Monday, March 17, 2014

Escalation Blog Tour - guest post by Stephen Tremp


Few words in the English language can evoke the WOW! Factor quite like Supernova. There have been bands, songs, and comic book superheroes named after this type of exploding star.

Supernovae occur at the end of a star's life when its furnace runs out of fuel. Because gravity then overcomes the star's ability to remain puffed up, there is a violent collapse, followed by an explosion that produces radioactive elements such as nickel and cobalt. Most of the light we see from a supernova is emitted as those radioactive elements decay, so the brightness falls sharply over a period of weeks.

Incidentally, all the iron in your blood came from the decay of radioactive nickel manufactured in a stellar explosion. So most of the atoms in your body were once in the interiors of stars. Reference In January 2014, a Type 1a Supernova in Messier 82, otherwise known as the Cigar Galaxy which is about 12 million light years from the constellation Ursa Major (the Great Bear) was discovered by students at the University College London. Some scientists call this a potential Holy Grail as it may give valuable insight into Dark Energy (more on this in a future post). It is positioned between the Big Dipper and the Little Dipper. This rare cosmic event would be visible through a telescope any amateur stargazer could buy at a store.

We see this light 11.4 million years after the explosion happened, because of the time light takes to reach our galaxy. So it was a really special time in M82 11.4 million years ago. Reference

Supernovae are extremely luminous and cause a burst of radiation that often briefly outshines an entire galaxy, before fading from view over several weeks or months. During this interval a supernova can radiate as much energy as the Sun is expected to emit over its entire life span. Reference: Reference

A star can go supernova in one of two ways:
Type I supernova: star accumulates matter from a nearby neighbor until a runaway nuclear reaction ignites.
Type II supernova: star runs out of nuclear fuel and collapses under its own gravity Reference: Reference

Did You Know: A supernova occurs in our Milky Way Galaxy about twice every hundred years. This may seem to be a rare occurence. But since there are about 30-40 million spiral galaxies in the universe, this translates to a supernova happening somewhere about once every two seconds.

Supernova Fun Facts:
1. Some supernovas become black holes.
2. When a star explodes, it shoots out billions of atoms into space, where they form a huge cloud of dust called a nebula.
3. Most of the carbon, oxygen, nitrogen, silicon, and iron that we have on Earth originally came from a supernova explosion.
4. In 1054 AD, astronomers in China and the Islamic Empire recorded a supernova (they noticed a star so bright you could see it in the daylight). That supernova is now the Crab Nebula.
5. If a supernova is one light year away, you will have one year to prepare for your eminent doom.
6. Even though one day our sun will die, it is not large enough to go all supernova on us. It will simply expand into a Red Giant and consume the Earth. So you can go to sleep in peace knowing you are safe from dying from our sun going supernova on you. Reference

Stephen Tremp is the author of the Breakthrough series. Together, Breakthrough, Opening, and Escalation follow the lives of the unlikely participants from innocence to a coming of age through sacrifice, betrayal, passion, lust, unconditional love, and hope. Escalation will appeal to fans of modern-day science fiction, paranormal, action, horror, and even romance.

Stop by Stephen’s Blog for more information on the Breakthrough series.

To download Escalation: The Adventures of Chase Manhattan CLICK HERE.

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For those who know there is far more beyond our four dimensional continuum than our five senses can perceive.

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  1. Wow, never knew all this about supernovas!

  2. Thanks for sharing this informative post! Came to know many things about supernovas!

  3. Hi Christing - great to see Stephen here - and that was so interesting about Supernovas .. and our blood - I just find it amazing that we've learnt so much and are able (to an extent) to understand what is happening out there.

    Really interesting facts .. good luck with your series .. and particular your latest book Escalation .. cheers Hilary

  4. An excellent post, thanks for all the fun supernova facts!

    I'm heading over to check out Stephen's blog, thanks for the pointer.

  5. congrats to Stephen!! and i love reading all your fun facts - sci fi is the best!

    and christine, i hope you won! and have fun w/your cutie on spring break =)

  6. Never knew so much about supernovas. Amazing they can like up the whole galaxy. Good luck with your new book.

  7. That's a lot of supernovas. One year to prepare? Good thing the closest star would give us four years then.

  8. Thanks Christine for hosting me today! And thanks to everyone stopping by. Few things in our universe compare to a supernova. Time get excited!

  9. If it only lasts a few weeks, then I guess we can't see that one anymore.

  10. I always knew I was star material!!

    Best of luck Stephen!

  11. I love Stephen's posts. I will sleep better tonight knowing we'll only die from being consumed by a red giant instead of a supernova.

  12. Thanks for the fun science lesson, Stephen. Supernovas sure put life into perspective, which is a nice way to start the week!

  13. Thanks for the fun science lesson, Stephen. Supernovas sure put life into perspective, which is a nice way to start the week!

  14. Coolest thing about the Milky Way? I actually can SEE it since my cataract surgery a few years ago. I can't begin to describe how that feels... being able to see that in the sky. Sigh.

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  16. Great post-- then again Stephen has the habit of always teaching us something all the while making it relevant to life and writing!

  17. You're welcome, Stephen! It's my pleasure to host you. I loved this post!

    Thanks to everyone for stopping by. Stephen's books are fantastic!

  18. I've never thought that way about supernova, but they really are fascinating, aren't they? Huge congrats, Stephen.

  19. Love that we are made of star stuff.
    Cool post!

  20. Thanks everyone for stopping by. Hmmm, not able to comment on comments here. So I'll just do one big group thank you!


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