two hundred times bigger than our own sun

07/08/2010

scientists have recently seen the largest explosion ever recorded: a supergiant star, two hundred times bigger than our sun, utterly obliterated by runaway thermonuclear reactions triggered by gamma ray-driven antimatter production. the resulting blast was visible for months, unleashing a cloud of radioactive material over fifty times the size of our own star, giving off a nuclear fission glow visible from other galaxies.

this super-supernova is an example of what’s called a ‘pair-instability’ breakdown. at sizes of around four megayottagrams [thirty-two zeros], giant stars are supported against gravitational collapse by gamma ray pressure. the hotter the core, the higher the energy of these gamma rays. if they get too energetic, these gamma rays can begin pair production, creating an electron-positron matter-antimatter pair out of pure energy as they pass an atom, turning the entire core of the star into a gigantic particle accelerator.

the antimatter + matter annihilate each other explosively, but the problem is that the speed of antimatter explosion is still a critical delay in the gamma-pressure holding up the star. the outer layers sag in, compressing the core more, raising the temperature, making more energetic gamma rays even more likely to make antimatter, + suddenly the whole star is a runaway nuclear reactor beyond the scale of imagination.  the entire thermonuclear core detonates at once, an atomic warhead that’s not just bigger than the sun, it’s bigger than the sun plus the mass of another ten stars.

the entire star explodes. no neutron star, no black hole, nothing left behind but an expanding cloud of newly radioactive material + empty space where once was the most massive item you can actually have without ripping space. the explosion alone triggers alchemy on a suprasolar scale, converting stars’ worth of matter into new radioactive elements.

this really happened. 90% of people will never know, but will be able to tell you all about tiger woods’ sex life.

what the fuck am i doing reading this at 230am on a saturday? back to learning the blues scale on my cheap shit midi keyboard.

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