Saturday, May 28, 2011

Superstar Burns Bright

Aloha! From Oahu we have moved on to a favourite place, the Big Island. This is a place to observe erupting volcanoes and dive with giant Manta Rays. Photos coming soon!

The European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope (VLT) has discovered that star VFTS 682 is a "superstar" 3 million times as bright as our Sun. With a mass 150 times that of the Sun, VFTS 682 is not part of any known star cluster. The very existence of this star challenges old theories of star formation.

Since the time of Pierre Laplace, stars and stellar systems have been thought to condense from clouds of gas. In Space gas clouds tend to dissipate rather than contract. The heat generated from gravitational contraction would paradoxically make gas dissipate even faster. Somehow gas has contracted until a star ignites, many trillions of times in the Universe.

The Big Bang is theorized to have created thousands of Black Holes. If a Black Hole encountered a gas cloud, the event would draw gas inward until temperature and pressure ignited a star. Presence of the Black Hole would stabilize the new star and prevent it from dissipating. The rotating core around the Black Hole would generate a Sun's magnetic field. Like a Hawaiian pearl around a tiny grain of sand, stars like our Sun could have formed around Black Holes.

A Black Hole inside our bright Sun may be too simple for humans to understand. Primitive peoples associate Black Holes with darkness and destruction. The mathematics of our Sun's core are extremely simple, yet even educated humans have difficulty overcoming prejudice. Though humans may owe their Sun's existence to the Black Hole, it's presence may not be suspected for centuries.

VFTS 682 is a solitary star, existing away from any star clusters or groupings. This star burns brighter than any in the galaxy. Humans, even scientists, tend to think like herds. Group minds, by their very nature, are slow to pick up new ideas. The group thinks an old idea is right, even when observations say the group is wrong. Humans will follow a group even if it leads to war and destruction. However, the light from a solitary star can prove old ideas wrong. Perhaps VFTS 682 contains a lesson for scientists.

1 Comments:

Anonymous safemeds said...

I've heard some great things about this place you moving in. I hope you post some things about it.

10:02 AM  

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