Starquake Rips Milky Way A New One

Notice anything out of the ordinary in the Milky Way this past December 27? Astronomers did. A neutron star 50,000 light years away had a little event, an explosion so intense, it unleased 10,000 trillion trillion trillion watts of energy. That’s more oh-la-la in a 10th of a second than our sun grunts out in 100,000 years! Incredible. And just to give you an idea of how perilous our universe can be: if this star had been “only” ten light years closer to our solar system, it could have been lights out for much of life on Earth. Makes you wonder if any higher lifeforms were caught in the path of this thing. The good news (so you Nihilists can put down your Glocks) is that, there are none of these unusual types of stars (called “super-magnetic neutrons” or “magnetars”) in our cosmic neighborhood. Read more at BBC News.