Although you are warned about killing stars before pressing the button, Sleepless Knight understands that some level of remorse is occasionally associated with potentially apocalyptic levels of destruction.
For your peace of mind, we have provided answers to the most commonly asked questions, regarding what might have happened when you callously decided to ignite the ultimate astrophysical firework.
1. What if I destroyed an entire civilisation?
Debate about the possibility of life elsewhere in the universe continues to divide the scientific community, so allow us to put your mind at ease: While it is fairly likely that you just destroyed an ancient civilisation of billions, we don’t want you to worry about it… your country’s legal system almost certainly does not prosecute in instances of extra-solar genocide.
2. What if I destroyed a planet full of harmless animals?
At the time of this post, PETA does not have an interstellar branch.
3. So, are there any consequences for causing the extinction of as yet unknown species of animal?
Unfortunately, future generations of the human race will never have the opportunity to taste those animals.
4. What if no intelligent beings were destroyed, but I prevented a potentially beautiful and peaceful culture from evolving out of basic, self-replicating molecules?
Once again, this seems fairly likely, but you can take comfort in the convenient hypothesis that those beings might eventually have grown bitter, twisted and evil, as a result of having invented unfashionable sunglasses. Such beings might one day have spread out amongst the stars to destroy entire civilisations (much like you probably just did). The universe is a better place without them.
5. What if the explosion was a really big one?
Then congratulations, you just caused a Supernova, and it will look especially pretty when the light eventually reaches Earth.
6. Yes but, what if the explosion was a really, really big one?
Congratulations, you just caused a Hypernova! This will look really, really pretty; with Gamma-ray bursts along the axis of the star for thousands of light years. Some scientists say that Gamma-rays are dangerous, but Sleepless Knight has uncovered important new evidence which suggests Gamma-rays might be responsible for The Incredible Hulk, certain flavours of ice-cream, and those really nice snoozes that leave you feeling warm and cosy, instead of groggy and irritable.
7. Aren’t dying stars responsible for the creation of black holes?
Actually, scientists believe that black holes are the result of massive stars collapsing. Since you just made one explode, you have successfully prevented the creation of a black hole. Well done! Take the rest of the day off.
8. That doesn’t make any sense though, does it?
Are you still here? I said take the rest of the day off!
10. What if the star I destroyed was very close to our own solar system?
Recent studies reveal that an exploding star may have sent comets to earth 13,000 years ago; leading to the extinction of the mammoth. Since no-one really wants hairy elephants, that no amount of insecticide can shift, trampling your flowerbeds and ruining your barbecue… I say we call it a win.
Also, high energy radiation from nearby exploding stars has the potential to deplete the ozone layer that protects Earth from ultraviolet rays. This would give us all a nice tan, as well as killing off phytoplankton, which would mean fewer microscopic wriggly things in the water when you go to the seaside.
There are many other pontential dangers from nearby exploding stars, but most of these are complicated and depressing.
11. Aren’t phytoplankton the base of the marine food chain, and the generators of over half the world’s oxygen?
Sshhhh! Eat your ice-cream.
12. Won’t the destruction of a star have local gravitational implications?
Scientists would like you to believe that, yes. But, as believers in Jesus might tell you: Scientists are the minions of Satan; sent to refute the word of God. If that is true, it’s possible that the same scientists invented gravity, to keep us all from flying up to heaven.
So, although Sleepless Knight does not advocate a belief in supernatural beings, I say we just trust the Christians on this one thing.
13. What is the most likely outcome of destroying a distant star?
Just like the possibility of life outside our solar system, exploding stars are subject to a great deal of controversy. Sleepless Knight’s own research on this subject has led to the following conclusions:
It is a mathematical certainty that the universe contains an almost incalculable number of worlds, inhabited by races of peaceful super-beings, who want nothing but to fly around the galaxies, bringing peace and distributing peanut M&Ms in those really big bags you get at the cinema. Unlike the cinema, they are willing to do all this for free but are unable to, because it is too bright to go outside.
So you see; the more stars you destroy, the more likely we all are to be showered with peace and Peanut M&Ms.
14. I’m allergic to peanuts!
Bring an umbrella!
Sleepless Knight hopes that this has gone some way towards putting your mind at rest. If you still have concerns, you can email them to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
No-one will care, but if it makes you feel better, go ahead.