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Red Giant Star Betelgeuse May Go Supernova; Presumably, President Trump Is Monitoring the Situation
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      Crab Nebula, whose supernova was recorded by the Chinese imperial astronomer on July 4, 1054 AD

      From The Astronomer’s Telegram:

      The Continued Unprecedented Fading of Betelgeuse

      Edward F. Guinan and Richard J. Wasatonic (Villanova University)
      on 20 Jan 2020; 17:50 UT

      We report further on the recent unusual dimming of the red supergiant Betelgeuse (alpha Ori) reported previously in ATel #13341 and ATel #13365. We continue to carry out V-band and Wing TiO and near-IR photometry of the star. Since our last report, Betelgeuse has continued to gradually decrease in brightness. Our most recent photometry secured on 17.25 UT and 18.20 UT January 2020 yields: V = +1.494 mag and 1.506 mag, respectively. This is more than ~0.2 mag fainter than previously reported in ATel #13365 on 22.25 UT Dec. 2019. However during the last week or so the decline in brightness of the star may be slowing. As reported by Brian Skiff of Lowell Observatory (priv. commun.) visual estimates of Betelgeuse are available as far back as about 180-years ago. Systematic visual measures of the star have been made by AAVSO observers since the 1920s. More precise photoelectric photometry began nearly 100 yrs ago but systematic (mostly unpublished) photometry of Betelgeuse commenced about 40-years ago at Villanova Observatory by Scott Wacker and Guinan. Betelgeuse is now nearly as faint as (the slightly variable) B2 star Bellatrix (V ~+1.62 mag). Bellatrix (gamma Ori) is about 5° west of Betelgeuse in the constellation Orion. The analysis of the calibrated Wing photometry (Wing 1992: JAAVSO 21, 42) returns measures of the temperature (via calibrated Wing TiO- and near-IR (B-C) color-indices) as well as estimates of bolometric magnitude (m-bol). The Wing intermediate band A-filter is used to measure the temperature-sensitive TiO 719-nm (gamma; 0, 0) molecular band. The B (750-nm) and C (1020.4-nm) filters are centered on relatively line-free stellar continuum regions. The C-band filter measures have been calibrated with K-M stars with bolometric magnitudes returning proxy measures of the apparent bolometric magnitude (m-bol) (see Wasatonic et al. 2015: PASP, 127, 1010). During the 25-years of V-band / Wing Near-IR photometry, Betelgeuse is currently the coolest and least luminous yet observed. Since September 2019, the star’s temperature has decreased by ~100 K while its luminosity (inferred from the C-band/m-bol observations) has diminished by nearly 25%. At face value using R’/R = [(T’/T)^4 / L’/L]^0.5 (where R’, T’ and L’ are the current values of stellar Radius, Temperature & Luminosity), this implies an increase of the star’s radius of ~9%. However, as pointed out by others, the current fainting episode could also arise from expelled, cooling gas/dust partially obscuring the star. The recent changes defined by our V-band/Wing photometry seem best explained from changes in the envelop-outer convection atmosphere of this pulsating, unstable supergiant. If these recent light changes are due to an extra-large amplitude light pulse on the ~420-day period, then the next mid-light minimum is expected during late January/early February, 2020. If Betelgeuse continues to dim after that time then other possibilities will have to be considered. The unusual behavior of Betelgeuse should be closely watched.

      Back when I wanted to be an astronomer when I was 11 years old, it was assumed that most aged stars became novas but only a few became supernovas. My vague impression is that in the half century since then that the standard theory is that most stars go supernova, but what do I know?

      Betelgeuse (the origin of the name of the movie Beetlejuice) is 650 light years away. It is assumed that when it finally does go supernova that it will be brighter than all objects in our sky other than the sun and the moon, and possibly brighter than the moon. It is expected to cast shadows at night on Earth for about 3 years. Whether it will go supernova in tens of thousands of years or real soon now is difficult to forecast.

      The famous Crab Nebula remnant supernova is about 10 times further away. Light from its supernova, which could be seen in the sky during the day, was first recorded by the Chinese imperial astronomer on July 4, 1054 AD. From Wikipedia:

      The nebula lies in the Perseus Arm of the Milky Way galaxy, at a distance of about 2.0 kiloparsecs (6,500 ly) from Earth. It has a diameter of 3.4 parsecs (11 ly), corresponding to an apparent diameter of some 7 arcminutes, and is expanding at a rate of about 1,500 kilometres per second (930 mi/s), or 0.5% of the speed of light.

      So at that rate it would take about 130,000 years for Betelgeuse’s nebula to reach Earth after it went supernova, by which point it would be highly dissipated.

      On the other hand:

      At the center of the nebula lies the Crab Pulsar, a neutron star 28–30 kilometres (17–19 mi) across with a spin rate of 30.2 times per second, which emits pulses of radiation from gamma rays to radio waves. At X-ray and gamma ray energies above 30 keV, the Crab Nebula is generally the brightest persistent source in the sky, with measured flux extending to above 10 TeV.

      I don’t know what that means but it sounds concerning.

       
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      1. This is an evergreen story, although I’ve never read this amount of technical detail about it. A supernova would be cool, but I’d be sad to see Orion lose his shoulder.

        • Replies: @Veracitor

        I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. Time to die.
         
      2. It’d be cool if it went supernova while I’m alive. I’d like to observe something like that in my lifetime.

        • Replies: @Danindc
        Well, people are living longer nowadays...
        , @Svevlad
        Some dude said that if you're in your twenties you basically gonna gain access to biological immortality
      3. Mostly famous for the cheesy movie that became a worse cartoon…

        (It’s not pronounced the same way…)

        • Replies: @Dr. Krieger
        Bite your tongue, sir.
      4. @reiner Tor
        It'd be cool if it went supernova while I'm alive. I'd like to observe something like that in my lifetime.

        Well, people are living longer nowadays…

        • Replies: @Desiderius
        The point is the .001%? chance that one day soon everyone could suddenly live a lot shorter.
        , @Anonymous
        So yur sayin Biden sanders is a viable ticket outside a nursing home ?
      5. If it is going to go supernova by current observations, then it already has.

        Are we doomed?

        https://www.space.com/4814-risk-earth-supernova-explosions.html

        • Replies: @Paleo Liberal
        The article has a link to another article called Top 10 Ways to Destroy Earth.

        That second article is a broken link. 404 error.

        Does that mean they had second thoughts about giving instructions to Dr. Evil?
        , @SunBakedSuburb
        "Are we doomed?"

        Probably.
      6. @Danindc
        Well, people are living longer nowadays...

        The point is the .001%? chance that one day soon everyone could suddenly live a lot shorter.

        • Replies: @AnotherDad
        An interesting question--to me anyway--is what sort of prediction, how near, would lead people to behave differently.

        Betelguese is zero threat to the Earth. But let's say you had something much closer, and you had hard laws-of-physics solid science that supernova would destroy life on Earth ... but the timeframe of that destruction was say 300 years out.

        Would people behave any differently? More religiously? Less oriented to children, future? Or ... not at all?

        What if it was say 100 years out?

        Or more tellingly within young people's lifetimes--say 50 years out?

        Or how about 10 years out? Hard to worry much about career advancement.

        Next year? I know the stock market is going to tank. Do people show up for work? Does it all go to hell right away?

        Would that finally put an end to minoritarianism and "nation of immigrants"ism? Would we be able to live our last days in peace? Or on the last day would we finally get the famous NYT headline?
      7. @The Alarmist
        If it is going to go supernova by current observations, then it already has.

        Are we doomed?

        https://www.space.com/4814-risk-earth-supernova-explosions.html

        The article has a link to another article called Top 10 Ways to Destroy Earth.

        That second article is a broken link. 404 error.

        Does that mean they had second thoughts about giving instructions to Dr. Evil?

        • LOL: The Alarmist
        • Replies: @J.Ross
        There's a machine called the Earth Destroyer that looks like the bad guy vehicle in the anti-deforestation cartoon Fern Gully: there used to be a short video but it appears to have been taken down. It's bigger than a house and rapidly creates holes for mining.
        , @Reg Cæsar

        The article has a link to another article called Top 10 Ways to Destroy Earth.
         
        No more surfing?



        https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=7NGlMq9oLbk

        https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=gkvhlo4a5iQ
      8. @reiner Tor
        It'd be cool if it went supernova while I'm alive. I'd like to observe something like that in my lifetime.

        Some dude said that if you’re in your twenties you basically gonna gain access to biological immortality

        • Replies: @iffen
        Some dude said that if you’re in your twenties you basically gonna gain access to biological immortality

        You didn't give him any money, did you?
      9. I blame Carbon pollution.

        • Replies: @Poof
        Aren't we supposed to blame racism?
      10. My dad pronouncing “Betelgeuse!’ with great delight piqued my curiosity and what got me interested in stargazing as a kid—it was a hobby of his when he was a kid. I taught myself to pick out most of the constellations at a glance—none of which are visible anymore in the big city in which I live. Only Sirius and Venus are readily visible, so I haven’t been able to get my kids to be interested, despite the occasional vacation trip when the constellations do become visible.

        In the ’60s, we used to live in what would be called an exurb today, and I could readily pick out two of the moons of Jupiter with the naked eye—the trick was to look slightly to one side. The eye’s area of maximum photosensitivity doesn’t coincide with the optical center of its field of vision.

        Curiously, they weren’t discovered until Galileo observed them through his telescopes and recorded their movement and realized they were orbits. But once he had done so, and people knew where to look, one or two of the moons of Jupiter were realized to be visible to the naked eye on clear nights. Some people are supposed to be able to see three. Galileo, iirc, recorded four with his telescope.

        • Replies: @Charon

        In the ’60s, we used to live in what would be called an exurb today, and I could readily pick out two of the moons of Jupiter with the naked eye
         
        Fun story, but I don't believe it for a minute.
        , @Reactionary Utopian

        Galileo, iirc, recorded four with his telescope.
         
        You are correct. They are sometimes referred to as Jupiter’s “Galilean” moons for that reason.
        , @JerseyJeffersonian
        Some years back, a friend and I visited his grandparents up in New Hampshire, and one dark, clear night we sat on their deck with a pair of binoculars and observed the four most visible moons of Jupiter. It was outstanding.

        Years later, on the back steps of my home in Southern NJ on clear winter nights at the dark of the moon, and again using binoculars, I was able to descry at least a couple of the moons of Jupiter, despite the ever present light pollution.
        , @Intelligent Dasein

        But once he had done so, and people knew where to look, one or two of the moons of Jupiter were realized to be visible to the naked eye on clear nights.
         
        No and no.

        It is not "once he had done so." There are tales about the moons of Jupiter, the rings of Saturn, and a companion star to Sirius that originate from all over the world and which long predate Galileo. This is just another one of those things which is conveniently ignored or falsified when modern sciencey types propound their Whig-historical narratives.
        , @Buzz Mohawk

        ... I could readily pick out two of the moons of Jupiter with the naked eye...
         
        You had exceptional eyesight!

        I was an amateur astronomer with a 6" Newtonian reflector from the Cave Optical Company when I was growing up at 7,800 feet. I could see lots of things, but not with my naked eyes.

        Then, when I was 25 years old, I had radial karatotomy, RK, to correct my -7 diopter myopia. It worked, but it left me with starburst, dandelion effects around any light source against a dark background. It ruined astronomy for me. The eye surgeon told me that would not happen. I was smart enough to ask him if light would pass through the incisions in my corneas. He said it would not.

        Give me more time and I will tell you about my hair.
        , @Hippopotamusdrome
        Betelgeuse!
        https://i.ytimg.com/vi/MhoNffiu3Q0/hqdefault.jpg
      11. Total bummer if it already has… Especially if it was 649 years ago. We could spend our last night wandering around pondering the meaning of life.

        Oh wait, Larry Niven won a Hugo for that…

      12. Diversity sophistry meets the wall at the cockpit. No ones getting on a plane without a white man in there…

        It’s like opening an investment account with a guy named shapiro….like naah. Il pass, thanks.

      13. Stop using the preposition “concerning” as an adjective. Just stop it!

        • Replies: @El Dato
        Yes, it causes a LOT of concern!
      14. @Danindc
        Well, people are living longer nowadays...

        So yur sayin Biden sanders is a viable ticket outside a nursing home ?

      15. @PiltdownMan
        My dad pronouncing "Betelgeuse!' with great delight piqued my curiosity and what got me interested in stargazing as a kid—it was a hobby of his when he was a kid. I taught myself to pick out most of the constellations at a glance—none of which are visible anymore in the big city in which I live. Only Sirius and Venus are readily visible, so I haven't been able to get my kids to be interested, despite the occasional vacation trip when the constellations do become visible.

        In the '60s, we used to live in what would be called an exurb today, and I could readily pick out two of the moons of Jupiter with the naked eye—the trick was to look slightly to one side. The eye's area of maximum photosensitivity doesn't coincide with the optical center of its field of vision.

        Curiously, they weren't discovered until Galileo observed them through his telescopes and recorded their movement and realized they were orbits. But once he had done so, and people knew where to look, one or two of the moons of Jupiter were realized to be visible to the naked eye on clear nights. Some people are supposed to be able to see three. Galileo, iirc, recorded four with his telescope.

        In the ’60s, we used to live in what would be called an exurb today, and I could readily pick out two of the moons of Jupiter with the naked eye

        Fun story, but I don’t believe it for a minute.

        • LOL: PiltdownMan
        • Replies: @PiltdownMan
        Fair enough. I wondered sometime if was seeing what wasn’t there. But it was considered to be at the limits of visual acuity, from what I read then.
        The relative position of the faint dot ( or, as I thought I could see sometimes, two dots) did move from one night to another but not all over, just within a flat line segment. I’m guessing I did see them. My visual acuity was superb until my mid twenties.
        http://www.denisdutton.com/jupiter_moons.htm
        , @anonymous
        Don't doubt him, with eyesight that acute he could see Uranus.
      16. Works for me, so long as the sun doesn’t go supernova.

        • LOL: iffen
      17. You know, even after the Crab pulsar gamma rays zap us, the Yellowstone caldera supervolcano blasts us, and a killer asteroid fries us, the cockroaches will be all dead- but there’ll still be Pelosi, Schumer, Schiff, and Nadler impeaching Trump- and The View on TV.

        Personally, I side with Paul Kersey- it will not be the wrath of an exploding Betelgeuse which will destroy America, but African-Americans- the day when their EBT cards all run out.

        • Replies: @Art Deco
        Personally, I side with Paul Kersey- it will not be the wrath of an exploding Betelgeuse which will destroy America, but African-Americans- the day when their EBT cards all run out.

        It hasn't occurred to Mr. Kersey, who isn't the sharpest tack in the box, that the typical black person would have to travel back about eight generations to arrive at a point where even half those in his pedigree were born outside the United States. If you've not been 'destroyed' over a period of 240 years, it's not the most likely future scenario.

        About 25% of the black population is enrolled in SNAP (v. 11% of the non-black population). It's a means-tested program and that disparity is a function of the share on each side of the color bar who meet the eligibility requirements. (In 2017, about 10.7% of the non-black population and 21.2% of the black population reported household income levels below $15,000 per year).

        Right now, the average household benefit is $250 a month. It's an income supplement program available to people in a various states of life, not a substitute for earned income.
        , @adreadline

        You know, even after the Crab pulsar gamma rays zap us, the Yellowstone caldera supervolcano blasts us, and a killer asteroid fries us, the cockroaches will be all dead- but there’ll still be Pelosi, Schumer, Schiff, and Nadler impeaching Trump- and The View on TV.
         
        And Iran will still be on the news.
      18. As far as interstellar risks are a concern I would be more worried about a dark forest strike. 2 high speed interstellar objects zoomed through the Solar System recently.

        • Agree: AnotherDad
      19. Cool but I’ll take the 67 –

        • Replies: @donut
        My favorite car to this day is the 67-68 SS . They were boxy but still one of the most elegant mass market cars ever designed . IMHO
      20. Whether it will go supernova in tens of thousands of years or real soon now is difficult to forecast.

        I loves me the idea of seeing something that cool, but I’m 65 and I have to think my chances are quite poor. Also, what we see today happened 650 years ago, so maybe it’s already happened. If only the damned internet had a little more capability, we could find out. You know, check Snopes, maybe. Aren’t they the Undisputed Last Word in fact-checking?

      21. @PiltdownMan
        My dad pronouncing "Betelgeuse!' with great delight piqued my curiosity and what got me interested in stargazing as a kid—it was a hobby of his when he was a kid. I taught myself to pick out most of the constellations at a glance—none of which are visible anymore in the big city in which I live. Only Sirius and Venus are readily visible, so I haven't been able to get my kids to be interested, despite the occasional vacation trip when the constellations do become visible.

        In the '60s, we used to live in what would be called an exurb today, and I could readily pick out two of the moons of Jupiter with the naked eye—the trick was to look slightly to one side. The eye's area of maximum photosensitivity doesn't coincide with the optical center of its field of vision.

        Curiously, they weren't discovered until Galileo observed them through his telescopes and recorded their movement and realized they were orbits. But once he had done so, and people knew where to look, one or two of the moons of Jupiter were realized to be visible to the naked eye on clear nights. Some people are supposed to be able to see three. Galileo, iirc, recorded four with his telescope.

        Galileo, iirc, recorded four with his telescope.

        You are correct. They are sometimes referred to as Jupiter’s “Galilean” moons for that reason.

      22. NYT is troubled by “ethical implications” of corona quarantine in China.

        https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/22/world/asia/coronavirus-quarantines-history.html

        Read way through to the end and you’ll see that the story is really about “is it good for the jews?” Surprise!

      23. Stale pale males to blame. Somehow, if Orion’s shoulder becomes an invisible knapsack, it will be the fault of wypipo but not white women.

        Intersectional astronomy demands it.

      24. Mr. Sailer, I believe the problem is you don’t get out and talk to people with differing views on astronomy. You just live in a ” local bubble.”
        https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Local_Bubble

        As for nova vs. supernova, all types of supernova have mass requirements greater than the Sun, which is somewhat above average. So the vast majority will not go supernova.

      25. We could stop the process and save Betelgeuse if only we would elect all Democrats and go green by stopping all internal combustion engines and limit births to one per woman everywhere but sub-Saharan Africa (that would be racist) and of course put the government in control of everything so that we are all full socialist, or something…

      26. @PiltdownMan
        My dad pronouncing "Betelgeuse!' with great delight piqued my curiosity and what got me interested in stargazing as a kid—it was a hobby of his when he was a kid. I taught myself to pick out most of the constellations at a glance—none of which are visible anymore in the big city in which I live. Only Sirius and Venus are readily visible, so I haven't been able to get my kids to be interested, despite the occasional vacation trip when the constellations do become visible.

        In the '60s, we used to live in what would be called an exurb today, and I could readily pick out two of the moons of Jupiter with the naked eye—the trick was to look slightly to one side. The eye's area of maximum photosensitivity doesn't coincide with the optical center of its field of vision.

        Curiously, they weren't discovered until Galileo observed them through his telescopes and recorded their movement and realized they were orbits. But once he had done so, and people knew where to look, one or two of the moons of Jupiter were realized to be visible to the naked eye on clear nights. Some people are supposed to be able to see three. Galileo, iirc, recorded four with his telescope.

        Some years back, a friend and I visited his grandparents up in New Hampshire, and one dark, clear night we sat on their deck with a pair of binoculars and observed the four most visible moons of Jupiter. It was outstanding.

        Years later, on the back steps of my home in Southern NJ on clear winter nights at the dark of the moon, and again using binoculars, I was able to descry at least a couple of the moons of Jupiter, despite the ever present light pollution.

      27. @PiltdownMan
        My dad pronouncing "Betelgeuse!' with great delight piqued my curiosity and what got me interested in stargazing as a kid—it was a hobby of his when he was a kid. I taught myself to pick out most of the constellations at a glance—none of which are visible anymore in the big city in which I live. Only Sirius and Venus are readily visible, so I haven't been able to get my kids to be interested, despite the occasional vacation trip when the constellations do become visible.

        In the '60s, we used to live in what would be called an exurb today, and I could readily pick out two of the moons of Jupiter with the naked eye—the trick was to look slightly to one side. The eye's area of maximum photosensitivity doesn't coincide with the optical center of its field of vision.

        Curiously, they weren't discovered until Galileo observed them through his telescopes and recorded their movement and realized they were orbits. But once he had done so, and people knew where to look, one or two of the moons of Jupiter were realized to be visible to the naked eye on clear nights. Some people are supposed to be able to see three. Galileo, iirc, recorded four with his telescope.

        But once he had done so, and people knew where to look, one or two of the moons of Jupiter were realized to be visible to the naked eye on clear nights.

        No and no.

        It is not “once he had done so.” There are tales about the moons of Jupiter, the rings of Saturn, and a companion star to Sirius that originate from all over the world and which long predate Galileo. This is just another one of those things which is conveniently ignored or falsified when modern sciencey types propound their Whig-historical narratives.

        • Replies: @Dieter Kief
        Galileo clearly was the breakthrough - not least because there was a major institution, which contradicted him. - This meant society, in general, was interested in such things on a big scale - which had not happened before. - At all. - - Nowhere.
      28. iSteve, Wikipedia is you friend.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supernova

        Yes, on iStevie-topics, Wikipedia articles are manipulated by gatekeepers who are as objective as CNN. But on dry, scientific topics that no one cares about, is there any reason to doubt what they say? Or am I a victim of Gell Mann Amnesia, here?

        Our Sun is not in any danger of going either nova or supernova. Novas are currently understood as involving mass transfer between close stellar companions, and unlike the twin suns of Tatooine in Star Wars, that cannot happen for the Sun. Our Sun is also too small to go “poof” in a supernova. It is expected to become a regular red giant, much smaller than Betelgeuse, and in its dotage, turn into a compressed, compact white dwarf.

        As far as Betalgeuse going poof, evidence suggests it is not in its stage of life where that can happen. One type of supernova involves mass transfer between close stars, ruling this out for Betelgeuse, and for the type II supernova where an isolated start simply blows up,

        “Several progenitors of Type IIb supernovae have been confirmed, and these were K and G supergiants, plus one A supergiant.[116] Yellow hypergiants or LBVs are proposed progenitors for Type IIb supernovae, and almost all Type IIb supernovae near enough to observe have shown such progenitors.[117][118]”

        This is saying that the supergiant stars known to have blown up where much yellower or bluer than Betelgeuse.

        As to the concern of the dimming of Betelgeuse, Betelgeuse is a known variable star

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Betelgeuse

        and its dimming is within known ranges of its variability. You know, kind of like global temperature on Earth.

      29. It would be of course very cool to watch a supernova. This is not new, I remember reading in the 1980s (maybe in Time magazine) of the impending possibility of Betelgeuse going supernova (being then an impressionable teen I worried back then if this would mean the end of life on our planet but almost all astronomers believe we are at safe distance)

      30. @PiltdownMan
        My dad pronouncing "Betelgeuse!' with great delight piqued my curiosity and what got me interested in stargazing as a kid—it was a hobby of his when he was a kid. I taught myself to pick out most of the constellations at a glance—none of which are visible anymore in the big city in which I live. Only Sirius and Venus are readily visible, so I haven't been able to get my kids to be interested, despite the occasional vacation trip when the constellations do become visible.

        In the '60s, we used to live in what would be called an exurb today, and I could readily pick out two of the moons of Jupiter with the naked eye—the trick was to look slightly to one side. The eye's area of maximum photosensitivity doesn't coincide with the optical center of its field of vision.

        Curiously, they weren't discovered until Galileo observed them through his telescopes and recorded their movement and realized they were orbits. But once he had done so, and people knew where to look, one or two of the moons of Jupiter were realized to be visible to the naked eye on clear nights. Some people are supposed to be able to see three. Galileo, iirc, recorded four with his telescope.

        … I could readily pick out two of the moons of Jupiter with the naked eye…

        You had exceptional eyesight!

        I was an amateur astronomer with a 6″ Newtonian reflector from the Cave Optical Company when I was growing up at 7,800 feet. I could see lots of things, but not with my naked eyes.

        Then, when I was 25 years old, I had radial karatotomy, RK, to correct my -7 diopter myopia. It worked, but it left me with starburst, dandelion effects around any light source against a dark background. It ruined astronomy for me. The eye surgeon told me that would not happen. I was smart enough to ask him if light would pass through the incisions in my corneas. He said it would not.

        Give me more time and I will tell you about my hair.

        • Replies: @Joe Stalin
        Some comments on LASIK and astronomy.

        https://www.cloudynights.com/topic/640196-lasik/
      31. Anon[272] • Disclaimer says:

        Wiki notes that Betelgeuse is a “A pulsating semiregular variable star. Betelgeuse is subject to multiple cycles of increasing and decreasing brightness due to changes in its size and temperature.”

        In other words, brightening and dimming is part of its normal lifestyle. Wiki says that Betelgeuse going supernova is just populist speculation. Astronomers say nothing is likely to happen soon. Maybe in the next 100,000 years.

      32. It seems to be about 100 times too far away to damage Earth when it goes nova; but it will certainly look impressive.

      33. Isn’t the Earth’s magnetic field about to collapse and reverse polarity too? Sounds scary, if you combine it with a supernova.

        • Replies: @Andy
        that has happened several times in the history of Earth and is not associated with species extinctions. That said, we live today in a highly technological environment and we don't know how the reversal of the magnetic field could affect our tech
      34. First heard of Betelgeuse in The Hitch-hikers guide to the galaxy (books then TV series)

        https://hitchhikers.fandom.com/wiki/Betelgeuse

        Betelgeuse (prn. bee-tull-joose) was star system XY8S Z GAMMA and the home system of both Ford Prefect and Zaphod Beeblebrox. The life forms of Betelgeuse planets are carbon based.[1]

        The closest red supergiant which holds two, maybe three, planets. Betelgeuse’s girls “will knock you off your feet”, according to a chant recited by crowds outside the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation Teleport Systems factory on Happi-Werld III.

      35. Kudos to iSteve for posting one of the best pictures of the Trumps, the one of them during the partial solar eclipse. Donald actually looks worthy of dating Melania in that one. He still has a bit of the frat boy punk about him, and you can’t see the age difference so much. I remember thinking this at the time.

        Regarding Betelgeuse and supernovae, those of us who have had astronomy as an interest beyond childhood have always known that the piddly little concerns we argue about here are nothing compared to the hammers that God can bring down at any time.

        • Replies: @Desiderius
        Dating?
      36. The energy of individual photons is expressed as electron volts. The higher the electron volts the higher the energy and the shorter the wavelength of the photon. 30 keV is thirty thousand electron volts which means the energy of each photon is roughly 10 to 15 times that of the range of visible light. (The energy of light is higher as you go from red light towards the shorter wavelength blue light). Some of the emissions from that neutron star are even higher than that, reaching 10 TeV which is 10 trillion electron volts.
        Recent findings suggest that collisions between neutron stars are the source of gold and platinum. Mathematical models of supernova were showing that the reaction process in a supernova that produces most of the elements that are denser than iron, did not produce significant quantities of those two elements. A recently observed neutron star collision in another galaxy indicated that the collision produced an amount of gold equal in mass to several times the mass of the earth.
        Betelgeuse is only about 10 million years old and it is reaching the end of its short life, so the supernova could still be hundreds of thousands of years away. The large fluctuations in size and luminosity are regarded as a warning sign but not a precise one. My understanding is that we should be OK because the worst X-ray and Gamma ray emissions occur along the axis of spin and Betelgeuse’s axis is pointing away from us. It it was otherwise we would be in trouble.
        It would be cool to see it in our lifetime, but these are cosmic events and that is a different timescale from the human one. It’s like that old joke. A teacher is explaining to her elementary school class about how in a couple,of billion years the sun will turn into a red giant and swallow up the earth. Little Johnny in the back freaks out: “Oh my God, isn’t there something we can do?! Can people escape to another planet, or stop it, or something!?” The teacher calms him down and tells him there is nothing now we can do and anyway it doesn’t matter to us because it won’t happen for another billion years. Johnny calms down. “Billion? Oh, what a relief; I thought you said million!

      37. Anonymous[160] • Disclaimer says:

        Plot twist: it already went supernova, we just don’t know it yet.

        Here is one of my favorite Vangelis tracks that seems apropos. His sound engineer read each of these and Vangelis decided to go with that instead of the guest vocalist to he had planned. A good decision I think.

        Heck, why not some Pink Floyd as well. Roger Waters gets pissy that Sid Barrett gets credit for starting a space music subgenre. He should take some solace in the fact he basically owns the entitled whining subgenre.

        Going to round this off with Planet Caravan. I like Pantera’s version especially for the win95 era CGI, as a yt comment states. But the Sabbath original is great too.

        Space has inspired some of the coolest music IMO.

        • Replies: @Dieter Kief

        Space has inspired some of the coolest music IMO.
         
        This could be read as some kind of expalnation:

        The sun sounds like it has for ages
        In brothers' spheres of singing-match
        But she will end her journey
        In the louder thunder-crash

        JWv Goethe - Faust I, Prologue

        cf. also - Joachim Ernst Behrends profound book "Die Welt ist Klang" (The world IS Sound)
      38. EVERYONE STOP!
        Nicholas Kristof heard some awful black propaganda rumor about underqualified nothings finding themselves in good jobs, by dint of blood relation or tribal membership, and decided to lay those rumors to rest with one headline, asking the questions no one else asks:
        https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/22/opinion/trump-trial-impeachment.html
        https://postimg.cc/8FbZ31vT
        Admit it, you weren’t even thinking about this, were you?

      39. @Paleo Liberal
        The article has a link to another article called Top 10 Ways to Destroy Earth.

        That second article is a broken link. 404 error.

        Does that mean they had second thoughts about giving instructions to Dr. Evil?

        There’s a machine called the Earth Destroyer that looks like the bad guy vehicle in the anti-deforestation cartoon Fern Gully: there used to be a short video but it appears to have been taken down. It’s bigger than a house and rapidly creates holes for mining.

      40. This post is a good enough excuse to squeeze in this clip.

        • Replies: @ThreeCranes
        They always say it's expanding, but why shouldn't we believe that it's shrinking? Wouldn't the relative motion be the same?

        And, when they talk about its expanding, they don't mean the size of subatomic particles themselves or the space between them, but the space between largish objects like planets, stars, galaxies etc. What's up with that?

        Doesn't sound as though the very fabric of space itself is expanding so how can they talk about the "universe" expanding when they really mean that the gap between largish objects is increasing?

        If the universe were truly expanding then all particles would expand as well and the motion would be undetectable. They need to come up with another term.
      41. If we’re lucky Betelgeuse will go ChevyNova and quietly decay away, returning to the universe that spawned it:

        • Replies: @SunBakedSuburb
        I am made from the dust of the stars

        -- Neil Peart
        , @Hypnotoad666

        If we’re lucky Betelgeuse will go ChevyNova and quietly decay away
         
        So the red-shift could simply be due to rust damage. Intriguing theory.

        This could also explain why its brightness is so heavily depreciated.
        , @newrouter
        If the regs weren't so ridiculous, I liked 2020 Nova with a column shifter.
      42. @Buzz Mohawk

        ... I could readily pick out two of the moons of Jupiter with the naked eye...
         
        You had exceptional eyesight!

        I was an amateur astronomer with a 6" Newtonian reflector from the Cave Optical Company when I was growing up at 7,800 feet. I could see lots of things, but not with my naked eyes.

        Then, when I was 25 years old, I had radial karatotomy, RK, to correct my -7 diopter myopia. It worked, but it left me with starburst, dandelion effects around any light source against a dark background. It ruined astronomy for me. The eye surgeon told me that would not happen. I was smart enough to ask him if light would pass through the incisions in my corneas. He said it would not.

        Give me more time and I will tell you about my hair.

        Some comments on LASIK and astronomy.

        https://www.cloudynights.com/topic/640196-lasik/

      43. For newest developments see this video on YouTube

      44. Where is Greta on this? Come on girl, this is in your paygrade. Start another tour and save us.

        • LOL: TWS
      45. @Buzz Mohawk
        Kudos to iSteve for posting one of the best pictures of the Trumps, the one of them during the partial solar eclipse. Donald actually looks worthy of dating Melania in that one. He still has a bit of the frat boy punk about him, and you can't see the age difference so much. I remember thinking this at the time.

        Regarding Betelgeuse and supernovae, those of us who have had astronomy as an interest beyond childhood have always known that the piddly little concerns we argue about here are nothing compared to the hammers that God can bring down at any time.

        Dating?

        • Replies: @Buzz Mohawk
        LOL. Even when you're married, you should still be dating. Chicks dig it. And those two looked like they had fun when they were in fact dating. What happened is that Don aged more than she did since then. It's not a linear thing.
      46. @Paleo Liberal
        The article has a link to another article called Top 10 Ways to Destroy Earth.

        That second article is a broken link. 404 error.

        Does that mean they had second thoughts about giving instructions to Dr. Evil?

        The article has a link to another article called Top 10 Ways to Destroy Earth.

        No more surfing?

        • Replies: @SunBakedSuburb
        In the British TV series Space: 1999 (first season promising; second season Lost in Space), the moon was knocked out of Earth's orbit by a nuclear blast of some kind. I'm guessing the tides would be flatter and the surfers would be bummed. Also, doesn't the moon absorb a lot of havoc-causing space rocks? Another bummer. I find all this space stuff fascinatin' but I hit a wall at precalculus.
        , @donut
        What if Eve hadn't taken a bite of the apple ?
      47. • Replies: @Barnard
        Hazony banned Peter Brimelow from attending his first conference in D.C. where Rich Lowry and John Bolton were among the speakers. He also had some good speakers and I see he has Orban lined up to speak in Rome. This organization still gives the appearance of being a Conservatism, Inc. grifter group trying to co-opt any legitimate and effective nationalists movements.
      48. Betelgeuse (the origin of the name of the movie Beetlejuice) is 650 light years away. It is assumed that when it finally does go supernova that it will be brighter than all objects in our sky other than the sun and the moon

        Note that if Betelgeuse is 650 light years away, it might have already gone supernova centuries ago.

        We just haven’t seen it yet

        • Replies: @Muggles
        >>Note that if Betelgeuse is 650 light years away, it might have already gone supernova centuries ago.

        We just haven’t seen it yet<<

        Very profound point. When we look up at the sky and see things outside of our solar system and further, we are actually watching the past in our "real time." Hence "space time."

        Much like how we live our lives. We think we are living in the present. But we only know what it is we are experiencing based upon our own past experiences and knowledge we learned in the past. The past totally dominates our present and even what we expect in the future.

        Only when something totally new happens do we start living "now." That's rare. Even then we can only interpret that based upon what we have done/learned from our past.

        So "dark matter/energy" and "string theory" as examples of our theories currently about very Large and very Small, all just analogues to our past thinking. Eventually as we know more we will realize these ideas are (very likely) misplaced or wrong. Just like life. "Oops, shouldn't have done that" or "not married them" etc. Totally New is very hard. But sky gazing is history we can experience Now.
      49. @The Alarmist
        If it is going to go supernova by current observations, then it already has.

        Are we doomed?

        https://www.space.com/4814-risk-earth-supernova-explosions.html

        “Are we doomed?”

        Probably.

        • Replies: @Don't Look at Me
        Will saying the name of the star three times have any effect?
      50. @International Jew
        I blame Carbon pollution.

        Aren’t we supposed to blame racism?

      51. Most stars definitely will not go supernova. Not even close. That’s not even a fringe opinion.

        • Replies: @International Jew
        That's true because most stars are too small. In fact half the stars out there are dwarfs so dim no one ever talks about them. On the other hand most of the well-known name-brand stars — your big bright ones — will go supernova.
      52. @Reg Cæsar

        The article has a link to another article called Top 10 Ways to Destroy Earth.
         
        No more surfing?



        https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=7NGlMq9oLbk

        https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=gkvhlo4a5iQ

        In the British TV series Space: 1999 (first season promising; second season Lost in Space), the moon was knocked out of Earth’s orbit by a nuclear blast of some kind. I’m guessing the tides would be flatter and the surfers would be bummed. Also, doesn’t the moon absorb a lot of havoc-causing space rocks? Another bummer. I find all this space stuff fascinatin’ but I hit a wall at precalculus.

        • Replies: @AnotherDad

        I’m guessing the tides would be flatter and the surfers would be bummed.
         
        Where are these "surfers" the Bay of Fundy?
        , @Don't Look at Me
        I've heard that waves are caused by wind, not the moon. So yes the tides would be flatter, but not gone because the sun has influence there as well. But there will still be gnarly waves.
      53. @mmack
        If we're lucky Betelgeuse will go ChevyNova and quietly decay away, returning to the universe that spawned it:

        http://giantclassiccars.com/uploads/photoalbum/1972-chevrolet-nova-ss-super-sport-350-4-speed-rough-and-rusty-project-parts-7.JPG

        I am made from the dust of the stars

        — Neil Peart

      54. @Desiderius
        Dating?

        LOL. Even when you’re married, you should still be dating. Chicks dig it. And those two looked like they had fun when they were in fact dating. What happened is that Don aged more than she did since then. It’s not a linear thing.

        • Replies: @Desiderius
        Chicks dig being First Lady and having 6’10” sons.

        Trump could stand to do some squats, but he’s generating plenty of heat in that marriage. Dates or no dates. He has the right enemies.
      55. at that rate it would take about 130,000 years for Betelgeuse’s nebula to reach Earth after it went supernova

        I’ve got two cars with mechanical ignition points, just in case.

        • Replies: @JMcG
        I have a couple of motorcycles with points. Hopefully the supernova happens in warm weather.
        , @Anonymous
        Except on purist show car resto’s, no one runs points on old cars anymore. It’s usually easiest to convert to factory electronic ignition, or there are aftermarket modules. Points suck.
      56. @mmack
        If we're lucky Betelgeuse will go ChevyNova and quietly decay away, returning to the universe that spawned it:

        http://giantclassiccars.com/uploads/photoalbum/1972-chevrolet-nova-ss-super-sport-350-4-speed-rough-and-rusty-project-parts-7.JPG

        If we’re lucky Betelgeuse will go ChevyNova and quietly decay away

        So the red-shift could simply be due to rust damage. Intriguing theory.

        This could also explain why its brightness is so heavily depreciated.

        • Agree: Hemid
      57. Betelgeuse going SN would apparently raise the temperature of the earth 3 – 4 degrees Celsius and temporarily deplete the ozone layer. Somebody should market Betelgeuse-block BPF-50.

      58. I, too, developed an interest in astronomy at age 11.

        When I did, I discovered that there was a total solar eclipse heading very near St. Louis in August 2017. I thought to myself then, that’s 29 years away. That’s like forever, I’ll be real old when it gets here, like 40.

        How quickly 29 years went by…

      59. @Buzz Mohawk
        LOL. Even when you're married, you should still be dating. Chicks dig it. And those two looked like they had fun when they were in fact dating. What happened is that Don aged more than she did since then. It's not a linear thing.

        Chicks dig being First Lady and having 6’10” sons.

        Trump could stand to do some squats, but he’s generating plenty of heat in that marriage. Dates or no dates. He has the right enemies.

      60. @PiltdownMan
        My dad pronouncing "Betelgeuse!' with great delight piqued my curiosity and what got me interested in stargazing as a kid—it was a hobby of his when he was a kid. I taught myself to pick out most of the constellations at a glance—none of which are visible anymore in the big city in which I live. Only Sirius and Venus are readily visible, so I haven't been able to get my kids to be interested, despite the occasional vacation trip when the constellations do become visible.

        In the '60s, we used to live in what would be called an exurb today, and I could readily pick out two of the moons of Jupiter with the naked eye—the trick was to look slightly to one side. The eye's area of maximum photosensitivity doesn't coincide with the optical center of its field of vision.

        Curiously, they weren't discovered until Galileo observed them through his telescopes and recorded their movement and realized they were orbits. But once he had done so, and people knew where to look, one or two of the moons of Jupiter were realized to be visible to the naked eye on clear nights. Some people are supposed to be able to see three. Galileo, iirc, recorded four with his telescope.

        Betelgeuse!

      61. @J1234

        at that rate it would take about 130,000 years for Betelgeuse’s nebula to reach Earth after it went supernova

         
        I've got two cars with mechanical ignition points, just in case.

        I have a couple of motorcycles with points. Hopefully the supernova happens in warm weather.

      62. @Intelligent Dasein

        But once he had done so, and people knew where to look, one or two of the moons of Jupiter were realized to be visible to the naked eye on clear nights.
         
        No and no.

        It is not "once he had done so." There are tales about the moons of Jupiter, the rings of Saturn, and a companion star to Sirius that originate from all over the world and which long predate Galileo. This is just another one of those things which is conveniently ignored or falsified when modern sciencey types propound their Whig-historical narratives.

        Galileo clearly was the breakthrough – not least because there was a major institution, which contradicted him. – This meant society, in general, was interested in such things on a big scale – which had not happened before. – At all. – – Nowhere.

      63. @SteveM

        Betelgeuse (the origin of the name of the movie Beetlejuice) is 650 light years away. It is assumed that when it finally does go supernova that it will be brighter than all objects in our sky other than the sun and the moon
         
        Note that if Betelgeuse is 650 light years away, it might have already gone supernova centuries ago.

        We just haven't seen it yet

        >>Note that if Betelgeuse is 650 light years away, it might have already gone supernova centuries ago.

        We just haven’t seen it yet<<

        Very profound point. When we look up at the sky and see things outside of our solar system and further, we are actually watching the past in our "real time." Hence "space time."

        Much like how we live our lives. We think we are living in the present. But we only know what it is we are experiencing based upon our own past experiences and knowledge we learned in the past. The past totally dominates our present and even what we expect in the future.

        Only when something totally new happens do we start living "now." That's rare. Even then we can only interpret that based upon what we have done/learned from our past.

        So "dark matter/energy" and "string theory" as examples of our theories currently about very Large and very Small, all just analogues to our past thinking. Eventually as we know more we will realize these ideas are (very likely) misplaced or wrong. Just like life. "Oops, shouldn't have done that" or "not married them" etc. Totally New is very hard. But sky gazing is history we can experience Now.

        • Replies: @Autochthon
        https://youtu.be/nnX6DGvq1oI

        Things come wrapped up in time
        Like the past in a present
        Or the perfect line in a song

        They take their time
        And when they're gone
        They take their time with them

        And you can't have them back
        Because the time for them has gone
        And their time has gone with them

        The time for them has gone.

        There's an echo of them
        An echo of the time they were wrapped in
        Sweet or bitter in the memory
        But an echo is all, all I can reach now

        An echo of you
        An echo of you
        An echo of you in your time

        Still echoing
        Like a star in the sky
        Like a star in the sky above me

        And the story of its life
        Told backwards down this rod of light
        But at its beginning...
        Long extinct.
         
        (Cf. Zen & The Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.)
      64. @Desiderius
        https://twitter.com/jackbuckby/status/1220390932740235264

        Hazony banned Peter Brimelow from attending his first conference in D.C. where Rich Lowry and John Bolton were among the speakers. He also had some good speakers and I see he has Orban lined up to speak in Rome. This organization still gives the appearance of being a Conservatism, Inc. grifter group trying to co-opt any legitimate and effective nationalists movements.

      65. @Reg Cæsar

        The article has a link to another article called Top 10 Ways to Destroy Earth.
         
        No more surfing?



        https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=7NGlMq9oLbk

        https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=gkvhlo4a5iQ

        What if Eve hadn’t taken a bite of the apple ?

      66. Is the US empire in the supernova stage? Or still too early for that?

        • Replies: @International Jew
        By virtue of mass immigration, you could say the US is one of those stars that strips mass from other stars. Once it's accreted enough mass, then yes it does blow up as a type I supernova.
      67. At the center of the nebula lies Africa, a continent of 11.7 million sq miles with a fertility rate of 30.2 times per second, which emits pulses of migration from Bantus to Muslims…

        This is more concerning…

        • Agree: AnotherDad
      68. @songbird
        Isn't the Earth's magnetic field about to collapse and reverse polarity too? Sounds scary, if you combine it with a supernova.

        that has happened several times in the history of Earth and is not associated with species extinctions. That said, we live today in a highly technological environment and we don’t know how the reversal of the magnetic field could affect our tech

      69. @Anonymous
        Plot twist: it already went supernova, we just don't know it yet.

        Here is one of my favorite Vangelis tracks that seems apropos. His sound engineer read each of these and Vangelis decided to go with that instead of the guest vocalist to he had planned. A good decision I think.

        https://youtu.be/8kDXADYUgqk

        Heck, why not some Pink Floyd as well. Roger Waters gets pissy that Sid Barrett gets credit for starting a space music subgenre. He should take some solace in the fact he basically owns the entitled whining subgenre.

        https://youtu.be/pJh9OLlXenM

        Going to round this off with Planet Caravan. I like Pantera's version especially for the win95 era CGI, as a yt comment states. But the Sabbath original is great too.

        https://youtu.be/kWChhdIgT6Q

        Space has inspired some of the coolest music IMO.

        Space has inspired some of the coolest music IMO.

        This could be read as some kind of expalnation:

        The sun sounds like it has for ages
        In brothers’ spheres of singing-match
        But she will end her journey
        In the louder thunder-crash

        JWv Goethe – Faust I, Prologue

        cf. also – Joachim Ernst Behrends profound book “Die Welt ist Klang” (The world IS Sound)

        • Agree: Hemid
      70. @Muggles
        >>Note that if Betelgeuse is 650 light years away, it might have already gone supernova centuries ago.

        We just haven’t seen it yet<<

        Very profound point. When we look up at the sky and see things outside of our solar system and further, we are actually watching the past in our "real time." Hence "space time."

        Much like how we live our lives. We think we are living in the present. But we only know what it is we are experiencing based upon our own past experiences and knowledge we learned in the past. The past totally dominates our present and even what we expect in the future.

        Only when something totally new happens do we start living "now." That's rare. Even then we can only interpret that based upon what we have done/learned from our past.

        So "dark matter/energy" and "string theory" as examples of our theories currently about very Large and very Small, all just analogues to our past thinking. Eventually as we know more we will realize these ideas are (very likely) misplaced or wrong. Just like life. "Oops, shouldn't have done that" or "not married them" etc. Totally New is very hard. But sky gazing is history we can experience Now.

        Things come wrapped up in time
        Like the past in a present
        Or the perfect line in a song

        They take their time
        And when they’re gone
        They take their time with them

        And you can’t have them back
        Because the time for them has gone
        And their time has gone with them

        The time for them has gone.

        There’s an echo of them
        An echo of the time they were wrapped in
        Sweet or bitter in the memory
        But an echo is all, all I can reach now

        An echo of you
        An echo of you
        An echo of you in your time

        Still echoing
        Like a star in the sky
        Like a star in the sky above me

        And the story of its life
        Told backwards down this rod of light
        But at its beginning…
        Long extinct.

        (Cf. Zen & The Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.)

      71. @Hans
        Cool but I'll take the 67 - http://assets.superchevy.com/f/135275314.jpg?width=640&height=426

        My favorite car to this day is the 67-68 SS . They were boxy but still one of the most elegant mass market cars ever designed . IMHO

        • Replies: @JMcG
        67 LeMans convertible. Or GTO if you have to be lurid.
        , @Sparkon
        I've had the good fortune in life to have driven for awhile both a 1963 Impala SS and a 1969 Chevelle SS396, but never to any doggone dry levee, only wet ones.


        https://dbmotors.files.wordpress.com/2011/04/1963-impala-ss-green-008.jpg

        They call this "green" but actually the color is Midnight Blue

        https://assets.hemmings.com/blog/wp-content/uploads//2018/08/449081.jpg

        That picture mmack posted in his #42 of the Nova raises serious questions, and it incidentally reminded me of an old cartoon I once clipped showing two women with a flat tire, and they had the wrong end of the car jacked up.

        Well, I discovered Arthur C. Clarke when I was pretty young, and read The Exploration of Space (1951) a couple times when I was a kid. Later, I found it in paperback, but I didn't get a telescope until I was in my early 20s. and it was a cheapie altazimuth mount refractor I set-up in a vacant dorm room across the hall where I had a good view of the SW sky, and could point the scope through an open window looking away from the city.

        The cheap telescope had a 6x coaxially mounted finderscope, so it was possible to get it pointed at the desired star, but Earth's rotation soon displaces any or planet star from your field of view unless your scope is on an equatorial mount with a clock drive to counteract Earth's rotation and keep the scope pointed at the same place in the sky, which of course makes observation much more comfortable, and photography possible.

        I haven't had a telescope since that cheap one long ago. Now I've got my eye on the iOptron SkyTracker Pro Camera Tracking Mount that makes possible great night sky photography with a standard DSLR, so it's essentially an equatorial mount clock-drive for your camera.

        Well, Betelgeuse is a variable star, so cyclical dimming is what it does, like most. Even our own Sun is variable, varying just 0.01% (1/1000) over its 11-year cycle, so presumably that couldn't have anything to do with climate change, but numbers of sunspots rise and fall over those cycles. During the Little Ice Age, there was a dearth of spots.

        Between 1650 A.D. and 1700 A.D., global climates turned bitterly cold (the Little Ice Age), demonstrating a clear correspondence between sunspots and cool climate. After 1700 A.D., the number of observed sunspots increased sharply from nearly zero to 50–100.
         
        https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/earth-and-planetary-sciences/maunder-minimum

        Lately, we haven't had too many sunspots either. There were a couple a few weeks ago, but now the Sun is blank again, and we are reportedly approaching a solar minimum real soon now. Are we there yet?
      72. @Ano
        You know, even after the Crab pulsar gamma rays zap us, the Yellowstone caldera supervolcano blasts us, and a killer asteroid fries us, the cockroaches will be all dead- but there'll still be Pelosi, Schumer, Schiff, and Nadler impeaching Trump- and The View on TV.

        Personally, I side with Paul Kersey- it will not be the wrath of an exploding Betelgeuse which will destroy America, but African-Americans- the day when their EBT cards all run out.

        Personally, I side with Paul Kersey- it will not be the wrath of an exploding Betelgeuse which will destroy America, but African-Americans- the day when their EBT cards all run out.

        It hasn’t occurred to Mr. Kersey, who isn’t the sharpest tack in the box, that the typical black person would have to travel back about eight generations to arrive at a point where even half those in his pedigree were born outside the United States. If you’ve not been ‘destroyed’ over a period of 240 years, it’s not the most likely future scenario.

        About 25% of the black population is enrolled in SNAP (v. 11% of the non-black population). It’s a means-tested program and that disparity is a function of the share on each side of the color bar who meet the eligibility requirements. (In 2017, about 10.7% of the non-black population and 21.2% of the black population reported household income levels below $15,000 per year).

        Right now, the average household benefit is $250 a month. It’s an income supplement program available to people in a various states of life, not a substitute for earned income.

      73. “it would take about 130,000 years for Betelgeuse’s nebula to reach Earth after it went supernova”

        OK, so what you MEAN is that Betelgeuse already WENT supernova 130,001 years ago, and we will get to SEE what it LOOKED LIKE, way back then, pretty soon now. Yer gonna discuss Astronomy with NO CONCEPTION AT ALL about what “light year” MEANS?? Ya might wanna ask the guy in the next cube to ‘splain you how this works.

        • Replies: @Anonymous

        OK, so what you MEAN is that Betelgeuse already WENT supernova 130,001 years ago, and we will get to SEE what it LOOKED LIKE, way back then, pretty soon now. Yer gonna discuss Astronomy with NO CONCEPTION AT ALL about what “light year” MEANS?? Ya might wanna ask the guy in the next cube to ‘splain you how this works.
         
        Errr...no. Apparently YOU are going to discuss astronomy with no conception at all about how far Betelgeuse is from earth. Without questioning how a star supposedly 130,000 light years away could be one of the brightest stars in our night sky, when the closest star is only a little over 4 light years away. Of the 93 brightest stars in our night sky, the furthest away from earth is Deneb, which is only 2,600 light years away. That would make Betelgeuse, in your misunderstanding 130,000 light years away, 50 times further away than Deneb, in a galaxy which is at most 200,000 light years wide.

        The light from Betelgeuse takes 650 years to reach earth. It is the matter which will form its nebula, when it goes supernova, that Steve estimates will take 130,000 years to reach us.
      74. Another redlining story.

      75. @SFG
        Mostly famous for the cheesy movie that became a worse cartoon...

        (It's not pronounced the same way...)

        Bite your tongue, sir.

      76. I don’t know what that means but it sounds concerning.

        Don’t worry Steve, it’s not.

        650 million ly–ballpark 4000 trillion miles–is a long long way away. Really bad stuff can be happening at that distance and you’ll still be ok.

        You can put away your lead umbrella for a while yet.

        Now … if you shrink that down to say within 30 ly … and get the flux pointed our way …

        • Replies: @Anonymous
        Betelgeuse is 642 light years away, meaning we see it at 1378 AD. And vice versa. To it, we are in the Dark Ages, if it cared, or could care.

        Personally I suspect the current religious belief that nothing can go faster than light will probably be found wrong-but not in my lifetime. We probably won’t have boots back on the moon in my lifetime, and certainly not Mars.
      77. So what if there’s a contagion, your masks are screwing up our panopticon!
        The Ministry of Health of the People’s Republic of China has released a newsletter about the new Wuhan virus.

        First, the irrational panic must be stopped. The catastrophe did not follow the mood of anxiety. The leaders of the People’s Republic of China, the Ministry of Health, and personal friend Li Hongzhong, secretary of the Central Committee of the Central Committee of the CPC of Hubei Province, made every effort to localize the infection and prevent infection with this disease.
        Wuhan’s movement is blocked by security restrictions. Avoid contact and watch the symptom!
        The next agenda item is the mask. The mask is not suitable because it cannot protect you from infection.
        However, at the same time, some citizens abuse the wearing of a facial mask. Our safety requires our openness, and face masks complicate the recognition of the camera face and guarantee. Therefore, wearing a mask in the hearth is not only pointless, but also harmful. Therefore, citizens are strongly assured of a guarantee of health safety; citizens must ensure the safety of society.
        Social harmony and understanding are the foundation of prosperity and protection. Pay attention to your health!

      78. @SunBakedSuburb
        In the British TV series Space: 1999 (first season promising; second season Lost in Space), the moon was knocked out of Earth's orbit by a nuclear blast of some kind. I'm guessing the tides would be flatter and the surfers would be bummed. Also, doesn't the moon absorb a lot of havoc-causing space rocks? Another bummer. I find all this space stuff fascinatin' but I hit a wall at precalculus.

        I’m guessing the tides would be flatter and the surfers would be bummed.

        Where are these “surfers” the Bay of Fundy?

      79. @Ano
        You know, even after the Crab pulsar gamma rays zap us, the Yellowstone caldera supervolcano blasts us, and a killer asteroid fries us, the cockroaches will be all dead- but there'll still be Pelosi, Schumer, Schiff, and Nadler impeaching Trump- and The View on TV.

        Personally, I side with Paul Kersey- it will not be the wrath of an exploding Betelgeuse which will destroy America, but African-Americans- the day when their EBT cards all run out.

        You know, even after the Crab pulsar gamma rays zap us, the Yellowstone caldera supervolcano blasts us, and a killer asteroid fries us, the cockroaches will be all dead- but there’ll still be Pelosi, Schumer, Schiff, and Nadler impeaching Trump- and The View on TV.

        And Iran will still be on the news.

      80. @Svevlad
        Some dude said that if you're in your twenties you basically gonna gain access to biological immortality

        Some dude said that if you’re in your twenties you basically gonna gain access to biological immortality

        You didn’t give him any money, did you?

        • LOL: JMcG
      81. @Desiderius
        The point is the .001%? chance that one day soon everyone could suddenly live a lot shorter.

        An interesting question–to me anyway–is what sort of prediction, how near, would lead people to behave differently.

        Betelguese is zero threat to the Earth. But let’s say you had something much closer, and you had hard laws-of-physics solid science that supernova would destroy life on Earth … but the timeframe of that destruction was say 300 years out.

        Would people behave any differently? More religiously? Less oriented to children, future? Or … not at all?

        What if it was say 100 years out?

        Or more tellingly within young people’s lifetimes–say 50 years out?

        Or how about 10 years out? Hard to worry much about career advancement.

        Next year? I know the stock market is going to tank. Do people show up for work? Does it all go to hell right away?

        Would that finally put an end to minoritarianism and “nation of immigrants”ism? Would we be able to live our last days in peace? Or on the last day would we finally get the famous NYT headline?

        • Replies: @Autochthon
        https://youtu.be/4bcnO3VQ_fc
        , @anon
        All I know is that women and minorities would be the most affected, and we would all need to make a special effort remember Emmett Till.
        , @Don't Look at Me
        I would like to think that with 300 years to prepare, we would be able to develop a shade of some sort to protect Earth from the deadly supernova rays.
      82. @AnotherDad
        An interesting question--to me anyway--is what sort of prediction, how near, would lead people to behave differently.

        Betelguese is zero threat to the Earth. But let's say you had something much closer, and you had hard laws-of-physics solid science that supernova would destroy life on Earth ... but the timeframe of that destruction was say 300 years out.

        Would people behave any differently? More religiously? Less oriented to children, future? Or ... not at all?

        What if it was say 100 years out?

        Or more tellingly within young people's lifetimes--say 50 years out?

        Or how about 10 years out? Hard to worry much about career advancement.

        Next year? I know the stock market is going to tank. Do people show up for work? Does it all go to hell right away?

        Would that finally put an end to minoritarianism and "nation of immigrants"ism? Would we be able to live our last days in peace? Or on the last day would we finally get the famous NYT headline?

      83. @Charon

        In the ’60s, we used to live in what would be called an exurb today, and I could readily pick out two of the moons of Jupiter with the naked eye
         
        Fun story, but I don't believe it for a minute.

        Fair enough. I wondered sometime if was seeing what wasn’t there. But it was considered to be at the limits of visual acuity, from what I read then.
        The relative position of the faint dot ( or, as I thought I could see sometimes, two dots) did move from one night to another but not all over, just within a flat line segment. I’m guessing I did see them. My visual acuity was superb until my mid twenties.
        http://www.denisdutton.com/jupiter_moons.htm

        • Replies: @JerseyJeffersonian
        Don't sell yourself short; sometimes when we are younger our senses can indeed be far more accute than those of others around us.

        I haven't seen these for quite a while, but some years back, it was not uncommon to see at traffic intersections an arm suspended overhead that was part of a traffic light controller that was triggered by sensing the arrival of a vehicle at the intersection. It emitted a very high frequency beam of sound that likely, when reflected off of the arriving vehicle, caused the device to register a doppler shift occasioned by the advent of that vehicle. For most folks, this high frequency sound was way beyond their range of perception, but not for me. If I came up to such an intersection with my window down, I would have to roll it up, otherwise the blast of that high frequency - and correspondingly high energy sound - would drive me crazy. With the passage of years, doubtless my ability to perceive that high frequency sound has deteriorated, but as I no longer encounter such systems, it is hard to know for certain unless I were to be tested by a diagnoatic device that was capable of generating sounds in that frequency range.
      84. @donut
        My favorite car to this day is the 67-68 SS . They were boxy but still one of the most elegant mass market cars ever designed . IMHO

        67 LeMans convertible. Or GTO if you have to be lurid.

      85. Anonymous[532] • Disclaimer says:
        @AnotherDad

        I don’t know what that means but it sounds concerning.
         
        Don't worry Steve, it's not.

        650 million ly--ballpark 4000 trillion miles--is a long long way away. Really bad stuff can be happening at that distance and you'll still be ok.

        You can put away your lead umbrella for a while yet.

        Now … if you shrink that down to say within 30 ly … and get the flux pointed our way …

        Betelgeuse is 642 light years away, meaning we see it at 1378 AD. And vice versa. To it, we are in the Dark Ages, if it cared, or could care.

        Personally I suspect the current religious belief that nothing can go faster than light will probably be found wrong-but not in my lifetime. We probably won’t have boots back on the moon in my lifetime, and certainly not Mars.

      86. So at that rate it would take about 130,000 years for Betelgeuse’s nebula to reach Earth after it went supernova, by which point it would be highly dissipated.

        How highly? Even a very small decrease in Sun’s luminescence could plunge Earth into a very bad (and permanent) ice age or even cause Snowball Earth.

      87. @AnotherDad
        An interesting question--to me anyway--is what sort of prediction, how near, would lead people to behave differently.

        Betelguese is zero threat to the Earth. But let's say you had something much closer, and you had hard laws-of-physics solid science that supernova would destroy life on Earth ... but the timeframe of that destruction was say 300 years out.

        Would people behave any differently? More religiously? Less oriented to children, future? Or ... not at all?

        What if it was say 100 years out?

        Or more tellingly within young people's lifetimes--say 50 years out?

        Or how about 10 years out? Hard to worry much about career advancement.

        Next year? I know the stock market is going to tank. Do people show up for work? Does it all go to hell right away?

        Would that finally put an end to minoritarianism and "nation of immigrants"ism? Would we be able to live our last days in peace? Or on the last day would we finally get the famous NYT headline?

        All I know is that women and minorities would be the most affected, and we would all need to make a special effort remember Emmett Till.

      88. @donut
        My favorite car to this day is the 67-68 SS . They were boxy but still one of the most elegant mass market cars ever designed . IMHO

        I‘ve had the good fortune in life to have driven for awhile both a 1963 Impala SS and a 1969 Chevelle SS396, but never to any doggone dry levee, only wet ones.

        They call this “green” but actually the color is Midnight Blue

        That picture mmack posted in his #42 of the Nova raises serious questions, and it incidentally reminded me of an old cartoon I once clipped showing two women with a flat tire, and they had the wrong end of the car jacked up.

        Well, I discovered Arthur C. Clarke when I was pretty young, and read The Exploration of Space (1951) a couple times when I was a kid. Later, I found it in paperback, but I didn’t get a telescope until I was in my early 20s. and it was a cheapie altazimuth mount refractor I set-up in a vacant dorm room across the hall where I had a good view of the SW sky, and could point the scope through an open window looking away from the city.

        The cheap telescope had a 6x coaxially mounted finderscope, so it was possible to get it pointed at the desired star, but Earth’s rotation soon displaces any or planet star from your field of view unless your scope is on an equatorial mount with a clock drive to counteract Earth’s rotation and keep the scope pointed at the same place in the sky, which of course makes observation much more comfortable, and photography possible.

        I haven’t had a telescope since that cheap one long ago. Now I’ve got my eye on the iOptron SkyTracker Pro Camera Tracking Mount that makes possible great night sky photography with a standard DSLR, so it’s essentially an equatorial mount clock-drive for your camera.

        Well, Betelgeuse is a variable star, so cyclical dimming is what it does, like most. Even our own Sun is variable, varying just 0.01% (1/1000) over its 11-year cycle, so presumably that couldn’t have anything to do with climate change, but numbers of sunspots rise and fall over those cycles. During the Little Ice Age, there was a dearth of spots.

        Between 1650 A.D. and 1700 A.D., global climates turned bitterly cold (the Little Ice Age), demonstrating a clear correspondence between sunspots and cool climate. After 1700 A.D., the number of observed sunspots increased sharply from nearly zero to 50–100.

        https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/earth-and-planetary-sciences/maunder-minimum

        Lately, we haven’t had too many sunspots either. There were a couple a few weeks ago, but now the Sun is blank again, and we are reportedly approaching a solar minimum real soon now. Are we there yet?

      89. @Sideways
        Most stars definitely will not go supernova. Not even close. That's not even a fringe opinion.

        That’s true because most stars are too small. In fact half the stars out there are dwarfs so dim no one ever talks about them. On the other hand most of the well-known name-brand stars — your big bright ones — will go supernova.

      90. @Anonymous
        Is the US empire in the supernova stage? Or still too early for that?

        By virtue of mass immigration, you could say the US is one of those stars that strips mass from other stars. Once it’s accreted enough mass, then yes it does blow up as a type I supernova.

      91. @Charon

        In the ’60s, we used to live in what would be called an exurb today, and I could readily pick out two of the moons of Jupiter with the naked eye
         
        Fun story, but I don't believe it for a minute.

        Don’t doubt him, with eyesight that acute he could see Uranus.

      92. @PiltdownMan
        Fair enough. I wondered sometime if was seeing what wasn’t there. But it was considered to be at the limits of visual acuity, from what I read then.
        The relative position of the faint dot ( or, as I thought I could see sometimes, two dots) did move from one night to another but not all over, just within a flat line segment. I’m guessing I did see them. My visual acuity was superb until my mid twenties.
        http://www.denisdutton.com/jupiter_moons.htm

        Don’t sell yourself short; sometimes when we are younger our senses can indeed be far more accute than those of others around us.

        I haven’t seen these for quite a while, but some years back, it was not uncommon to see at traffic intersections an arm suspended overhead that was part of a traffic light controller that was triggered by sensing the arrival of a vehicle at the intersection. It emitted a very high frequency beam of sound that likely, when reflected off of the arriving vehicle, caused the device to register a doppler shift occasioned by the advent of that vehicle. For most folks, this high frequency sound was way beyond their range of perception, but not for me. If I came up to such an intersection with my window down, I would have to roll it up, otherwise the blast of that high frequency – and correspondingly high energy sound – would drive me crazy. With the passage of years, doubtless my ability to perceive that high frequency sound has deteriorated, but as I no longer encounter such systems, it is hard to know for certain unless I were to be tested by a diagnoatic device that was capable of generating sounds in that frequency range.

        • Replies: @Anonymous
        Emitting a high pitch noise in the range that it annoys young people but is totally lost on the old is a done thing. I first encountered it in a mall store where the owner had an old HP lunchbox audio generator set right at where it did not bother him but teens would get uncomfortable and leave. Later I saw a commercially built box that did that. The local Chartroose Caboose sandwich joints had them outside their stores so kids didn’t hang out there.
        , @anonymous
        Yes . I remember those at certain road intersections (Long Island, early-mid 1970's)...like an ice pick in your ear. Haven't heard one in a long time, but they could still be around (like bats squeaking...can't hear them anymore either).
      93. Anonymous[370] • Disclaimer says:
        @Vinnie O
        "it would take about 130,000 years for Betelgeuse’s nebula to reach Earth after it went supernova"

        OK, so what you MEAN is that Betelgeuse already WENT supernova 130,001 years ago, and we will get to SEE what it LOOKED LIKE, way back then, pretty soon now. Yer gonna discuss Astronomy with NO CONCEPTION AT ALL about what "light year" MEANS?? Ya might wanna ask the guy in the next cube to 'splain you how this works.

        OK, so what you MEAN is that Betelgeuse already WENT supernova 130,001 years ago, and we will get to SEE what it LOOKED LIKE, way back then, pretty soon now. Yer gonna discuss Astronomy with NO CONCEPTION AT ALL about what “light year” MEANS?? Ya might wanna ask the guy in the next cube to ‘splain you how this works.

        Errr…no. Apparently YOU are going to discuss astronomy with no conception at all about how far Betelgeuse is from earth. Without questioning how a star supposedly 130,000 light years away could be one of the brightest stars in our night sky, when the closest star is only a little over 4 light years away. Of the 93 brightest stars in our night sky, the furthest away from earth is Deneb, which is only 2,600 light years away. That would make Betelgeuse, in your misunderstanding 130,000 light years away, 50 times further away than Deneb, in a galaxy which is at most 200,000 light years wide.

        The light from Betelgeuse takes 650 years to reach earth. It is the matter which will form its nebula, when it goes supernova, that Steve estimates will take 130,000 years to reach us.

      94. @Anon
        This is an evergreen story, although I've never read this amount of technical detail about it. A supernova would be cool, but I'd be sad to see Orion lose his shoulder.

        I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. Time to die.

      95. @mmack
        If we're lucky Betelgeuse will go ChevyNova and quietly decay away, returning to the universe that spawned it:

        http://giantclassiccars.com/uploads/photoalbum/1972-chevrolet-nova-ss-super-sport-350-4-speed-rough-and-rusty-project-parts-7.JPG

        If the regs weren’t so ridiculous, I liked 2020 Nova with a column shifter.

      96. Somewhat OT:

        So I watched the pilot episode of Star Trek: Picard.

        Patrick Stewart looked old. The Brent Spiner de-aging was decent – not great, but passable – but, like De Niro in The Irishman, Spiner moved and sounded like the old man that he is. None of the new characters made much of an impact.

        As for the plot, they might as well have called it Blade Runner: The Next Generation.

        The dog is cute.

      97. Anonymous[266] • Disclaimer says:
        @JerseyJeffersonian
        Don't sell yourself short; sometimes when we are younger our senses can indeed be far more accute than those of others around us.

        I haven't seen these for quite a while, but some years back, it was not uncommon to see at traffic intersections an arm suspended overhead that was part of a traffic light controller that was triggered by sensing the arrival of a vehicle at the intersection. It emitted a very high frequency beam of sound that likely, when reflected off of the arriving vehicle, caused the device to register a doppler shift occasioned by the advent of that vehicle. For most folks, this high frequency sound was way beyond their range of perception, but not for me. If I came up to such an intersection with my window down, I would have to roll it up, otherwise the blast of that high frequency - and correspondingly high energy sound - would drive me crazy. With the passage of years, doubtless my ability to perceive that high frequency sound has deteriorated, but as I no longer encounter such systems, it is hard to know for certain unless I were to be tested by a diagnoatic device that was capable of generating sounds in that frequency range.

        Emitting a high pitch noise in the range that it annoys young people but is totally lost on the old is a done thing. I first encountered it in a mall store where the owner had an old HP lunchbox audio generator set right at where it did not bother him but teens would get uncomfortable and leave. Later I saw a commercially built box that did that. The local Chartroose Caboose sandwich joints had them outside their stores so kids didn’t hang out there.

      98. @Charon
        Stop using the preposition "concerning" as an adjective. Just stop it!

        Yes, it causes a LOT of concern!

      99. Back when I wanted to be an astronomer when I was 11 years old, it was assumed that most aged stars became novas but only a few became supernovas. My vague impression is that in the half century since then that the standard theory is that most stars go supernova, but what do I know?

        Come on Steve, this is like one of the “hair stories” or “whitey called me names” that never happened. These are very different processes.

        “Supernova” means a massive, fast star, which has fused its way all up to an iron core, which goes out with a bang. It does not repeat. You may also get a gamma ray burst in your face if you are badly aligned with the explosion and it’s one of the bigger first-generation stars.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supernova

        “Nova” is a fast burn on the surface of a white dwarf, as a layer of hydrogen has become thick enough to fuse. (although, come to think of it, proton-proton fusion is a very slow process, millions of years slow, how come the ignition is so sudden?) It may well repeat, unless the dwarf ruptures itself.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nova

      100. @JerseyJeffersonian
        Don't sell yourself short; sometimes when we are younger our senses can indeed be far more accute than those of others around us.

        I haven't seen these for quite a while, but some years back, it was not uncommon to see at traffic intersections an arm suspended overhead that was part of a traffic light controller that was triggered by sensing the arrival of a vehicle at the intersection. It emitted a very high frequency beam of sound that likely, when reflected off of the arriving vehicle, caused the device to register a doppler shift occasioned by the advent of that vehicle. For most folks, this high frequency sound was way beyond their range of perception, but not for me. If I came up to such an intersection with my window down, I would have to roll it up, otherwise the blast of that high frequency - and correspondingly high energy sound - would drive me crazy. With the passage of years, doubtless my ability to perceive that high frequency sound has deteriorated, but as I no longer encounter such systems, it is hard to know for certain unless I were to be tested by a diagnoatic device that was capable of generating sounds in that frequency range.

        Yes . I remember those at certain road intersections (Long Island, early-mid 1970’s)…like an ice pick in your ear. Haven’t heard one in a long time, but they could still be around (like bats squeaking…can’t hear them anymore either).

      101. @J1234

        at that rate it would take about 130,000 years for Betelgeuse’s nebula to reach Earth after it went supernova

         
        I've got two cars with mechanical ignition points, just in case.

        Except on purist show car resto’s, no one runs points on old cars anymore. It’s usually easiest to convert to factory electronic ignition, or there are aftermarket modules. Points suck.

        • Replies: @Anonymous
        If you can put the required gaptooth wheel on the crank snout the Ford EDIS swap is the done thing. In some engines the distributor can be removed entirely, or it's left in with no wiring to drive the oil pump.

        Otherwise, you can put the Chrysler pick up in on the stock point plate, or you can have a full GM HEI conversion done, if there is no factory distributor from the 1975-1990 era for that engine family. Or get an aftermarket Mallory or Accel distributor for those engines for which they are available.

        There are several aftermarket "points replacement" affairs but they tend to die at odd times so you need to carry a spare or another distributor with points and have them wired up to a quick change plug so you can do a roadside swap. I've had a couple of these take a shit on the highway. One cut off at speed on the highway and when we got it fixed, there was enough raw gas in the muffler it went KABOOM! and I had to have a new muffler put in. Always drill a little hole in the bottom of the muff so gas can run out on these old cars.
        , @J1234
        I run points on my two '50's and 60's era FoMoCo vehicles and why wouldn't I? It seems like every auto parts store I go to (at least NAPA) have points and condensers in stock. I don't put many miles on the cars, and all you need is a dwell tach to make sure they stay properly adjusted. By about 5000 miles they need to be replaced...i.e., you'll notice some improvement in performance when changed out. That's several years with my level of usage. My cars certainly aren't show cars, but they are pretty original - neither has ever had the engine rebuilt.

        I have a third car that came with a pertronix points change out on it's 390 V-8, and yes, it works pretty well, but I have a spare FE distributor (which I bought brand new recently, and it uses points/condenser.)
      102. I believe if say Betelgeuse 3 times, it’ll show up again.

      103. Anonymous[427] • Disclaimer says:
        @Anonymous
        Except on purist show car resto’s, no one runs points on old cars anymore. It’s usually easiest to convert to factory electronic ignition, or there are aftermarket modules. Points suck.

        If you can put the required gaptooth wheel on the crank snout the Ford EDIS swap is the done thing. In some engines the distributor can be removed entirely, or it’s left in with no wiring to drive the oil pump.

        Otherwise, you can put the Chrysler pick up in on the stock point plate, or you can have a full GM HEI conversion done, if there is no factory distributor from the 1975-1990 era for that engine family. Or get an aftermarket Mallory or Accel distributor for those engines for which they are available.

        There are several aftermarket “points replacement” affairs but they tend to die at odd times so you need to carry a spare or another distributor with points and have them wired up to a quick change plug so you can do a roadside swap. I’ve had a couple of these take a shit on the highway. One cut off at speed on the highway and when we got it fixed, there was enough raw gas in the muffler it went KABOOM! and I had to have a new muffler put in. Always drill a little hole in the bottom of the muff so gas can run out on these old cars.

        • Replies: @ThreeCranes
        The things you learn on this site......
      104. While Betelgeuse going supernova does not really pose a threat to Earth directly, it is not unlikely that, among the thousands of qualifying stars close enough to actually do damage to denizens of Earth if they do go supernova, there are a few that, with the incremental addition of gravity that a wave of supernova remnants from such a humongous source as Betelgeuse might supply, will have a noticeably (small, but noticeably) larger probability of going supernova.

        However, unless such a star is literally less than about 100 light years away – and there are no known stars in that range that are anywhere near likely to go supernova even with an outside boost such as I am describing – the simple algebraic equations that would describe the much less than light speed expansion of the supernova remnant bubble (matter, not light) from the Betelgeuse explosion and the much higher velocity deleterious rays from the triggered star, if added together, is a longer temporal process than the simple process of the A to B journey of photons from Betelgeuse, exploded, to the observers on earth. So we would have lots of Betelgeuse-photon warning time about the triggered star.

      105. @AnotherDad
        An interesting question--to me anyway--is what sort of prediction, how near, would lead people to behave differently.

        Betelguese is zero threat to the Earth. But let's say you had something much closer, and you had hard laws-of-physics solid science that supernova would destroy life on Earth ... but the timeframe of that destruction was say 300 years out.

        Would people behave any differently? More religiously? Less oriented to children, future? Or ... not at all?

        What if it was say 100 years out?

        Or more tellingly within young people's lifetimes--say 50 years out?

        Or how about 10 years out? Hard to worry much about career advancement.

        Next year? I know the stock market is going to tank. Do people show up for work? Does it all go to hell right away?

        Would that finally put an end to minoritarianism and "nation of immigrants"ism? Would we be able to live our last days in peace? Or on the last day would we finally get the famous NYT headline?

        I would like to think that with 300 years to prepare, we would be able to develop a shade of some sort to protect Earth from the deadly supernova rays.

      106. @SunBakedSuburb
        "Are we doomed?"

        Probably.

        Will saying the name of the star three times have any effect?

      107. @SunBakedSuburb
        In the British TV series Space: 1999 (first season promising; second season Lost in Space), the moon was knocked out of Earth's orbit by a nuclear blast of some kind. I'm guessing the tides would be flatter and the surfers would be bummed. Also, doesn't the moon absorb a lot of havoc-causing space rocks? Another bummer. I find all this space stuff fascinatin' but I hit a wall at precalculus.

        I’ve heard that waves are caused by wind, not the moon. So yes the tides would be flatter, but not gone because the sun has influence there as well. But there will still be gnarly waves.

      108. @peterike
        This post is a good enough excuse to squeeze in this clip.

        https://youtu.be/5U1-OmAICpU

        They always say it’s expanding, but why shouldn’t we believe that it’s shrinking? Wouldn’t the relative motion be the same?

        And, when they talk about its expanding, they don’t mean the size of subatomic particles themselves or the space between them, but the space between largish objects like planets, stars, galaxies etc. What’s up with that?

        Doesn’t sound as though the very fabric of space itself is expanding so how can they talk about the “universe” expanding when they really mean that the gap between largish objects is increasing?

        If the universe were truly expanding then all particles would expand as well and the motion would be undetectable. They need to come up with another term.

      109. @Anonymous
        If you can put the required gaptooth wheel on the crank snout the Ford EDIS swap is the done thing. In some engines the distributor can be removed entirely, or it's left in with no wiring to drive the oil pump.

        Otherwise, you can put the Chrysler pick up in on the stock point plate, or you can have a full GM HEI conversion done, if there is no factory distributor from the 1975-1990 era for that engine family. Or get an aftermarket Mallory or Accel distributor for those engines for which they are available.

        There are several aftermarket "points replacement" affairs but they tend to die at odd times so you need to carry a spare or another distributor with points and have them wired up to a quick change plug so you can do a roadside swap. I've had a couple of these take a shit on the highway. One cut off at speed on the highway and when we got it fixed, there was enough raw gas in the muffler it went KABOOM! and I had to have a new muffler put in. Always drill a little hole in the bottom of the muff so gas can run out on these old cars.

        The things you learn on this site……

      110. to revise my earlier comment about a Betelgeuse supernova triggering other supernovas, closer to earth and capable of doing damage to earth or the atmosphere – instead of “small but noticeably”, I should have said “extremely extremely small but noticeably”…. there is a lot of matter in Betelgeuse, but by the time that matter in the form of an attenuated sphere reaches even halfway to the Sun, the amount of Betelgeuse matter pelting down on any potential supernova will be very limited.

      111. @Anonymous
        Except on purist show car resto’s, no one runs points on old cars anymore. It’s usually easiest to convert to factory electronic ignition, or there are aftermarket modules. Points suck.

        I run points on my two ’50’s and 60’s era FoMoCo vehicles and why wouldn’t I? It seems like every auto parts store I go to (at least NAPA) have points and condensers in stock. I don’t put many miles on the cars, and all you need is a dwell tach to make sure they stay properly adjusted. By about 5000 miles they need to be replaced…i.e., you’ll notice some improvement in performance when changed out. That’s several years with my level of usage. My cars certainly aren’t show cars, but they are pretty original – neither has ever had the engine rebuilt.

        I have a third car that came with a pertronix points change out on it’s 390 V-8, and yes, it works pretty well, but I have a spare FE distributor (which I bought brand new recently, and it uses points/condenser.)

      112. Galactic cosmic rays are believed to originate from supernovas and, I have read, travel about 87% of the speed of light, so if Betelgeuse is 650 light years away, then we should be bombarded by very intense cosmic ray bombardment about 747 years later. That might well precipitate enough cloud cover to precipitate the next ice age:
        https://www.amazon.com/Chilling-Stars-New-Theory-Climate/dp/1840468661
        Also of interest:
        “there has been a rush of new evidence concerning supernova events moderately near to the Earth. Supernovae have been considered as a possible cause of terrestrial extinctions and lesser events for a long time” https://arxiv.org/ftp/arxiv/papers/1712/1712.02730.pdf

        And: SUPERNOVA: DISASTER PREPAREDNESS PLAN James A. Marusek 30 April 2004
        [snip]
        The root cause of global cooling is a byproduct of an exploding star, a supernova. Our solar system is currently in an active region of space producing nearby supernova events. This repeating pattern or string of nearby supernovas produce and reinvigorate Great Ice Ages. Supernovas produce Galactic Cosmic Rays (GCRs), high-energy charged particles that interact with the lower atmosphere to spawn cloud creation. A burst of GCRs produces a period of intense low cloud cover, which blocks sunlight, reflects solar radiation back out into deep space producing depressed temperatures globally. The clouds form into great storms, which move moisture to higher latitudes where it drives a buildup of solar reflective snow and ice contributing to a prolonged period of cooling.
        [snip]
        The particle radiation threat is different than the threat of radioactive fallout from a nuclear bomb. The fallout from a nuclear weapon produces intense X-Ray/Gamma Ray, which under very high exposure rates can cause immediate sickness and death. Particle radiation, on the other hand, cuts deeply into living organisms and release significant damage to the DNA in the cells. This damage generally becomes evident decades later producing higher incidences of cancer.
        [snip]
        Since these very high energy GCRs will travel at near light speeds, they will arrive during and shortly after the visible light from the supernova event. I believe the threat window will be measured in months.
        [snip]
        High-energy particle radiation can also be very deadly to electronics, especially transistors, semiconductors, integrated circuits and computer chips
        [snip]
        The initial thought that strikes the mind with the mention of the word Ice Age is ice, snow, and shivering cold. But in reality, the onset of a global cooling event is generally characterized by a prolonged period of heavy rainfall and constant dreary weather. Individuals who lived through the beginning of the Little Ice Age compared it to the time of the Biblical Flood because the rainfall was constant for months.
        http://www.breadandbutterscience.com/Supernova_Disaster_Preparedness_Plan.pdf

        • Replies: @Steve Sailer
        So we'd have 97 years warning from the time we see Betelgeuse go supernova?
      113. @mikesmith
        Galactic cosmic rays are believed to originate from supernovas and, I have read, travel about 87% of the speed of light, so if Betelgeuse is 650 light years away, then we should be bombarded by very intense cosmic ray bombardment about 747 years later. That might well precipitate enough cloud cover to precipitate the next ice age:
        https://www.amazon.com/Chilling-Stars-New-Theory-Climate/dp/1840468661
        Also of interest:
        "there has been a rush of new evidence concerning supernova events moderately near to the Earth. Supernovae have been considered as a possible cause of terrestrial extinctions and lesser events for a long time" https://arxiv.org/ftp/arxiv/papers/1712/1712.02730.pdf

        And: SUPERNOVA: DISASTER PREPAREDNESS PLAN James A. Marusek 30 April 2004
        [snip]
        The root cause of global cooling is a byproduct of an exploding star, a supernova. Our solar system is currently in an active region of space producing nearby supernova events. This repeating pattern or string of nearby supernovas produce and reinvigorate Great Ice Ages. Supernovas produce Galactic Cosmic Rays (GCRs), high-energy charged particles that interact with the lower atmosphere to spawn cloud creation. A burst of GCRs produces a period of intense low cloud cover, which blocks sunlight, reflects solar radiation back out into deep space producing depressed temperatures globally. The clouds form into great storms, which move moisture to higher latitudes where it drives a buildup of solar reflective snow and ice contributing to a prolonged period of cooling.
        [snip]
        The particle radiation threat is different than the threat of radioactive fallout from a nuclear bomb. The fallout from a nuclear weapon produces intense X-Ray/Gamma Ray, which under very high exposure rates can cause immediate sickness and death. Particle radiation, on the other hand, cuts deeply into living organisms and release significant damage to the DNA in the cells. This damage generally becomes evident decades later producing higher incidences of cancer.
        [snip]
        Since these very high energy GCRs will travel at near light speeds, they will arrive during and shortly after the visible light from the supernova event. I believe the threat window will be measured in months.
        [snip]
        High-energy particle radiation can also be very deadly to electronics, especially transistors, semiconductors, integrated circuits and computer chips
        [snip]
        The initial thought that strikes the mind with the mention of the word Ice Age is ice, snow, and shivering cold. But in reality, the onset of a global cooling event is generally characterized by a prolonged period of heavy rainfall and constant dreary weather. Individuals who lived through the beginning of the Little Ice Age compared it to the time of the Biblical Flood because the rainfall was constant for months.
        http://www.breadandbutterscience.com/Supernova_Disaster_Preparedness_Plan.pdf

        So we’d have 97 years warning from the time we see Betelgeuse go supernova?

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