Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Don't Wait Up

From the Telegraph:

The Earth could find itself with a 'second sun' for a period of weeks later this year when one of the night sky's most luminous stars explodes, scientists have claimed.

Betelgeuse, which is part of the Orion constellation 640 light years away from Earth, is a red supergiant, meaning that it is nearing the end of its life and is due to explode.

Wow. Now that would be cool. But I'd also be pretty bummed because that means that Orion would lose a star, and it's my favorite constellation.

But wait...

Brad Carter, senior lecturer of physics at the University of southern Queensland in Australia, said the explosion could take place before the end of the year – or indeed at any point over the next million years.

So this dipwad is basically "predicting" that a star out in space is going to explode at some point in the future. That's like me predicting that I'm going to eat an entire pizza at some point in the next 80 years and then getting a news story about it. (And everyone knows that the REAL story would be the trip to the restroom that followed... but I digress.)

I'm not sure which is worse here - the ridiculous science or the poor sensationalist journalism.

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