I watched a very interesting programme, think it was a National Geographic one, yesterday.
It was about what would happen if a nearby star became a Neutron star and headed into our solar system, though technically it does not even have to be within it to wreak havoc.
A Neutron star is the result of a star going supernova within certain mass parameters. Does not become a brown dwarf after is red giant phase and nor does it become a black hole.
In effect it is one of the ways in which a star is dying, so is a dying star. But its mass has collapsed to such a density, hard to imagine, that it sends out two beams of material extremely high in dangerous particles that are radioactive. Think something that has the same effect as standing next to a nuclear bomb going off but the source that could be hundreds of thousands of miles away.
But the beams go in just two directions so it is possible the beams might miss us, even though a neutron star spins...fast.
Now the programmes itself talk to scientists while having mock ups of what would happen and makes it interesting.
There is a funny part in what happens towards the end regarding one of the ships they built you just have to watch.
I will also add that though they gather scientists and theoretically talk about the possible ways to power a spacecraft, anti-matter or nuclear, I will stress that this is for like ... now!
They also state that they suggest that there would be a 70 to 80 year margin between detection of the oncoming catastrophe and the event taking place. So what you should, or would, happen in those 75 years.
In other words, silly scientists, that they make a big case for how dangerous anti-matter would be but this is if it was to bee discovered imminently.
If, say for argument sake something like this was discovered in 15 to 25 years time ... well ... a lot could have happened technology wise between now and then and there could be come surprise major advancements in handling a material as volatile as anti-matter. Which, to be frank, is about as volatile as they come.
Of course it does not take into account what the military establishments of the world might be hiding by way of technology which could come out of the woodwork and be used?
I would state that I would be quite calm about it all and sensible and I know I would not get onto either ship! And that's OK. Lol.
Still an interesting programme and the first one I ever put in my favourites...