Eta Carinae Supernova (11/28 APOD)

Comments and questions about the APOD on the main view screen.
nstahl
Science Officer
Posts: 233
Joined: Mon Nov 29, 2004 4:08 am

Eta Carinae Supernova (11/28 APOD)

Post by nstahl » Mon Nov 29, 2004 4:27 am

I learned about the forum when I asked Dr. Nemiroff a question and he referred me here. So I'll ask it here.

The discussion of today's APOD didn't mention the distance to A.C. which I see is about 8,000 ly. That's a good distance and, hopefully, safe when the supernova occurs.

Is there an accepted distance that's considered safe for us and our civilization?

Guest

Post by Guest » Mon Nov 29, 2004 1:07 pm

"referred me" is one way to put it- a better would be that he didn't answer my question with even a form letter saying thanks for enjoying APOD but just sent the link. But hey, I understand that he's a busy guy. :)
Anyway, this was my question:

In the description, you say "Eta Carinae may be about to explode. But no one knows when - it may be next year, it may be one million years from now ". My question is this: isn't the star very far away, and so isn't what we see of the star in the distant past? Are we just speculating on what may have already become of the star?

nstahl
Science Officer
Posts: 233
Joined: Mon Nov 29, 2004 4:08 am

Answer to my Question (?)

Post by nstahl » Thu Dec 02, 2004 6:30 am

First, yes I think we are talking about an event which could already have happened. Of course we'll know about it when the light gets here, ~ 8,000 years after it happen(s?d?).

I looked at the FAQ for this group and it led me to a possible answer to my question. It's at
http://stupendous.rit.edu/richmond/answers/snrisks.txt
but boils down to, one kind of supernova would probably have to be within about 30 ly, but a more energetic type could harm us from farther away. This suggests we are quite safe from supernovas for the forseeable future.
A little additional discussion is at
http://imagine.gsfc.nasa.gov/docs/ask_a ... 0521a.html

craterchains
Commander
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Location: On a boat near Tacoma, WA, usa

Post by craterchains » Wed Nov 09, 2005 3:09 am

Thought this old thread might help the discussions going on now.

Norval :)
"It's not what you know, or don't know, but what you know that isn't so that will hurt you." Will Rodgers 1938

makc
Commodore
Posts: 2019
Joined: Tue Oct 12, 2004 5:25 pm

Post by makc » Wed Nov 09, 2005 9:02 am

Good idea. Go here.

Image