Death of a star?

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Ocatarinetabellatchitchix, Jan 14, 2020.

  1. Ocatarinetabellatchitchix

    Ocatarinetabellatchitchix Supporter! Supporter

    I know many of us are amateur astronomers. You certainly read about something very special happening since mid-November: The giant star Betelgeuse, one of the brightest in the Milky Way, has seen its luminosity fall for a few weeks. It could announce its explosion in a supernova, an extremely rare phenomenon in our galaxy. Located in the constellation Orion, this "red super giant", almost a thousand times larger than the Sun, shines brightly in the winter sky, where it is visible to the naked eye thanks to its orange colour.[​IMG]
    The star was among the 10 brightest in the galaxy, but since mid-November, its brightness has dropped dramatically, by around 70%. Several hypotheses are put forward: it could be an ejection of gas forming dust and hiding the radiation or ... the death of Betelgeuse. The latter scenario would result in a supernova explosion. If it seems unlikely in the near future, it makes astronomers dream: the star at the end of its life having no more "fuel" (from nuclear fusion), its heart would collapse on itself and would form a neutron star, a very compact object which creates a shock wave completely dislocating the star, all in just a few hours. From Earth, we would then observe with the naked eye a point as bright as the Moon in the sky. If we see it explode from here, it will mean that the explosion took place physically 600 years ago... This phenomenon only occurs once a century in the Milky Way, and the last formation of supernova observed dates back to 1604. Hopefully this will happen and that we can attend this unique event. In the meantime, show me your coins featuring supernovas or stars !

    Julian II
    Star within laurel wreath
    TuckHard, tibor, Chris B and 26 others like this.
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  3. -jeffB

    -jeffB Greshams LEO Supporter

    If your coin contains copper or zinc, much of that metal came from a supernova explosion! (Current thought is that the more precious metals, silver and gold, come from even more exotic events.)

    Scientists are hoping for excitement from Betelgeuse, but also kind of hoping it drags its feet, because some much better instruments are coming online over the next decade or so, and we could learn a lot more if they're available to observe...
    TIF, GoldFinger1969, Paul M. and 4 others like this.
  4. Justin Lee

    Justin Lee I learn by doing Supporter

    I didn't know that was happening! It sounds very cool (and destructive)!

    Pontos, Uncertain, possibly Amisos.
    Struck under Mithradates VI (Circa 119-100 BC)

    Obverse: Head of horse right, with star of eight points on its neck.
    Reverse: Comet star of eight points with trail to right (or palm branch with tainia and star).
    References: BM Black Sea 984, SNG Stancomb 653 corr.
    Size: 11mm, 1.5g
    Note: This unusual issue has traditionally been assigned to an uncertain mint in the area of Pontos, but it has currently been suggested that it was struck in Caesarea-Eusebia (cf. Lanz 160, 15 June 2015, 249).

    The comets depicted are almost certainly the comets described in Justin’s epitome of the Historiae Philippicae of the Augustan historian Pompeius Trogus (Justin 37.2.1-2): “The future greatness of this man [Mithridates Eupator] had been foretold by heavenly portents. For both in the year in which he was born [134/133 B.C.] and in the year in which he first began to rule [120/119 B.C.], a comet gleamed so brightly for 70 days throughout each period that the whole sky seemed to be on fire. In its extent, each of these comets filled one quarter of the sky and surpassed the sun in brilliance. They took four hours to rise and four hours to set.”

    Zeugitania, Carthage
    AE Unit, Second Punic War (218-201 BC)
    Struck 216-215 BC, Sardinia mint

    Obverse: Wreathed head of Tanit left; Punic zayin below chin.
    Reverse: Bull standing right; star above, Punic ‘ayin and taw to right.
    References: SNG Cop 387-388

    Hispania, Castulo,
    AE Unit, 180 BC

    Obverse: Diademed and draped male head to right.
    Reverse: Sphinx advancing right; star to right; [Iberian “KASTILO” in exergue].
    References: AB 707
    Size: 30mm, 18.62g
    Marsyas Mike, tibor, Ryro and 10 others like this.
  5. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter I dig ancient coins...

    Julian II with stars above bull. If the bull represents Taurus as some folks believe, rather than the Apis bull, it is only a short distance from Orion in the winter sky.

    AE 30, 8.1 grams, Nicomedia mint, A.D. 361-363
    Diademed, draped, cuirassed bust right
    Bull standing right, two stars above//palm
    Mintmark: SMNB
    Reference: RIC VIII 119, page 483 (SMNA, no SMNB examples recorded



    I also am an avid amateur astronomer. Thank you for the post.
    Marsyas Mike, Ryro, Paul M. and 10 others like this.
  6. Ocatarinetabellatchitchix

    Ocatarinetabellatchitchix Supporter! Supporter

    You certainly know your sky my friend !
  7. Pishpash

    Pishpash Supporter! Supporter

    I have been watching betelgeuses progress with interest since mid-December. If it isn't getting brighter in Febuary, all bets are off for a supernova.

    Nicest star from my collection
    State, City: Thrace, Chersonesos
    Coin: good VF Silver Hemidrachm
    None - Forepart of lion right, head left
    None - Quadripartite incuse square with alternating raised and sunken quarters; pellet and AΓ monogram in one sunken quarter, star in the other.
    Mint: Chersonesos (Circa 386-338 BC)
    Wt./Size/Axis: 2.41g / 13.5mm / -
    • McClean 4089–94 var. (symbol)
    • SNG Copenhagen 840 var. (letter).
    • Weber 2430
    Marsyas Mike, Ryro, Paul M. and 10 others like this.
  8. Ocatarinetabellatchitchix

    Ocatarinetabellatchitchix Supporter! Supporter

    I’ve never seen this type of hemidrachm @Pishpash . Nice. By the way, about your avatar picture, is it a skunk on your couch (I’m on my cell phone) ?
    Pishpash likes this.
  9. Pishpash

    Pishpash Supporter! Supporter

    Two tibetan terriers aged 8 weeks. They will be a year old on the 19th January!!
  10. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    One of the few coins in my collection with a star not as a mint or officina mark, but as an actual design element:

    Faustina Jr, AD 161-175.
    Roman AR denarius; 3.14 g, 17 mm.
    Rome, AD 176 or later.
    Obv: DIVA FAVSTINA PIA, bare-headed and draped bust right.
    Rev: CONSECRATIO, crescent moon around large star, surrounded by six stars.
    Refs: RIC 750; BMCRE 718; Cohen 83; RCV 5219; MIR 63; CRE 172.
    Marsyas Mike, Ryro, Paul M. and 9 others like this.
  11. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter I dig ancient coins...

    Another with a star (and moon, to boot)

    Marsyas Mike, Ryro, Paul M. and 10 others like this.
  12. Pishpash

    Pishpash Supporter! Supporter

    A bit ropey, but Faustina 1
  13. Alegandron

    Alegandron "ΤΩΙ ΚΡΑΤΙΣΤΩΙ..." ΜΕΓΑΣ ΑΛΕΞΑΝΔΡΟΣ, June 323 BCE Supporter

    Really like that Carthage Bull & Star, @Justin Lee

    Carthage 216-215 BCE Sardinia mint AE 3.3g Tanit L - BULL stndg R CNP 377a
  14. Alegandron

    Alegandron "ΤΩΙ ΚΡΑΤΙΣΤΩΙ..." ΜΕΓΑΣ ΑΛΕΞΑΝΔΡΟΣ, June 323 BCE Supporter


    Carthage Zeugitania First Punic War 264-241 BCE Double Shekel 26 mm 13.9 g Wreathed Tanit Horse stndng r star - [Zeugitania 1 in the night sky] above SNG Cop 185 Rare
  15. Alegandron

    Alegandron "ΤΩΙ ΚΡΑΤΙΣΤΩΙ..." ΜΕΓΑΣ ΑΛΕΞΑΝΔΡΟΣ, June 323 BCE Supporter

    Parthia Mithradates III 58-55 BCE AR Drachm 3.9g 20mm Rhagae mint star archer bashlyk throne bow Selwood 41-12
  16. Alegandron

    Alegandron "ΤΩΙ ΚΡΑΤΙΣΤΩΙ..." ΜΕΓΑΣ ΑΛΕΞΑΝΔΡΟΣ, June 323 BCE Supporter

    Spain Osca Æ Semis 25mm 8.0g 1st C BCE Bearded male hd R Horseman galloping R holding spear star SNG Cop 325 Burgos 1918
  17. Alegandron

    Alegandron "ΤΩΙ ΚΡΑΤΙΣΤΩΙ..." ΜΕΓΑΣ ΑΛΕΞΑΝΔΡΟΣ, June 323 BCE Supporter

    I REALLY like your Hemidrachm, @Pishpash ! Great strikes, cool toning, just great!

    My die-cutter had a difficult time putting the pieces together to make a star... :D

    Chersonesos AR Hemi-Drachm - TriObol Lion X-dot amphora Seaby-Sear Vol I 1606
  18. ancientone

    ancientone Well-Known Member

    Another star(s) and crescent.

    SeverusPhilipoppolis.jpg Thrace, Philippopolis. Septimius Severus Æ22
  19. cmezner

    cmezner Supporter! Supporter

    they didn't do a good job on this denarius, but it has a star :rolleyes:

    Rome, 19 BC, mint master P. Petronius Turpilianus
    17 x 18 mm, 3.55 g
    Ref.: RIC I 300; RSC 495;
    Ob.: CAESAR AVGVSTVS bare head right
    Rev.: TVRPILIANVS(• III • VIR) six-rayed star above crescent

    upload_2020-1-14_22-38-40.png upload_2020-1-14_22-39-37.png
  20. TypeCoin971793

    TypeCoin971793 Just a random guy on the internet

    The fusion reactions of hydrogen and helium in the core of the stars form heavier elements, such as carbon and iron. The supernova events create even heavier elements and scatter them throughout the universe. Once you realize that, you can then realize that the coin you are holding is comprised of a countless number of metal atoms formed by supernovae billions of years ago.
  21. GoldFinger1969

    GoldFinger1969 Well-Known Member

    Amazing.....the fading of Betelgeuse and other cosmic wonders is what I am working on from a local CUNY professor the my club's Annual Dinner in the NYC area.

    BTW, if any of you have interest in attending that dinner, LIKE this post and I'll post a link in coming days.
    kountryken and Alegandron like this.
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