This Dwarf May Kill You

Looking for something else to worry about, consider T Pyxidis . . . it may be the end to all of us.

Astronomers at Villanova University believe T Pyxidis is really two stars with one being a white dwarf that is sucking in gas and steadily growing. It will eventually explode and possibly end life on this planet. It is simply not known when. I am personally waiting on finishing my grading of the finals in anticipation that T Pyxidis will supply the ultimate curve.

For the full story, click here.

97 thoughts on “This Dwarf May Kill You”

  1. Elaine M. Expanding Islands of Trash

    Third World countries and Carnival Cruise Lines, not to mention Freighters and Military Ships. What do you want me to do with this Capt? Throw it over.

    If they were smart, instead of complaining a trawler used to net huge schools of tuna could be used to clean it up. Might take a while zig zagging put it could be done.

  2. Byron–

    Grass fed cows and free range animals and fish not raised in farms are all better for us to eat.

    I’m not so sure that there is much order in Earth’s section of the universe. Even our oceans have islands of trash floating in them.

    ************
    From the New York Times (11/9/2009)
    Afloat in the Ocean, Expanding Islands of Trash
    By LINDSEY HOSHAW

    Excerpt:
    ABOARD THE ALGUITA, 1,000 miles northeast of Hawaii — In this remote patch of the Pacific Ocean, hundreds of miles from any national boundary, the detritus of human life is collecting in a swirling current so large that it defies precise measurement.

    Light bulbs, bottle caps, toothbrushes, Popsicle sticks and tiny pieces of plastic, each the size of a grain of rice, inhabit the Pacific garbage patch, an area of widely dispersed trash that doubles in size every decade and is now believed to be roughly twice the size of Texas. But one research organization estimates that the garbage now actually pervades the Pacific, though most of it is caught in what oceanographers call a gyre like this one — an area of heavy currents and slack winds that keep the trash swirling in a giant whirlpool.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/10/science/10patch.html

    ************

    Charles Moore, the man who found the Pacific garbage patch over a decade ago, was on the Colbert Report talking about the trash in the Pacific Ocean earlier this week.

    http://www.colbertnation.com/the-colbert-report-videos/260772/january-06-2010/charles-moore

  3. Elaine:

    the interesting part of that article was the last part about feeding cows grass and alfalfa instead of grain. Grass fed beef is higher in Omega 3’s than cold water fish. From what I have read grass fed beef is a heart protector.

    I guess it just goes to show you that mother nature needs to be understood to be harnessed properly by human beings. There is order in the universe and it is within our ability to understand if we look hard enough.

  4. I spent a considerable amount of time in Japan. Japanese are very friendly people, if they realize you don’t speak the language or speak very little they will teach you. My friends were just here over the holidays. They moved there about six months ago to Kobe. I know enough to ask for what I want but it’s hard to translate from Japanese to english in my head I’m not fluent in Sinitic or Japonic languages, but yet I get by.

    Chinese is another question though. I remember going there and seeing the Terra Cotta Soldiers. You have to be careful in China. The two most common names are Wing and Wong. I say careful because if you use their phone system chances are you will Wing the Wong number.

  5. Clovis:

    where are you hiding? come on out and play.

    they only let you use the computer one day a week?

  6. Global warming? I say: Blame it on Argentina!!!

    From Telegraph.co.uk
    Cow farts collected in plastic tank for global warming study

    Scientists are examining cow farts and burps in a novel bid to combat global warming.
    by Rupert Neate (7/9/2008)

    Excerpt:
    Experts said the slow digestive system of cows makes them a key producer of methane, a potent greenhouse gas that gets far less public attention than carbon dioxide.

    In a bid to understand the impact of the wind produced by cows on global warming, scientists collected gas from their stomachs in plastic tanks attached to their backs.

    The Argentine researchers discovered methane from cows accounts for more than 30 per cent of the country’s total greenhouse emissions.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/howaboutthat/2274995/Cow-farts-collected-in-plastic-tank-for-global-warming-study.html

    Even if you don’t read the article, you HAVE to see the picture of the cow with the plastic tank for collecting gas strapped to its back.

  7. I like how they paint the doom and gloom and then tell you

    ‘No alarm’

    Despite the high readings, Professor Gustafsson said that so far there was no cause for alarm, and stressed that further studies were still necessary to determine the exact cause of the methane seepage.

    “It is important now to understand how fast it is being released and how much is being released,” he said.

    However, there is a real fear that global warming may cause Siberia’s subsea permafrost to thaw.

    Some estimates put the amount of carbon trapped in shelf permafrost at 1,600 billion tonnes – roughly twice as much carbon as in the atmosphere now.

    The release of this once captive carbon from destabilised ocean sediments and permafrost would have catastrophic effect on our climate and life on Earth, warn the scientists.

    What if enter another mini ice age because the Solar geomagnetic index reached 1. It is the magnetic activity of the sun which is central to Svensmark’s theory of galactic cosmic ray modulation, which may affect cloud cover formation on earth, thus affecting global temperatures. As the theory goes, lower magnetic activity of the sun lets more GCR’s into our solar system, which produce microscopic cloud seed trails (like in a Wilson cloud chamber) in our atmosphere, resulting in more cloud cover, resulting in a cooler planet. All these what if’s = too many chiefs and not enough Indians. But no what if’s from you cause you da expert.

  8. bUDDHA:

    when I worked offshore in LA we use to see large areas where methane gas came to the surface. That probably has been happening all over the planet. Also I think, if I remember correctly, that frozen methane is on the bottom of the ocean. I think at one point they were wondering how to get to it.

  9. oooh. Wanton petty jealousy. Now there’s a fresh new tactic.

    How about that methane? That sure is something.

    Yep.

    Certainly a more clear and present danger than T Pyxidis, that’s for sure. And it was nice and trapped before the polar ices started to collapse.

  10. Sure, what ever you say Mr Expert on Japanese culture.

    arigato, Kore ga Watashi no Goshujin-sama hakushiki no kenchi

  11. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/8437703.stm

    And guess what changed the atmospheric chemistry just enough to start the warming required to release this methane? If your answer is anything other than “industrialization”, it is incorrect.

    Times they are a changing’. One thing leads to another. Time, flowing like a river. Crazy. We’re all just bricks in the wall. Stand or fall. The tide is turning. Yesterday, all my troubles seemed so far away, now it seems as though they are here to stay. Help.

    (Dylan. The Fixx. Alan Parsons Project. Willie Nelson/Patsy et al., Pink Floyd. The Fixx. Roger Waters. The Beatles x 2.)

    This demonstration is now concluded.

  12. I did and I agree, Gyges. Wandering conversations are one thing. In fact, they’ve provided some of the more interesting threads. But I think I usually try to stop or redirect the purposeful hijacking unless someone else is having fun with it. That being said, hijacking has happened. Personally, I think because of the efforts of many here, that is decreasing though. There’s a lot more comments I’ve noted used as to re-focus threads that merit more investigation than there once were – from many different parties, present company included.

  13. Gyges,

    Byron’s assessment is correct. My buttons are indeed (mostly) out of service but they are most certainly out of some people’s reach. I’m one of those guys who is very hard to anger – and it usually requires the addition of alcohol. But I do like to play with my food. I won’t argue that. Sometimes I just stir, sometimes I throw it against the wall just to see the pattern it makes. I’m just a rascal that way. But since I did it with the strained peas as a baby, I’m not likely to change my troll dining habits at this age.

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