticing the big change? That seems like a waste of instruments, merely to not be surprised.

What period would suit you and astronomers' budgets better? Weekly? Monthly? That sort of periodic measurements are probably happening, so they don't miss too much of the educational variations.

Grashtel
2007-Oct-11, 01:40 PM
Even if it has, it would take 7,500 years for any emissions to reach earth. There's a lot that could happen in that time. Personally, I'm not too worried about how it will affect me...
Unless it went 7,499 years and 364 days ago in which case we will be feeling the effects tomorrow, just because it will take a long time for the effects to reach us doesn't mean we can discount them unless we are sure that nothing has happened in the time it took the light we are seeing now to reach us.

jonfr
2007-Oct-11, 06:15 PM
Do you mean some sort of intensive hourly scrutiny so that we aren't more than 60 minutes away from noticing the big change? That seems like a waste of instruments, merely to not be surprised.

What period would suit you and astronomers' budgets better? Weekly? Monthly? That sort of periodic measurements are probably happening, so they don't miss too much of the educational variations.

I am thinking more of a automatic system that can monitor near by and deep space objects. There is a monitoring system of near by asteroids, but that is about it I think.

Celestial Mechanic
2007-Oct-11, 06:23 PM
Our first clue that Eta Carinae has gone supernova will be a massive number of neutrinos arriving at our detectors in a matter of seconds. We might actually detect a gravity wave (at last!?!) at about the same time. This will give us several hours before the light show begins.

01101001
2007-Oct-11, 06:30 PM
Our first clue that Eta Carinae has gone supernova will be a massive number of neutrinos arriving at our detectors in a matter of seconds.

Exactly. There'll be no unwarranted surprise. It'll be a much-discussed topic in the Astronomy section of BAUT, an article in Universe Today, a BA Blog entry. If there'll be anything for the masses to see, it will be mentioned on all the TV and radio news channels. It'll be Slashdotted. It will be Digg'd.

jonfr, how do you expect to not hear the news that something interesting is happening with Eta Carinae?

korjik
2007-Oct-11, 06:38 PM
I personally will go 'Wow, that is really bright' :)

trinitree88
2007-Oct-11, 07:20 PM
There's another signal before the prompt neutrino burst, too. When iron begins to accumulate in the core, the countdown to supernova is fairly short, depending upon who's model you choose...a little over a year to ~ 10 years...but the progression to ever heavier nuclei as fusion fuel has a direct consequence. The star becomes leakier and leakier in losing energy through neutrino emission...like a bucket being filled with water as you puncture holes in the wall with a screwdriver. This neutrino "leakiness" is orders of magnitude above the humdrum levels of H-He fusion....and can cause(like the Homestake mine) inverse beta decays...a sudden increase in trace isotopic abundances, just before she blows. Going to require an exquisitely sensitive spectroscope to monitor the correct species, but the present SN classification studies should help select some winners in type 1a's and type 2's "R Corona Borealis, Infrared Enigma" ...discussed this at Williams College, AAPT/joint APS Meeting, May 1993... In R Cor stars, the soot cloud should show some spectroscopic changes....pete.

antoniseb
2007-Oct-11, 07:30 PM
...the soot cloud should show some spectroscopic changes.
I'd be surprised if it was detectable in the parts of the cloud that can be seen. I'd expect most of this to be happening in the inner most parts of the cloud, and possibly even there might not be measurable with in situ instruments (my gut feeling, not based on calculation). I'd be curious to see if you have any numbers for quantities of strange isotopes to be expected.

Lord Jubjub
2007-Oct-11, 11:51 PM
My understanding of Eta Carinae is that it is too massive to collect iron. When it hits the carbon stage, it will destabilize and blow itself up and nothing will be left behind.

Jens
2007-Oct-12, 01:28 AM
I am thinking more of a automatic system that can monitor near by and deep space objects. There is a monitoring system of near by asteroids, but that is about it I think.

OK, but the problem here is that there is a valid reason for monitoring asteroids. (1) We may find one that is going to hit us, and, quite importantly, (2) we might be able to do something to prevent it.

With something like a supernova explosion, there's nothing we can do about it. So why monitor it? Just suppose, for the sake of argument, that alpha centauri suddenly became a hypernova by some process we don't understand. Or suppose that a black hole that we don't know about comes through and eats up the solar system. There isn't anything we can do about it.

In a case like Eta Carinae, there might be use in observing it to get a better scientific understanding of the evolution of stars. But I have a feeling that you want to monitor it as a threat. But there's no point in monitoring threats like that.

RalofTyr
2007-Oct-12, 05:55 AM
If Eta Carinae is going to supernova, it already has.


The check's in the mail.

Would me neat to see a supernova. But really. We are just a blink in cosmic time.

mugaliens
2007-Oct-12, 02:50 PM
I personally will go 'Wow, that is really bright' :)

Given how bright that might actually be, and the potential for all kinds of things to come our way which might blind us, scortch us, give us a very nasty sunburn, damage our DNA, etc., I think I'll wait it out in a certain bar that I know that's about 45 feet underground, protected by solid rock.

They make a terrific pizza in a wood-fired oven, and have backup lamp lighting in case the power goes out (which it probably will).

And an old well, which, combined with a simple filter and some bleach should render the water quite potable.

And a rather large, heavy ancient door to the entrance which should be enough to let others scrambling to get in know that the place is closed.

I think the owner would share it with the first thirty who got there. After that, it's each man for himself. Good thing I'm good friends with the owner!

astromark
2007-Oct-17, 06:38 PM
I am still not happy that we know what we will see. Will this expected nova event damage our Eco system? At 7500 Ly distance are we in danger of being cooked? Yes, I understand the pointless observation of the inevitable is perhaps like looking down a loaded gun barrel. I still want to know. Stand and watch, run and hide... What is known. How much is guess work?

Kaptain K
2007-Oct-17, 09:05 PM
I am still not happy that we know what we will see. Will this expected nova event damage our Eco system?
No.


At 7500 Ly distance are we in danger of being cooked?
No.

Yes, I understand the pointless observation of the inevitable is perhaps like looking down a loaded gun barrel. What is known.
Most of the physics is fairly well understood.

How much is guess work?
We're still working out the fine details.

I still want to know. Stand and watch, run and hide...
I, personally, am going to regret that since I live in the northern hemisphere, like SN1987A, I won't get to see i!t

astromark
2007-Oct-18, 05:58 AM
Thank you Kaptain K... Yes from New Zealand we will see this event. Pending it happening some time before the time where I will have expirred... From here, Chili, South Africa, or Australia we will send you the film.:) Only if we get some clear weather:(Thanks.