Kirk Sigmon

Scientist jumps to conclusions, proclaims end of earth

At a recent American Astronomical Society meeting, a press release ran talking about the binary star T Pyxidis, and how it could destroy the earth. The research, presented at the AAS meeting by Edward M. Sion and his team from Villanova University, claimed that, and I quote, “the gamma radiation emitted by the supernova would fry the Earth, dumping as much gamma radiation (~100,000 erg/square centimeter) into our planet [sic], which is equivalent to the gamma ray input of 1000 solar flares simultaneously”.

The problem? Scientists at the AAS meeting almost instantly called BS. Despite running around claiming the end of the earth, the science was plain out wrong, and wrong calculations were used: for the devastation speculated by the research, it would require for T Pyxidis to be 10 times closer to Earth than it actually is. We can breathe easily.

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