Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Are You a Blue Giant?

I learned an interesting fact today - about stars. Blue giants, the most massive stars, have the shortest lifespans. One would expect the opposite to be true, because they have by far the most fuel to burn. Yet, the truth is so vastly different from one's expectations.

They burn many times hotter than Sol (our Sun), and must create much more pressure from their fusion engine to counteract the mighty forces of gravity than a less massive star. Apparently Blue Main Sequence (the proper name) stars are the "gas hogs" of the universe. After all, a star's fuel is hydrogen gas...

When contemplating huge, burning bags of gas, my thoughts naturally turned to myself and my contemporaries. Why do the brightest luminaries "burn out" so quickly? Is it simple physics? Do they just consume their resources too quickly to survive?

Perhaps the lesson for us all, is that it's better to let your light shine at a comfortable, sustainable rate, and let it shine ten to a hundred times longer. Let your personal power illuminate lives, drive worlds, and sustain life. The blue-white hot beams of the Blue Giant would roast us all, leaving nothing alive to appreciate its beauty and its power. Better normal and with friends than exceptionally powerful and alone in the universe...

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