Fewer exploding stars potential predictor of global warming

Sep 05, 2012

(Phys.org)—One of the universe's greatest unexplained mysteries – why stars explode – could be explained by a particle similar to the Higgs boson. The theory developed by University of Aberdeen astrophysicist, Dr Charles Wang, will be tested at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, in December and was announced at the British Science Festival today.

If proven, it could also help in the prediction of global warming in the future, given the impact star explosions have on the Earth's atmosphere.

Dr Wang said: "There is a direct correlation between star explosions and the temperature of the Earth's atmosphere.

"When a star explodes a massive amount of enter the atmosphere affecting the weather in space by making it cloudier. "More clouds in space leads to the Earth's atmosphere being cooler. "Global warming could therefore be connected to stars exploding in our skies less frequently.

"We cannot control the explosion of stars, but if we can understand the process by which it happens we could potentially better predict when and where these explosions will take place and as a result make predictions on how the Earth's climate could change in the decades to come."

On average one star explodes every year in all the galaxies – these events are the most powerful to take place in the universe, second only to the big bang. Two types of starbursts - also known as supernova explosions - take place in our skies.

One is where two stars merge which results in a burst of energy – the other type, involving the collapse of a single star, remains one of the greatest outstanding mysteries of the universe, unsolved by any known methods of using the current .

Dr Wang's theory suggests an entirely new type of particle – similar to the – could be responsible for this second type of explosion.

He continued:  "It is known that stars are like giant , perpetually converting one form of energy – hydrogen atoms - into another – helium atoms.

"This process is what initially keeps stars in the sky – the heat generated in the conversion maintains the pressure which stops stars becoming too heavy.

"But once helium atoms form in the star they then convert into heavier elements such as oxygen, carbon and irons.

"A massive amount of energy is released in the central part of the star when helium atoms convert into these elements. 

"It was once thought that this build up of energy is what causes the central part of the star to become so powerful that it bursts out of its outer shell. But decades ago this theory was disproven when it was shown that this conversion would not result in a large enough energy force to cause the explosion.

"My theory is that a scalar particle – one of the most elementary types of particles in the universe and similar to the Higgs boson – is at work within these stars and responsible for the additional energy which causes the explosion this take place."

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rod_russell_9
2.7 / 5 (23) Sep 05, 2012
So it isn't human-generated C02 after all? It is our abject failure to control the explosion of stars? Carbon footprints be damned!
dogbert
2.3 / 5 (12) Sep 05, 2012
It its instructive to see exploding stars blamed for global warming. I guess if you have invested in something do strongly, you'll use anything to support your position.

I inadvertently have you a single star, Rod, instead of five stars.
CreepyD
4 / 5 (9) Sep 05, 2012
I assume the original point was the it may affect the global temperature - probably by a miniscule almost unmeasurable amount. Nothing really to do with global warming I expect.
Deathclock
2.3 / 5 (12) Sep 05, 2012
"the other type, involving the collapse of a single star, remains one of the greatest outstanding mysteries of the universe, unsolved by any known methods of using the current laws of physics."

Huh?

Stars are held up by the competing forces of the explosive release of energy from nuclear fusion and gravity... one serves to blow them apart while the other serves to crush them... the "size" of the star is nothing but the balance of these forces. When fusion ends due to consumption of all fusible material gravity wins... this causes the star to collapse in on itself, but as the material compacts the repulsive nuclear forces build up and finally counteract the collapse and the star rebounds outwards, ejecting a "shell" of the star outwards into space... this occurs repeatedly until very little of the star is left and it is finally compacted by gravity into a neutron star or black hole.

At least that's my understanding of the process...
verkle
1.9 / 5 (17) Sep 05, 2012
From a few years ago there has been some serious research going on into the relationship between cosmic rays and cloud cover, which directly affects the climate on earth. I would like to see more news on the status of this research.

In my personal conviction, there is something else much bigger than mankind that is causing, and will continue to cause, climate change on earth.

rkolter
3.9 / 5 (12) Sep 05, 2012
If we believe this article, the lone exploding star a year, somewhere in the universe, which causes a brief uptick in cosmic radiation, is responsible in a meaningful way for climate change on Earth.

I would like some evidence other than, "Oog, big star go boom."
eachus
2.6 / 5 (5) Sep 05, 2012
If we believe this article, the lone exploding star a year, somewhere in the universe, which causes a brief uptick in cosmic radiation, is responsible in a meaningful way for climate change on Earth.


Confusing wording... There are hundreds of supernovas detected each year, and we are learning more about why some supernovas are not visible immediately.

But the tie between cosmic rays and global warming/cooling is something that physicists have been working on for a decade or more. (Working on...scientific jargon for trying to disprove a theory, each time you try and fail makes it more likely to be true. Fail once, then unless you are a global warming climate "expert" that theory is dead.)

The idea that knowing about extragalactic supernovas would help predict weather though is bunk. Cosmic rays travel at less than the speed of light and not in straight lines. I don't think any cosmic rays from SN1987A have gotten here yet, and that was in one of the closest galaxies.
Noumenon
2.5 / 5 (13) Sep 05, 2012
Yea, but there is a direct correlation between exploding stars and how far frogs can jump,... so,....
Jeddy_Mctedder
2.2 / 5 (13) Sep 05, 2012
if someone can get money to do this research, what does it say about a lot o the research out there?
it says if you fund something , there is a large bias towards discovering that which you fund to discover.

it's called seeing what you want to see. it's how politics inevitably gets intertwined with science, and corrupts it.
cantdrive85
2.3 / 5 (12) Sep 05, 2012
Dr Wang said: "There is a direct correlation between star explosions and the temperature of the Earth's atmosphere."

So.... This guy claims a direct correlation? I wonder if he considered whether CME's (which are star explosions) have an effect? It should not be a huge leap to understand that the currents of electrified plasma from CME's (and the solar wind) affect the temperature of Earth's atmosphere in addition to the aurora, ionosphere, Van Allen radiation belts, weather, and geology (earthquakes and volcanism).
hemitite
4.4 / 5 (7) Sep 05, 2012
What appears to be a rather tenuous theory defying Occam's razor, is given undue publicity by its mugging with GW.

If cosmic rays have such a pronounced effect on out climate, then the cloud cover should track the solar cycle with cooler weather accompanying times of low solar activity when more cosmic rays can reach the earth.
philw1776
2.7 / 5 (7) Sep 05, 2012
The hysteria to mention Global Warming however obliquely demeans science. It's as if researchers think, "If we can get our proposal associated with GW, we'll get the funding!"

I do think that the topic of cosmic ray flux and cloud cover is an interesting research topic, hype aside.
baudrunner
1 / 5 (7) Sep 05, 2012
As I see it, a sun explodes when it is made to do so, by fracturing its hard mantle, which causes the star to collapse and disorganize on a colossal scale, with a venting due to the release of matter previously under a great strain from the pressure. I haven't yet thought of a natural way for that to happen, and often it doesn't happen with a great deal of symmetry.
la7dfa
4.5 / 5 (8) Sep 05, 2012
I find it a bit strange Dr Wang focuses so much on the possible effect on our climate. He has previously worked with the Oil and Gas industry... Where are the studies that show star explosions vs global temperature?
dtyarbrough
1 / 5 (11) Sep 05, 2012
Stars are nuclear furnaces, but fission, not fusion is at work. Fusion occurs during a super nova and when stars collide at the center of galaxies. Heat due to fission increases the rotation of stars. Rotational speed reduces the magnetic fields of particles, allowing gravity to compress them. Increased density increases fission. Eventually runaway fission causes the star to explode. If the star has low heavy metal content, it compresses into a fast spinning white dwarf.
dtyarbrough
1 / 5 (10) Sep 05, 2012
Most stars are recycled as they fall into the center of galaxies. Spiral galaxies can not occur unless the stars are following the spiral path into the heart of the galaxy. Fusion at the heart of the galaxy create heavy metals. Fission within the stars break the heavy metals done into their smaller constituents. The cycle has continued and will continue indefinately.
EverythingsJustATheory
5 / 5 (1) Sep 05, 2012
Huh?

Stars are held up by the competing forces of the explosive release of energy from nuclear fusion and gravity... one serves to blow them apart while the other serves to crush them... the "size" of the star is nothing but the balance of these forces. When fusion ends due to consumption of all fusible material gravity wins... this causes the star to collapse in on itself, but as the material compacts the repulsive nuclear forces build up and finally counteract the collapse and the star rebounds outwards, ejecting a "shell" of the star outwards into space... this occurs repeatedly until very little of the star is left and it is finally compacted by gravity into a neutron star or black hole.


My understanding as well. But I have heard somewhere (don't remember) that there is a gap between the energy observed and the energy expected from the gravity implosion that currently cannot be proven.
EverythingsJustATheory
3 / 5 (2) Sep 05, 2012
From Wiki,

The suddenly halted core collapse rebounds and produces a shock wave that stalls within milliseconds in the outer core as energy is lost through the dissociation of heavy elements. A process that is not clearly understood is necessary to allow the outer layers of the core to reabsorb around 10^44 joules[71] (1 foe) from the neutrino pulse, producing the visible explosion,[72] although there are also other theories on how to power the explosion.


http://en.wikiped...upernova
Caliban
4.6 / 5 (10) Sep 05, 2012
Was no one else dismayed at how terribly the article was written? Was this a direct transcription of Dr Wang's words? Or perhaps he wrote the article and then someone here at physorg just cut and pasted the "translation by bing"?

This article is complete crap, and I am really surprised that it was published here.

I think that we may have been hoaxed.

rwinners
1.8 / 5 (5) Sep 05, 2012
Oh come on. Could we have some numbers? How about a time frame, too?

Gobbledegook!
ubavontuba
2.5 / 5 (11) Sep 06, 2012
Was no one else dismayed at how terribly the article was written? Was this a direct transcription of Dr Wang's words? Or perhaps he wrote the article and then someone here at physorg just cut and pasted the "translation by bing"?

This article is complete crap, and I am really surprised that it was published here.

I think that we may have been hoaxed.
Well said.
VendicarD
3.3 / 5 (7) Sep 06, 2012
Dumber than dirt.

"a sun explodes when it is made to do so, by fracturing its hard mantle" - BadRunner
thermodynamics
4.1 / 5 (10) Sep 06, 2012
deus ex machina

http://en.wikiped..._machina

"a plot device whereby a seemingly unsolvable problem is suddenly and abruptly solved with the contrived and unexpected intervention of some new event, character, ability, or object."

This researcher is loonier than a gibbon with fleas. Wang either played American football and had one too many hits to the head or got more than his dose of lead as a child. This is an article that borders on Astrology, not Astronomy.
authorizeduser
5 / 5 (2) Sep 06, 2012
Putting aside the fact that correlation does not imply causation: Our solar system produces a magnetic field that deflects most incoming charged particles from the Milky Way and beyond. The notion that exploding stars thousands of light years away have an appreciable effect on our local climate - let alone the suggestion that we don't understand the nature of these explosions - does not inspire me to send my children to the University of Aberdeen.
authorizeduser
2.3 / 5 (3) Sep 06, 2012
When fusion ends due to consumption of all fusible material gravity wins... this causes the star to collapse in on itself, but as the material compacts the repulsive nuclear forces build up and finally counteract the collapse and the star rebounds outwards, ejecting a "shell" of the star outwards into space... this occurs repeatedly until very little of the star is left and it is finally compacted by gravity into a neutron star or black hole.


My understanding as well. But I have heard somewhere (don't remember) that there is a gap between the energy observed and the energy expected from the gravity implosion that currently cannot be proven.


The only mystery regarding black holes is the implication of infinite mass, which results in a decidedly irreconcilable conundrum for general relativity. Any discrepancy in energy output is more likely indicative of our detection methods.
baudrunner
1 / 5 (6) Sep 06, 2012
I'll tell you what's dumber than dirt, thinking that the sun is a humungous gas ball, when it actually has a surface of solid iron. Nothing that big can be made of gas. I'm just playing with the "scientists", dumb**s.
baudrunner
1 / 5 (5) Sep 06, 2012
VendicarD: You can't allow yourself to believe that there are people out there actually blowing up stars? But they are..
rubberman
2 / 5 (4) Sep 06, 2012
Agreed Cal.

"When a star explodes a massive amount of cosmic rays enter the atmosphere affecting the weather in space by making it cloudier. "More clouds in space leads to the Earth's atmosphere being cooler. "Global warming could therefore be connected to stars exploding in our skies less frequently."

I need a translation of what the implied meaning of cloudy space is....

ValeriaT
1 / 5 (3) Sep 06, 2012
This article is a confusing mixture of old and new concepts together: particles inside of stars and cosmic ray hypothesis of global warming. Even if these particles would participate to stellar explosions, it doesn't imply that the cosmic rays should affect the global warming. We discussed the problem of contemporary theories with supernova explosions here. IMO these simulations lack the modification of general relativity, which would lead to the dark matter phenomena. The dark matter particles are condensing around these dense stars, thus violating the buyoance condition at the surface like dishcover. The common hydrodynamic models of supernova cannot account into it and they do allow the free mixing of core and surface layers, which leads into less or more smooth collapse of supernova. It doesn't require the introduction of new particle type, though - the common neutrinos may apply here too.
ValeriaT
1 / 5 (4) Sep 06, 2012
I need a translation of what the implied meaning of cloudy space is....
The gamma ray flares are usually matter of distant cosmic events and so it's quite improbable that the sudden climate change could be caused with sudden change of large portion of Universe. If some connection exists here, then it must be connected with quite nearby and spatially limited gamma ray source, I mean smaller than few tens of light years, because the global warming period is not longer. Before some time French astronomer LaViolette blamed the gamma ray bursts at the center of Milky Way as the source of climate events. Recently we observed some evidence of gamma ray lobes around Milky Way, which could be attributed to it. Despite it, I don't think, the gamma rays are primary cause of climatic changes - especially if they should cause global cooling instead of warming. The last ice age ended just after last burst, predicted with Violette and glacials are paced more slowly, than the galactic events.
Q-Star
2.5 / 5 (8) Sep 07, 2012
Stars are nuclear furnaces, but fission, not fusion is at work. Fusion occurs during a super nova and when stars collide at the center of galaxies.


You've got that exactly backwards. Maybe one day you will get around to actually reading a physics text. (Pssst, start with something really basic, something on the easier than grade school level. Fusion creates the elements up to and including iron. Anything heavier gets produced in a fission reaction, ie, when the star goes super or hyper nova.

Heat due to fission increases the rotation of stars. Rotational speed reduces the magnetic fields of particles, allowing gravity to compress them. Increased density increases fission. Eventually runaway fission causes the star to explode. If the star has low heavy metal content, it compresses into a fast spinning white dwarf.


Yep, that's one is completely backwards also. (Pssst, google up hydrostatic equilibrium,,, you know the very root of the FUSION goings on in a star.)
idgaf
5 / 5 (1) Sep 08, 2012
Sounds like an article designed to get headlines. I guess since ANYTHING is possible, we will continue to see headline-grabbing articles about immeasurable things.
Sean_W
1.1 / 5 (7) Sep 08, 2012
I assume the original point was the it may affect the global temperature - probably by a miniscule almost unmeasurable amount. Nothing really to do with global warming I expect.


Consider:

Dr Wang said: "There is a direct correlation between star explosions and the temperature of the Earth's atmosphere.


If it was almost unmeasurable he probably would not have described it as a direct correlation between star explosions and temperature. I agree though that it would not be the only thing affecting temperature. The changes in activity of our own sun would alter how many of these extra cosmic rays reach the earth.
rah
1.7 / 5 (6) Sep 08, 2012
"Fewer exploding stars potential predictor of global warming"
hee hee. Further calculations also demonstrated a strong correlation which could explain why the Chicago Cubs have not won a World Series in more than 100 years. It will take some additional funding to enable the data to be refined. There is also some evidence which would confirm that Bigfoot exists and was a former Chicago Cub. It seems the mating habits of the Bigfoot contributed to global warming and to the lack of Supernovas being observed.
lengould100
1 / 5 (1) Sep 10, 2012
This article is entirely giberish. Reads as if written by a fifth-grader with learning difficulties.
eachus
1 / 5 (1) Sep 12, 2012
If cosmic rays have such a pronounced effect on out climate, then the cloud cover should track the solar cycle with cooler weather accompanying times of low solar activity when more cosmic rays can reach the earth.


This theory started with the fact that the Maunder minimum in numbers of sunspots matched the Little Ice Age. The screaming by physicists working in this area started when Michael Mann "adjusted" the Little Ice Age out of his hockey stick.

On a smaller scale, the effect of the 11 year sunspot cycle on climate is now pretty well accepted by scientists. The ongoing research is trying to determine how the two are connected, and finding evidence of a causal link. (Measuring global cloud cover is pretty tough, and has only recently been possible with sufficient accuracy.) The best theory right now is that an active sun creates a stronger solar wind, and this causes cosmic rays to miss Earth. (More like turned into cascades of particles further away from Earth.)