geckzilla wrote:You'd have to point to me exactly what you think is wrong, then. I don't understand. The headline seems fine and so does the content of the article.
I will, as soon as I have more time. To be continued...
Ok, here is my problem with this news report. It hypes an overstated prediction of the Sun's future, when the scientific work being reported never even mentioned W Hydrae as a solar analog or that this star could or should be used to forecast the Sun's future. That's just something written to attract attention to the report, not something the astronomers were saying in the paper, and it misleads people into believing something that isn't true.
Look again at the paragraphs bystander first quoted, in which I've highlighted in red the problematic statements:
bystander wrote:ALMA’s Image of Red Giant Star Gives a Surprising Glimpse of the Sun’s Future
Chalmer's University of Technology | 2017 Nov 07
The Shock-Heated Atmosphere of an Asymptotic Giant Branch Star Resolved by ALMA
A Chalmers-led team of astronomers has for the first time observed details on the surface of an aging star with the same mass as the Sun.
ALMA's images show that the star is a giant, its diameter twice the size of Earth’s orbit around the Sun, but also that the star’s atmosphere is affected by powerful, unexpected shock waves. The research is published in Nature Astronomy
on 30 October 2017.
A team of astronomers led by Wouter Vlemmings, Chalmers University of Technology, have used the telescope ALMA
(Atacama Large Millimetre/Submillimetre Array) to make the sharpest observations yet of a star with the same starting mass as the Sun.
The new images show for the first time details on the surface of the red giant W Hydrae
, 320 light years distant in the constellation of Hydra
, the Water Snake.
W Hydrae is an example of an AGB
(asymptotic giant branch) star. Such stars are cool, bright, old and lose mass via stellar winds. The name derives from their position on the famous Hertzsprung-Russell diagram, which classifies stars according to their brightness and temperature. ...
- Wouter Vlemmings et al
Just how big the Sun will get when it becomes a red giant is unknown, but reports I've come across say that the Earth might just escape engulfment, the issue is too close to call. But any casual reader of this article might well think that this is proof that now we know for sure; the Earth's going to be swallowed. I think that this would be big news, if it was right. If it was a reasonable conclusion, don't you think the authors of the paper would have made it in their paper? They didn't, because it wasn't a reasonable conclusion to make.
Now look again at the bold assertions I highlighted. The reporter (not the authors) states that W Hydrae is "an ageing star with the same mass as the Sun" and then he or she goes even further and claims that it is "a star with the same starting mass as the Sun." That would make it a true solar analog if it were true
, but how the heck can that be known? That isn't a claim made by the paper's authors. Where's the proof that W Hydrae is such a close match of the Sun?
I wonder, what do the stellar lists say about W Hydrae?
"Happy are the peaceable ... "