Twisted sunrise

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Betelguse the star is shrinking.

Fainting they say.

On the shoulder of Orion,

it’s getting fainter.

Red Giant,

stellar wonder,

obese and middle aged?

Perhaps your sides are about to split.

Red Giants can’t stay inflated.

They use up all their fuel.

Puffed up and massive.

Suddenly they can pop like a balloon.

Not enough energy to push out,

the star will fall inwards,

then boom!

Bounce out…

In a million years or so?

You might be a Supernova!

Make a Betelguse nebula.

Then Orions shoulder will flower.

And we may see an exploding star.

The first in the Milky-way since 1604.

Fireworks

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Sodium nitrate, sulphur and carbon. Mixed together make gun powder. That is the explosive mixture they put into fireworks. The ratios of the different elements determine the burning characteristics. Strontium makes red, sodium yellow, copper green, magnesium bright white, other elements make different colours. Cobalt? Possibly blue. The elements burn at different temperatures. Each element, when heated, excites electrons in its atoms. As they cool down again photons of light are given out (emitted). The colour depends on the energy the photons release. Bear with me it gets complicated! In the same way you can tell what elements are in the sun or other celestial objects by their emission lines. If you look at a spectrum (rainbow of colours), given out by the light of the sun there are gaps, these correspond to gases like Hydrogen and Helium.

I don’t know enough science to explain properly.

Anyway the fireworks have stopped so I might go to bed.

X

Almost a Sacred Duty.

We went to see a production of Almost a Sacred Duty tonight. A play and presentation at the New Vic theatre. The start was a brief history of what had happened in 1918 by a local historian. This was followed by a play with people from the present and three characters from one hundred years ago. It was about the Minnie pit disaster in 1918, the 18 months it took to find the 156 bodies of men and boys working in the mine who died in the disaster and about 80 miners who survived.

The inquest was held in 1919 after the last body was found. After the hearing, which took weeks, the conclusion was that dust in the mine had contributed to the explosion although nobody was found accountable.

The people acting were playing present day residents who were commemorating the disaster and also played people from 1919 who were at the inquest. The whole thing was only about 45 minutes long but it was really good.

Jim Worgan is a mining historian who gave a short presentation.

Sue Moffat wrote the play and it was directed by Anna Poole. There were three professional actors plus a community cast and the play was supported by the Minnie pit centenary commemoration group, the heritage fund, and New Vic borderlines.

The play used information from William Cooke, a local historian and writer who had given permission to use his book ‘The Minnie pit : Disaster and Controversy”.