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The World is Waiting for Betelgeuse to Go Supernova

Just a fainting spell? Or is Betelgeuse about to explode?



Betelgeuse Supernova
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(TMU) — Stars are some of the most spectacular astral bodies that exist in the universe. Pure energy resides within them, and it is estimated that thousands of millions of them exist in the Milky Way alone. In the middle of our solar system is the Sun which happens to be one of the main reasons life is capable of residing on our planet.

Life and death are also an element in these portions of the universe, and we are about to witness the amazing astronomical death of Betelgeuse.

The death of a star can either be calm or extremely violent. A violent death releases colossal amounts of energy. The moribund star Betelgeuse is close to becoming a supernova. Betelgeuse is much younger than our Sun at just around 10 million years old, while the sun has existed for around 4.6 billion years.

Meet the Workaholic Star, Betelgeuse

Location of Betelgeuse in the constellation of Orion (NASA)

NASA describes the star as a “workaholic” due to its rapid evolution. It is placed inside the constellation Orion and its distance to Earth is around 640 light-years—relatively close considering the immense size of the universe. But Betelgeuse has run out of fuel and is getting colder while increasing its volume. Because of its already enormous initial mass Betelgeuse will have a violent death. It will explode. In astronomical terms this is called a supernova.

In NASA’s words:

This explosion might happen tonight . . . or within the few hundred thousand years…or it may have already happened, and we haven’t seen it yet!”

You’re probably wondering how it is possible for this to already have happened. Remember that when we talk about the cosmos time is relative.

If Betelgeuse were our Sun we would simply not be able to view it because its radius would engulf the Asteroid belt far beyond Mars and possibly Jupiter. In that sense, our location would be inside its corona. Similarly, if we imagined Betelgeuse were a volcano, what would it look like to us if we were inside of its magma?

This overlaid image shows how far Betelgeuse extends if placed after Sun. Image source: ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO)/E. O’Gorman/P. Kervella

When Betelgeuse explodes the light produced may last minutes, hours, days, or even months. For inhabitants of the Earth the event will be extraordinary.

University of California Berkeley’s Sarafina Nance, who studies Betelgeuse and stellar explosions, said on Twitter:

The biggest question now is when it will explode in a supernova… Disclaimer: I don’t think it’s going to explode any time soon,” “But I am excited [for] when it does.”

So… how would this affect us? What will happen when Betelgeuse blows? As it turns out… nothing. Despite its closeness in astronomical terms Betelgeuse is nowhere near close enough for the explosion to affect life on Earth.

Astronomers calculate that it’ll take about 6 million years for the shock wave and any debris to reach the solar system, and even when that happens the Sun’s protective bubble will keep us safe from these potentially dangerous elements.

By Manuel García Aguilar  | Creative Commons |

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Dolphin Swims Through Louisiana Neighborhood in Aftermath of Hurricane Ida



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A Louisiana family was shocked to find a dolphin swimming through their neighborhood in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida.

Amanda Huling and her family were assessing the damage to their neighborhood in Slidell, Louisiana, when they noticed the dolphin swimming through the inundated suburban landscape.

In video shot by Huling, the marine mammal’s dorsal fin can be seen emerging from the water.

“The dolphin was still there as of last night but I am in contact with an organization who is going to be rescuing it within the next few days if it is still there,” Huling told FOX 35.

Ida slammed into the coast of Louisiana this past weekend. The Category 4 hurricane ravaged the power grid of the region, plunging residents of New Orleans and upwards of 1 million homes and businesses in Louisiana and Mississippi into the dark for an indefinite period of time.

Officials have warned that the damage has been so extensive that it could take weeks to repair the power grid, reports Associated Press.

Also in Slidell, a 71-year-old man was attacked by an alligator over the weekend while he was in his flooded shed. The man went missing and is assumed dead, reports WDSU.

Internet users began growing weary last year about the steady stream of stories belonging to a “nature is healing” genre, as people stayed indoors and stories emerged about animals taking back their environs be it in the sea or in our suburbs.

However, these latest events are the surreal realities of a world in which extreme weather events are fast becoming the new normal – disrupting our lives in sometimes predictable, and occasionally shocking and surreal, ways.

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Mom in LA Suburbs Fights Off Mountain Lion With Bare Hands, Rescues 5-Year-Old Son



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A mother in Southern California is being hailed as a hero after rescuing her five-year-old son from an attacking mountain lion.

The little boy was playing outside his home in Calabasas, a city lying west of Los Angeles in the Santa Monica Mountains, when the large cat pounced on him.

The 65-pound (30 kg) mountain lion dragged the boy about 45 yards across the front lawn before the mother acted fast, running out and striking the creature with her bare hands and forcing it to free her son.

“The true hero of this story is his mom because she absolutely saved her son’s life,” California Department of Fish and Wildlife spokesman Captain Patrick Foy told Associated Press on Saturday.

“She ran out of the house and started punching and striking the mountain lion with her bare hands and got him off her son,” Foy added.

The boy sustained significant injuries to his head, neck and upper torso, but is now in stable condition at a hospital in Los Angeles, according to authorities.

The mountain lion was later located and killed by an officer with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, who found the big cat crouching in the bushes with its “ears back and hissing” at the officer shortly after he arrived at the property.

“Due to its behavior and proximity to the attack, the warden believed it was likely the attacking lion and to protect public safety shot and killed it on sight,” the wildlife department noted in its statement.

The mountain lion attack is the first such attack on a human in Los Angeles County since 1995, according to Fish and Wildlife.

The Santa Monica Mountains is a biodiverse region teeming with wildlife such as large raptors, mountain lions, bears, coyote, deer, lizards, and snakes. However, their numbers have rapidly faded in recent years, causing local wildlife authorities to find new ways to manage the region’s endemic species.

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Video Shows Taliban Taking Joyride in Captured US Blackhawk Helicopter



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The rapid fall of Kabul to the Taliban has resulted in a number of surreal sights – from footage of the Islamist group’s fighters exercising at a presidential gym to clips of combatants having a great time on bumper cars at the local fun park.

However, a new video of Taliban members seemingly testing their skills in the cockpit of a commandeered UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter shows the chilling extent to which U.S. wares have fallen into the hands of a group it spent trillions of dollars, and exhaustive resources, to stamp out.

In the new video, shared on Twitter, the front-line utility helicopter can be seen taxiing on the ground at Kandahar Airport in southeastern Afghanistan, moving along the tarmac. It is unclear who exactly was sitting in the cockpit, and the Black Hawk cannot be seen taking off or flying.

It is unlikely that the Taliban have any combatants who are sufficiently trained to fly a UH-60 Black Hawk.

The helicopter, which carries a $6 million price tag, is just a small part of the massive haul that fell into the militant group’s hands after the country’s central government seemingly evaporated on Aug. 14 amid the withdrawal of U.S. and coalition troops.

Some 200,000 firearms, 20,000 Humvees and hundreds of aircraft financed by Washington for the now-defunct Afghan Army are believed to be in the possession of the Taliban.

The firearms include M24 sniper rifles, M18 assault weapons, anti-tank missiles, automatic grenade launchers, rocket-propelled grenades and mortars.

Taliban fighters in the elite Badri 313 Brigade have been seen in propaganda images showing off in uniforms and wielding weaponry meant for the special forces units of the Afghan Army.

The U.S. is known to have purchased 42,000 light tactical vehicles, 9,000 medium tactical vehicles and over 22,000 Humvees between 2003 and 2016.

The White House remains unclear on how much weaponry has fallen into Taliban hands, with National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan admitting last week that the U.S. lacks a “clear picture of just how much missing $83 billion of military inventory” the group has.

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