Author Topic: Potential Supernova Mechanics  (Read 2065 times)

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Offline Kristover

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Re: Potential Supernova Mechanics
« Reply #30 on: September 09, 2022, 07:47:08 AM »
I'm in favor of this mechanic as a potential non-spoiler game disruptor - I think if I enabled it, I wouldn't mind it being multi-system devastating (WPs 'transmit' supernova explosions causing multiple effects up and down the chain), but I would like it to only happen once and only after a certain time has elapsed.  I think something similar that would be interesting as a byproduct would be it causes WP disruption with points on the chain collapsing and new WPs opening....something that changes the mid to late game astrography.
 

Offline Vandermeer

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Re: Potential Supernova Mechanics
« Reply #31 on: November 24, 2022, 04:36:06 AM »
After a long time some relevant updates to this. The Kurzgesagt Youtube popular science channel just had a video on the deadliness of close Supernovae, and posed them as way more threatening as the previous article that Steve quoted would let you conclude.
Video here:

Now, the video is quite sensationalist in its visuals and speech, while it doesn't directly make clear what on every stage actually ends up killing life on the planet. Luckily, the team consists of actual scientists and puts credibility high and thus always provides a very thorough list of their sources, even relating them to the lines said in the video.(sometimes with relevant equations and results on spot)
So the video contrasts the previous findings of the article that let to conclusion that even if Alpha Centauri were to somehow explode, it wouldn't really affect us. Instead, Kurzgesagt states that deadly consequences begin at 150lys already. Who is wrong?
Apparently nobody directly, because as it turns out the article only addressed the atmospheric shielding efficiency as related to the initial explosion and gamma blast (so about a month). It was not accounting however for:
- That the capacity of the atmosphere to absorb radiation wasn't infinite and could get exhausted.
- A late wake 'radioactive tsunami' caused by the interstellar gas simultaneously being compress-pushed away and ionized, which will propagate further (but lower) radiation for unforeseeable timescales. (interestingly, the radiation from this will remain almost constant even with the wave approaching. Only if it should hit will there be a serious spike)
- The most important point: Secondary source damages relating to the stripping away of Ozone as this layers' capacity is among the first to be overwhelmed. (there are other consequences stemming from UV, but this is enough)

..And that is basically what the video boils down to. It is not the supernova radiation killing directly, so no dramatic "explosion kills" or 'zap-cancer'-radiation flashes, but it stripping thin Earth's shielding and thus exposure to solar UV and other cosmic radiation that ends up killing everything, ...but over some time.
Especially the sensationalist 25ly 'kill radius' from the video specifically relates to a much more tamely formulated article of USA National Academy of Sciences that simply calculates and mentions that the breakdown of Ozone at these intensities would persist for some hundreds of years, which would upend the base of the foodchain in plankton and thus cause total collapse and a mass extinction event.

So in conclusion: The supernovae are still not really killing through their own radiation directly, although they even might do that if they can overwhelm atmospheric capacity. (sadly I found no source in here that clearly stated at which levels that would happen for Earth) Instead, the most concerning effects are related to the destruction or even just partial suppression of the most vulnerable atmospheric layers.
..That however means that the final enemy in a near supernova event would actually be a planet's own star, not the supernova, and thus radiation damage should scale by the own star's parameters.

Anyway, that might all be too detailed to model in a game. In the end it does not matter who does the damage for simplification's sake. I would just say that lasting radiation doses, and even deadly supernovae are confirmed in the 150ly and 25ly range. It is no cool explosion, but I retract my previous joking of them being mere "christmas lights" as well.
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Offline Destragon

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Re: Potential Supernova Mechanics
« Reply #32 on: November 24, 2022, 03:07:26 PM »
After a long time some relevant updates to this. The Kurzgesagt Youtube popular science channel just had a video on the deadliness of close Supernovae, and posed them as way more threatening as the previous article that Steve quoted would let you conclude.
Video here:
Looks like coincidentally Veritasium has recently released a video about the same topic (although he seems to focus more on explaining how supernovae are caused):
« Last Edit: November 24, 2022, 03:28:56 PM by Destragon »
 

Offline nuclearslurpee

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Re: Potential Supernova Mechanics
« Reply #33 on: November 24, 2022, 09:40:38 PM »
Who is wrong?
Apparently nobody directly, because as it turns out the article only addressed the atmospheric shielding efficiency as related to the initial explosion and gamma blast (so about a month). It was not accounting however for:
- That the capacity of the atmosphere to absorb radiation wasn't infinite and could get exhausted.

Once again we see the potentially fatal consequences when the physicists forget that radiation interaction with matter leads to a non-equilibrium system.   :P
 

Offline Vandermeer

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Re: Potential Supernova Mechanics
« Reply #34 on: November 25, 2022, 10:24:11 AM »
Looks like coincidentally Veritasium has recently released a video about the same topic (although he seems to focus more on explaining how supernovae are caused):
Sometimes he seems to be inspired by other channels, or maybe there is some third event that inspires many creators simultaneously. I noticed that when 3Blue1Brown recently came up with a great Fast Fourier Transform video, Vertasium had soon uploaded one too.(I still plan to watch that.)

Once again we see the potentially fatal consequences when the physicists forget that radiation interaction with matter leads to a non-equilibrium system.   :P
Touché. Well, and that is why there is review, checks, and gradual development of ideas through quotation chains throughout many publications. As long as arguments happen, and no side or authority insists on being right, oversights will eventually be smoothed out.
Though in this case, that already happened long ago.
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Offline Destragon

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Re: Potential Supernova Mechanics
« Reply #35 on: November 25, 2022, 10:51:36 AM »
Sometimes he seems to be inspired by other channels, or maybe there is some third event that inspires many creators simultaneously. I noticed that when 3Blue1Brown recently came up with a great Fast Fourier Transform video, Vertasium had soon uploaded one too.(I still plan to watch that.)
He actualy talked about it in the comments of the Kurzgesagt video: "Great video on supernovae! Amazing that we were both working on the same topic at the same time. I hope everyone knows that these videos take months of lead time for both of us so there is no way one video was inspired by the other or vice versa."
 
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