“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Forgot How a Star Is Formed?

Click Photo to Enlarge and View in Awe!

The new image, captured earlier this year by Hubble's brand-new Wide Field Camera 3, shows a cosmic pillar of gas and dust piled high in the Carina Nebula.

Located about 7,500 light-years away in the southern constellation Carina, it shows a craggy mountaintop that is enshrouded by wispy clouds which would not look out of place in JRR Tolkien's epic fantasy or even a Dr Seuss book.

It captures in amazing detail the chaotic activity atop a three-light-year-tall pillar of gas and dust that is being eaten away by the brilliant light from nearby bright stars.

Nasa scientists say the scorching radiation and streams of charged particles from super-hot newborn stars shape and compress the pillar, which in turn causes more new stars to form within it.

They say the colours in the image reflect the glow of oxygen (blue), hydrogen and nitrogen (green), and sulphur (red).

The image was captured in February but released on Friday by the agency to mark the Hubble’s anniversary after it launched into space on April 24 1990 from the shuttle Discovery. -Telegraph

How a Star Is Formed

A star is formed out of cloud of cool, dense molecular gas. In order for it to become a potential star, the cloud needs to collapse and increase in density.

There are two common ways this can happen: it can either collide with another dense molecular cloud or it can be near enough to encounter the pressure caused by a giant supernova. Several stars can be born at once with the collision of two galaxies. In both cases, heat is needed to fuel this reaction, which comes from the mutual gravity pulling all the material inward.

What happens next is dependent upon the size of the newborn star; called a protostar. Small protostars will never have enough energy to become anything but a brown dwarf (think of a really massive Jupiter). A brown dwarf is sub-stellar object that cannot maintain high enough temperatures to perpetuate hydrogen fusion to helium. Some brown dwarfs can technically be called stars depending upon their chemical composition, but the end result is the same; it will cool slowly over billions of years to become the background temperature of the universe.

Medium to large protostars can take one of two paths depending upon their size: if they are smaller than the sun, they undergo a proton-proton chain reaction to convert hydrogen to helium. If they are larger than the sun, they undergo a carbon-nitrogen-oxygen cycle to convert hydrogen to helium. The difference is the amount of heat involved. The CNO cycle happens at a much, much higher temperature than the p-p chain cycle.
Whatever the route – a new star has formed.

The life cycle of a star is dependent upon how quickly it consumes hydrogen. For example, small, red dwarf stars can last hundreds of billions of years, while large supergiants can consume most of their hydrogen with a comparably short few million years. Once the star has consumed most of its hydrogen, it has reached its mature state. This is how a star forms.
-Universe Today


  1. If there is no God, there should be!

  2. "The life cycle of a star is dependent upon how quickly it consumes hydrogen."

    In their dreams.

    In fact, the cycle is inversely proportional to mankind's global CO2 output.

    So Sayeth Bishop AlGore.

  3. Quirk! Es tut mir leid!

    Under normal circumstances, I would never verbally accost a stranger for misspelling Colombia. How awful.

    I don't know what possessed me. Other than the many Yuenglings.

    (Warning: What follows is a thoroughly hypocritical tutelage from someone who herself will not bother take a few minutes to learn how to link.)

    Though I might have now spoiled the entire subject for you, here's how you may remember: It's pronounced cole-OME-bia. The second 'o' that Americans are naturally inclined make a 'u', is actually pronounced as a long 'o'.

    (Being a man, you must not only put the emphasis on that long 'o', but say it in a rich, deep tenor and just kind of swallow down the last syllable.)

    Or: Given that the country in question is overflowing with prodigiously enhanced females (NOT that there's anything wrong with that) one may simply remember that there are two boobs, as it were, in Colombia. Not one boob and 'u'. That wouldn't be very attractive, would it? Two boobs.

    Next week: The Himno Nacional de la Rep├║blica de Two Boobs.

    As far as the AP article goes, the individual who wrote it is demented.

    Santos is going to win. And I'm not saying that simply because I'm biased. I am biased. I mean he's actually going to win. The author, Vivien Whatshername, is just off in some la la land.

  4. Yeah right...blame it on the alcohol.

  5. Under normal circumstances, I would never verbally accost a stranger for misspelling Colombia. How awful.

    I don't know what possessed me. Other than the many Yuenglings.

    ...a paean to the influence of Silenus and Dionysus.

  6. Well, AT LEAST I expressed sincere contrition for my petty outburst...

    ...while having the gall to thereupon proceed with a spelling lesson.


    I think maybe I should quit while I'm behind.

    Anyone want a muffin?

  7. According to my most recent read "BioCentrism" by Dr. Lanza, we created the stars, when we thought. He takes off on the line from Hume, Descartes through Kant and Schopenhauer, and the hindoos.

  8. If you want everything to go away, just don't think. That will do it.

  9. What an ignominious way to start a Saturday.

    I feel verbally abused and mortified and I suspect my analysis has been set back at least a couple of months.

    The only solace I can take is that as has been pointed out before Trish’s writing style is typically recondite, the references abtruse and cryptic. With that in mind the comment

    "Oh, for God's sake!

    It's TWO FUCKING O'S!"

    could mean anything from a critique of her alphabet soup to a joyous exclamation of approval on her latest relations with her husband.

    Still I am in a deep funk and am going to go have some chocolate.


  10. Allen is gone and Bob is back.

    The circle is complete.


  11. Up yours. Biocentrism And I forgot to add, Berkeley. Arthur Schopenhauer was a divine man.

  12. Sorry. I guess Bob's not quite back just yet.


  13. Don't you see, he took Kant's noumena and made it singular, noumenon, and when we die, our individuality is gone for good, but then we are "there". Which is why he says there is more than individuality, Darwinism, it's why somethimes we actually help one another, even to the giving of our lives, for the other. It is an intuition of all being one, which pops out once in a while. It's the secret of the Two Brothers, who are one, behind the scene, in old Egypt, and doing violence to one another, they are wrong, foolishly, as they know not. Schopenhauer was a divine man. Also, he was a political reactionary, and wanted a good prince to rule, just like my aunt Agnes did as well. It is a transcendental breakthrough, to see things like that.

  14. Shit and I thought he was the guy who invented the A-bomb.


  15. "Oh, for God's sake!

    It's TWO FUCKING O'S!"

    I finally get it...

  16. And our most valuable ally to the south thanks you for it.