1. Joran Selemis

    Joran Selemis Member

    Sep 15, 2009
    Likes Received:
    Sydney, Australia

    Stellar bodies

    Discussion in 'Research' started by Joran Selemis, Nov 3, 2009.

    I've looked on wikipedia and google, and all I'm getting is techno-babble. Maybe you smart people can answer my questions instead?

    1: How many different types of stars are there, and what are their features/names?

    2: What is the maximum speed achievable in space at this time?

    3: What kind of power does a supernova have? Could it destroy a solar system, a variety of solar systems, a sizable portion of the galaxy etc

    4: What kind of power does a regular nova have?
  2. Cogito

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

    May 19, 2007
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    Massachusetts, USA
    That is a lot of material you are asking for, and the bare truth is, you'll need to learn some "techno-babble" to assimilate it anyway.

    1. Look up Hertzsprung Russell star diagram on google. That diagram gives you a decent summary, but it will only take you so far. There's no way around reading some good Astronomy texts to understand the characteristics of te various stellar classes.

    2. The speed of light remains the maximum velocity any object can approach in this universe. Only a massless object can travel AT the speed of light. The theoretical basis is airtight, but don't expect to really understand it unless you study the physical sciences at the college (preferably masters level or higher) level.

    3. A supernova will obliterate its own star system in a matter of hours (even the wavefront of a supernova cannot exceed the speed of light), and the hard radiation can sterilize any possibility of life in nearby star systems. Paradoxically, supernovae are the principle source of many trace elements that ultimately make life possible.

    4. A regular nova develops over weeks to years, even centuries. It changes the temperature of planets in the system (think global warming, but scaled up), very likely making the planets uninhabitable by whatever life may have developed, and possible destroying inner planets with close stellar orbits (like Mercury in our solar system). There are many different subcategories of novae, each associated with certain classes of stars.

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