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Look on the bright side, the T Pyxidis could end it all

T Pyxidis, the supernova poised to destroy the earth at any time.

OK, we can all stop worrying about the economy, the healthcare debacle, and the state of affairs in general; it looks like a supernova named T Pyxidis may be plotting our demise and ready to end all of our anguish.

T Pyxidis, a star on the verge of growing too massive and collapsing into a type Ia supernova, was discovered to be closer to Earth than previously thought – close enough to end life here when it finally explodes. NASA

Doomsdayers and 2012 blog-keepers, take note. Astronomers at this week’s American Astronomical Society meeting revealed that a massive white dwarf star in the throes of multiple nova is much closer to our solar system than once thought. When it does finally collapse into a type Ia supernova — okay, if it collapses into a type Ia supernova — the resulting thermonuclear blast will destroy life on earth. Seriously.

According to scientists:

“…the next blast is nearly 20 years overdue…”

Even if T Pyxidis doesn’t do us in, the volcano that is my beloved Yellowstone has been grumbling lately, giving scientists some agita over possible destruction of our continent:

“Depending on the nature and magnitude of a particular hazardous event and the particular time and season when it might occur, 70,000 to more than 100,000 persons could be affected; the most violent events could affect a broader region or even continent-wide areas.”

So stop yer bellyaching.  It’ll all be over soon.  Can I get an “Oh Great?”

Oh yeah.  This is an open thread. In the meantime, enjoy the beauty of a Yellowstone prismatic spring.

124 Responses

  1. Yellowstone is one of my all time favorite places in the world. My parents used to take us camping there a lot when I was little and one of the first things I did when my eldest got old enough was get my parents to take us. We stayed at one of the old hotels really early in the spring and she was delighted by all the buffalo outside of our hotel window!

    When I was little the mudpots just were the coolest thing I’d ever seen!

    • The really wonderful thing about Yellowstone is that you cannot go for more than 5 minutes without encountering some amazing sight, be it geothermal or animal.

      We’re going to go back in a few years.

    • I love Yellowstone. I grew up in Montana, so my family would go to Yellowstone and Glacier every few years. I remember seeing bears along the roads in both parks in the early ’60s. The mud pots and geysers still are my favorite things. Quake Lake always gave me the creeps.

    • Yellowstone is our summer destination this year! I can’t wait!

  2. I’m still waiting for the Big One to hit California any day now.

    I thought I had survived it back in 1989 but they said that was just God’s way of saying he hates the Giants.

  3. Oh SURE, we all get killed by a supernova JUST as I’m getting into Carl Sagan…

    No fair.

  4. I just love end-of-the-world scenarios. The Yellowstone supervolcano is one of the best. But this supernova thing sounds promising too. Maybe we won’t all have to go to jail for not being able to afford health insurance.

    • I loved the discovery documentary on that! After Katrina, I was completely hooked on those disaster documentaries for awhile! I think it was part of my recovery process.

      • It probably was a way of processing the trauma. After I broke up with my husband, I used to go to lots of violent movies by myself. I know it helped me deal with my anger.

        • When I first got back it looked like the end of the world, most of the city was empty and destroyed, there were military people and clean up men and that was about it, and then entire city was dark. It felt like Mad Max.

  5. All this happening in time to watch it on 3D tv.

  6. A massive, eruptive white dwarf star in the Milky Way — long overdue for its next periodic eruption — is closer to our solar system than previously thought and could threaten the Earth if it fully explodes millions of years from now.

    Gee SOD, you had me going for a minute, but alas I won’t be around in even 50 years…so no need to panic.

    • Sure, just take away all of my hope.

    • Here — this’ll get us back on track:

      “While we can relax, that is very short on astronomical and geological timescales,” Sion told SPACE.com in an e-mail.

  7. Since I live only a couple of hours from Yellowstone, maybe I will get to go quickly LOL….that also is one of my most favorite spots on earth…;-)

    • wow, I can’t even imagine how it feels to live in one of the most beautiful places on earth. If I had a lot of money I sure would have a place in Jackson Hole Wyoming.

      • Jackson Hole is my hubby’s “If I win the lottery” places to buy a house.

      • I lived there from 2000-04..best place that I have lived. Winter is very different from the North East. Snow is dry, the humidity is low and you aren’t dealing with dirty slush. May is usually “mud” month then the transition to Spring and Summer and then it’s fishing and kayaking season until Oct. The real estate is a bit pricey, however.

    • Wow. You must be brave to deal with all of that snow. Isn’t winter Sept – June out there?

    • athyrio, good to see you here! how’s life on the ranch? Hope you’re having a healthy new year.

      • we are selling the ranch and moving to Billings area…for medical reasons but also to be nearer civilization…hate moving this time of year but will be happy once it is done…nice to see you as well…

        • Hope everything works out great for you! Moving is never easy but it’s such a relief when it’s done. Take care of yourself.

  8. Supernova _ the most realistic computer simulation ever made (use HQ)

  9. Does this mean I can stop saving for that, what use to be ‘comfortable’ and now is ‘able to survive’ retirement and start taking lavish vacations??! 🙂

    say yes.

    • Hey, use it or lose it.

      • bummer……….

        But the fantastic scale of the cosmos that allows such massive, cataclysmic events to unravel also bears a silver lining for those of us on Earth (2012 believers, stop reading now). Though in terms of star life supernova is likely around the cosmic corner, it’s estimated to happen many millions of earth years from now, a full 10 million years by some estimates. Suffice it to say that we’re far enough from T Pyxidis that we can’t really tell exactly how big it is or how quickly it’s accreting mass. But the end of the world isn’t coming tomorrow. Or even in two years.

        • stop!! I’m trying to keep my hopes up. I can barely make through tomorrrow let alone the next 10 million years.

    • I maxed out my credit cards, went to Vegas and partied like a Kennedy cuz Riverdaughter said we were all gonna die from the H1N1 Flying Devil Pig Flu.

      Not one of her better predictions.

      • ROFLMAO! {{{ looking over my shoulder for RD }}}

      • we’re all dying from that next year – after the Brazilian hottie with a severe case of Miss Piggy (H1N1) gets it on with a goat. The mutation is going to be killer.

  10. The bacterial mats and the pool water at the springs of Yellowstone are so vibrant with color it’s breathtaking.

    • Did you take that? You and katiebird are crazy talented.

      • Yes. I took about 100 pictures of the pools and got a few really good ones. The problem is that the steam coming off of the pools from the heat makes the timing of photographs difficult. Most of the pictures are of big wafts of steam rising off of them. If you can get it just when the wind blows the steam way, you get what you see there.

      • You can see a bit of the steam at the left.

  11. Well, so we’re all going to die soon. No reason not to cheer up:

  12. BTW, Rico has the night off but there’s 151 rum in the punchbowl. Just ignore the fruit; it’s just there for looks.

  13. For our evening entertainment —

    we’re never gonna survive unless we get a little crazy….”

  14. In keeping with the theme

  15. Just to keep the mood at the right level for this post:

  16. Ladies and gentlemen…please take your seats, we are about to begin our program. Get ready for

    Barack Obama: The Musical.


  17. So stop yer bellyaching. It’ll all be over soon.

    You’re just trying to cheer me up.

  18. This may be too upbeat for this thread, but it does have a guillotine… unfortunately Outback took over this song…

  19. I have to fly on a plane tomorrow. I suppose I’ll feel really safe as they inspect every orifice of my belongings and person (while actual terrorists on no-fly lists simply board the plane).

  20. yea let me know so i can max out my credit cards

  21. Lol, so Steve Schmidt says Palin kept saying O’Biden in the debate prep and the solution was to have her say, “Can I call you Joe?”

    • Lol Oh my god–how did Steve Schmidt ever get a legitimate job? He forgot the part about how they had to teach her to walk, because despite being able bodied she never quite got the hang of how the legs are supposed to work. And my god, the tricks they had to employ to teach her to produce sounds from her throat!

  22. YOU FORGOT THE TERR’ISTS! They’re gonna kill us all, too.

    And it’s one, two, three
    What are we fighting for?
    Don’t ask me, I don’t give a (damn) crap,
    Next stop is (Vietnam) little Iraq,
    And it’s five, six, seven,
    Open up the pearly gates,
    Well there ain’t no time to wonder why,
    Whoopee! We’re all gonna die.
    –Country Joe McDonnald

    Carolyn Kay

  23. And good morning. Loved this post and all the comments. I think it’s gonna cure my insomnia or I will fix one of those Gargle Blasters, maybe.

    • 🙂 That Gargle Blaster will cure just about anything from the looks of it.

      Good morning to you too jangles!

  24. G’morning! SoD, were you up all night?

    • Oh heck no. But my daughter called at 6am and woke us up to tell us she was on jer way home from NYC. So much for sleeping in.

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