November 13, 2004

The Real Death Star

A solid bit of astronomical insight from one of our favorite pages, Laputan Logic

This is Eta Carinae, the seventh star of the southern Carina constellation and the most massive and luminous star known in our galaxy. It's 100 times as massive as our sun and 5 million times brighter. Its diameter is about the size of Jupiter's orbit and it is extremely unstable. Currently it is in the process of rapidly exhausting its fuel supply and is on the brink of self-destruction. It could collapse into itself and form a black hole at any moment.

Eta Carinae is also interesting because it's probably the only star in the night sky that could conceivably kill you.

You'll want to know why.

Posted by Vanderleun at November 13, 2004 1:41 PM
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"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper N.B.: Comments are moderated and may not appear immediately. Comments that exceed the obscenity or stupidity limits will be either edited or expunged.

Supernovae have long been considered one of the primary menaces to the formation of intelligent life in the universe.

Posted by: FH at November 13, 2004 1:56 PM

It looks like it's 10,000 light years away. The thing could have alredy blown for all we know. It might have novae'd (sp?) before the Pyramids were built.

Posted by: Mumblix Grumph at November 14, 2004 3:18 AM

Steven Den Beste of USS Clueless did an in-depth look at Eta Carinae some months back, it's worth a look.

Posted by: thoughtomator at November 15, 2004 10:39 AM

I am glad you like the Laputan Logic site - it is a very fine thing.

Posted by: David Tiley at November 26, 2004 11:18 PM

Dude, that star is effing sweet.

Posted by: SG at July 31, 2005 9:52 AM