Scientists: Deadly Star Could Kill Humanity Next Year


Star on verge of going hypernova could wipe out Earth life

It’s name is Eta Carinae. It’s a staror to be absolutely accuratea binary star. And it’s getting ready to destroy anything within 50,000 light years of it…like Earth.

Although few have ever heard of Eta Carinae, if things go wronghorribly wrongit could be the final, gasping words spilling from the gnarled lips of the last dying humans on Earth.

Once and for all, Doomsday really will have arrived.

Although it might sound like some Grade-B Hollywood End-of-the-World thriller, the scenario is very real. All too real. And it’s too close for comfort in more ways than one.

Death blow from space: deadly and merciless [NASA]

The killer star

If ever there was a ticking time bomb in our galaxy, it would be Eta Carinaeat least as far as life on Earth is concerned.

For Eta Carinae is a killer waiting to strike.

But the truly horrifying reality is it may have struck already, and we don’t even know it yet.

When pushed on the issue, all astronomers agree that Eta Carinae could easily destroy all life on Earth, or at the very least, the side facing the death star when its celestial greetings of doom come knocking on our door.

When will that be? It’s anyone’s guess. Some scientists think it could be within our lifetimes, even as early asdare it be said?2012.

Astronomers: explosion precursor to going hypernova [CHANDRA]

Terminal calculations

How dangerous is this unstable star?

The calculations are in, and they’re not looking good.

Grim astronomers grudgingly admit that when the massive Eta Carinae detonates it could well be a hypernova, not a supernova. The terrible truth is, it’s more likely than not to be a hypernova.

What is a hypernova? It’s an explosion that’s also termed a type 1c Supernova that happens to hypergiant stars with a mass 100 to 300 times larger than the sun. When hypergiant stars explode they release incredible energy all at once—an explosion equivalent to 100 or more supernovae exploding simultaneously.

The killer star’s light will be so intense it will be visible across millions of light years reaching to other galaxies. In fact, it might, for a time, outshine all the light generated by all the other stars in our own galaxy.

Eta Carinae: Earth will be collateral damage

Eta Carinae will release off-the-scale gamma ray bursts. According to scientists, if that burst hits Earth the radiation flux at the fringe of our planet’s atmosphere will equal a one kiloton nuclear explosion over every square mile that takes the direct hit.

Nothing can absorb such titanic fury. The total energy slamming Earth would be roughly 200 million kilotons. Next to that an all out thermonuclear war would look like a Fourth of July fireworks show.

Intense gamma ray burst hitting defenseless Earth

Saturation blast can sterilize Earth

A hypernova will create a lethality zone radiating outwards as far as 50,000 light years.

Unfortunately, the Earth is well within that death zone as the killer star lies only 7,500 light years away from us.

“Gamma-ray bursts are the most powerful explosions known in the universe, capable of releasing as much energy as our sun would during its entire 10 billion-year lifetime in anywhere from milliseconds to a minute or more.”[Wikipedia]

Scientists believe such massive bursts are the cause of some mass extinction events during the Earth’s past.

A team led by astrophysicist Brian Thomas at Washburn University theorizes a hypernova might have initiated the Ordovician-Silurian mass erxtinctiopn event that occured about 440 million years ago.

Many researchers now believe that short, hard gamma ray blasts occur on average every 100 million years. If so, Earth has been hit by at least several during its 4.5 billion year existence. [Could Blasts from Cosmic Collisions Destroy Life on Earth?]

Right now, the killer star is radiating energy at a mind-boggling rate: 5 million times more than our sun. Because of its energylike a gigantic fusion reactor gone wildEta Carinae is the brightest star in the Milky Way galaxy.

A supernova – Eta Cairnae’s explosion will be much bigger [JPL]

It also dwarfs our star, which is tiny in comparison, for Eta Carinae is more than 100 times as massive as our sun.

What some experts say

Dave Pooley, at the University of California at Berkeley, says if Eta Carinae were observed to explode “it would be so bright that you would see it during the day, and you could even read a book by its light at night.”

Of course, that assumes you’re still alive.

Leading edge of killing gamma ray burst hits surface of Earth

Mario Livio, of the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, Maryland warns that Eta Carinae could be “seen to explode at any time.” [BBC News]

Esteemed NASA scientist Stefan Immler at the Goddard Space Flight Center thinks Eta Carinae could very well explode in our lifetime, or even in the next few years.

Well, maybe Earth has a little more time, right? Well, maybe not.

Some astrophysicists at the European Space Agency have suggested it’s quite possible, based on observational analysis, that the killer star has already gone hypernova thousands of years ago and the speeding death rays could inundate Earth in as little as a year.

Explosions like this can be followed by hypernovas in mere years [Hubble]

Meanwhile, at the Russian space agency Roscosmos, more space scientists concur that planet-wide death from the violent star could come unexpectedly swift.

The consensus among scientistsand the apprehensionis growi


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