This Week’s Show Notes
Show 95. Notes for April 16th
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Andy Fleming has segment called, “The Lives of Stars” our guest tonight is Christopher O’Brien, and we are talkin cattle mutilations.
Stars do not live forever and in an epic tail to rival the best Shakespearean tragedy, our Sun will one day die, and with it all life on Earth. Five billion years from now, when our planet has been incinerated to a crisp, our local star will have run out of the hydrogen fuel that powers its nuclear fusion reactions. It will have metamorphosed from the relatively stable yellow dwarf star that we see today into a bloated angry red giant, its outer layers and atmosphere occupying most of the inner solar system.
Indeed, the Sun is already imperceptibly increasing in temperature – it’s 20 per cent hotter now than when the Earth coalesced out of the Sun’s proto planetary disk four and a half billion years ago, and within a couple of hundred million years the Earth will become uninhabitable. This chain of events is inevitable, and over different time periods depending on their mass, happens to all stars.
Stars coalesce by gravity out of clouds of interstellar gas, which consist mainly of the original constituent chemical elements of the universe, approximately 75% hydrogen and 25% helium. Gravity contracts the proto-star to the point where pressure and temperature dictate that nuclear fusion starts and it begins to shine. A small amount of mass is converted in this process into energy (under Einstein’s famous equation E=mc^2). A hydrostatic equilibrium is achieved whereby the gravity of the star is counterbalanced by the pressure of radiation (and light) from the nuclear reactions within its core.
At this stage, the star gives the appearance of stability in terms of shape and size. In truth however, it is a magnetically contorted and tortured object, erupting frequently and spewing out solar flares, charged particles such as protons, and coronal mass ejections. Stars the mass of our Sun will be in this hydrostatic equilibrium for about 10 billion years, but all the while, the concentration of helium in their cores continues to increase. As it does so, the star begins to contract to maintain hydrostatic equilibrium, and temperatures in the core gradually increase over billions of years.
Finally, when the star’s nuclear fuel is finally exhausted, gravity exceeds radiation pressure and the core contracts much further, until spiralling temperatures and pressures succeed in igniting helium which is then fused and transmuted into carbon. In a star with the mass of the Sun, the loosely gravitationally bound outer layers are puffed out, and the star becomes a red giant.
Gravity has won – and the Sun will end its days as a white dwarf, a truly bizarre, object – a star of diamond, a dense hot carbon star the size of the Earth, but with the mass of the Sun.
Stars much larger than the Sun will detonate and end their days as either black holes (that we’ve talked about in the previous two episodes), neutron stars, pulsars or supernovae. It is these stars that we can thank for creating all of the heavy chemical elements in the universe such as iron, copper, silver, gold, lead right up to the heaviest natural element of them all, Uranium.
You see, we are all children of the stars. Whether it’s the calcium in our bones, the iron in our blood or the carbon in every cell of our bodies, we were all quite literally ‘made in heaven’. As Carl Sagan eloquently said “We are star stuff harvesting starlight”. What a spiritually uplifting thought!
I got a couple of emails of people asking me if I am watching the new Cosmos series with Neil Degrasse Tyson… The answer is no, I am involved in a rebuilding a place, working day and night and have no time to watch anything. I like Tyson, but have a real hard time watching him, only because he does all these weird things with his hands when he talks…. Does anyone else notice this??
Our guest tonight, Christopher O’Brien’s new book is called, Stalking the Herd. Christopher has investigated over one thousand paranormal events reported in the San Luis Valley–located in South Central Colorado/North Central New Mexico between 1992-2002.
Music by Kerry Lloyd Whitehouse
The Latest Blogs
Will Our Fate Be That of the Dinosaurs?
February 20, 2014by Andy Fleming
In the 1970s Walter Alvarez, a professor in the Earth and Planetary Science department at the University of California, Berkeley started to form a hypothesis connecting an asteroid impact, the presence of its global Iridium layer in the rock strata, and the loss of the dinosaurs in what has become known as the Cretaceous–Tertiary (or K-T) mass extinction event.
Verified by geological dating, the location of the asteroid’s impact crater was eventually discovered at Chicxulub, in the Yucatán Peninsula. The now confirmed scientific theory made truly shocking reading. It stated that 66 million years ago, our planet was hit by a space rock 10kms in diameter traveling at 40,000kph. Taking two seconds to traverse the atmosphere it buried itself kilometres deep in the Earth’s crust, with resultant molten ejecta traversing the entire globe. Worldwide cataclysmic fires created dense and choking dust and smoke that blocked out most sunlight for years. Temperatures plummeted, and 75% of all species on Earth, including dinosaurs became extinct. In this epic catastrophe, small dinosaurs capable of flight survived to become modern day birds. Tiny underground shrew-like animals that lived on roots also survived.
In terms of longevity of their reign of over 150 million years, the dinosaurs are to this day the most successful creatures ever to walk the Earth. Their sudden demise however, ushered in the age of the mammals that would one day evolve into us. Without the Chicxulub impact, debatably the most intelligent species ever seen on Earth i.e. ‘us’ simply wouldn’t exist. Mammals truly did inherit the Earth.
Well known in the UFO community as an author and as the director of NICAP, Major Donald Keyhoe was a Marine pilot and established author well before the flying saucer craze of the late 1940s. He authored several books on unidentified flying objects, including the classic Flying Saucers Are Real. Although his experience in the aviation field and Pentagon contacts gave him a certain amount of authority, his detractors pointed to some of his other writings to discredit his work.
by Michael Lauck
Faith is an integral part of daily life. Although the word is commonly used in regards to religion, faith is not exclusively connected to one’s religious belief. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary website does offer both “belief in the existence of God” and “a system of religious beliefs” as definitions for faith but the very first definition is merely “strong belief or trust in someone or something.” When one uses this definition, it is easy to find examples of faith in daily life. Most people, for example, start their day thanks to the faith they have placed in an alarm clock.
Why would an extraterrestrial civilization come here of all places in the universe? This is a commonly asked question by the UFO skeptics and debunkers. Personally, I think this is a rather unimportant question. I really honestly do not expect to understand the motivations of an alien species. Some may consider this taking the easy way out, but our own history is full of examples where cultures misunderstand each other’s motivations and desires. If American Indians did not understand what drove the Europeans, how are we to understand the thought process of an entirely different life form? As of this week, though, the question can be laid to rest.
One of the common arguments used by skeptics and debunkers is that UFO witnesses are actually inserting pop culture imagery into their memories or interpretations of an event. For example, they will state that abductees see “Greys” because the Grey alien archetype was prominently featured on book covers and in the movie Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Of course this argument completely (and conveniently) overlooks the fact that the creatures depicted on these book covers and in the film were based on descriptions of experiencers who had not seen the movie or books. Nonetheless, the argument is still put forth confidently and is often not even questioned. How can this assertion be derailed?