But at 8000 light years away, is Eta Carinae dangerous to us? The astrophysicists donât really know, because there is nothing else that big and active in our neighborhood, but they are worried. Extremely strong radio emissions that have reached us starting a few years ago correspond to what the theorists predict would happen when a super-massive star is preparing to go into super-nova. Super-novae are not common, but a few have been observed in this era of modern measuring devices, and they typically have emitted massive pulses of broad band radiation -- light, x-rays, gamma and radio waves. Some calculations done by the folks who know how to do them lead them to believe that such pulses from Eta Carinae could fry earthbound and space electronics. NASA knows about this and has built shields into some space craft to protect them, and extra shielding is being incorporated into the international space station. But do the assorted Ma Bells out there know or care? Some do and some apparently don't. The good news (for us in the Northern Hemisphere) is that the blast will hit the southern side of the Earth. The bad news is that nobody has a clue about how big the pulses might be, what they will do to the ionosphere or the ozone layer, how distributed communications networks (telephones and Internet, for example) might be effected, or when it all might happen. In fact, it may already have happened -- Eta Carinae is 8,000 light years away, and the pulses may already be almost here. In the nature of things, there can be no early warning except for the theories the astrophysicists are now studying -- the illumination that indicates when Eta Carinae has gone super-nova will arrive as part of the potentially damaging first pulse.