Wednesday, April 1, 2020
Contact us    |    Advertise    |   Help    |   Cookie Policy    |   Privacy Policy    RSS icon Twitter icon Facebook icon
    Home  ·  News  ·  Forum  ·  Stories  ·  Image Gallery  ·  Columns  ·  Encyclopedia  ·  Videos
Find: in

Is the star Betelgeuse about to go supernova ?


Posted on Tuesday, 24 December, 2019 | Comment icon 25 comments

A supernova so close would be quite spectacular. Image Credit: CC BY 4.0 ESO/M. Kornmesser
One of the brightest stars in the night sky is exhibiting signs that its explosive demise might not be far away.
The red supergiant, which can be found in the constellation Orion, has been going through periods of dimming and brightening for thousands of years however a particularly notable and recent period of low intensity has been piquing the interest of astronomers who have speculated that it could be an indication that the star is about to go supernova.

Such an event, when it does happen, could make Betelgeuse appear so bright in the sky that it would be like a second sun - albeit for a period of only a few weeks.

Situated around 700 light years away, the star has long been expected to go supernova at some point however there is much uncertainty over exactly how long it will be before this happens.

Even if the recent reduction in intensity is an indication of this, it could still take thousands of years.
"Stars in the later phases of their life go through a lot of variability that we can't fully explain yet... It probably still has tens of thousands of years, if not 100,000 (left)," wrote astronomer Yvette Cendes of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.

One astrophysicist - Matthew Buckley of Rutgers University - has even made the tongue-in-cheek suggestion that the dimming could be due to the construction of a Dyson sphere.

"Weird how everyone is wondering if Betelgeuse dimming means it is going supernova (sadly, unlikely), but no one is asking the real question: is its dimming a sign that someone is finishing a Dyson sphere around it ?" he wrote.

The concept of a Dyson Sphere was originally proposed over 50 years ago by physicist Freeman Dyson who suggested the possibility that a sufficiently advanced extraterrestrial race may be able to surround a star with a huge spherical structure and then live on the inside of the sphere.

Suffice to say however that it is unlikely to the extreme that this is what's happening with Betelgeuse.

Source: CNET.com | Comments (25)

Tags: Betelgeuse

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #16 Posted by Skulduggery on 25 December, 2019, 3:32
I have been up on the Betelgeuse knowledge since about 2011 or so. Most places I’ve looked on the internet—scientific resources—say we are clear. Although I do suspect there may be a kernel of truth in the sensationalism of it that has been going around for quite some time. There may be some type of effect. 
Comment icon #17 Posted by DreadLordAvatar on 25 December, 2019, 4:43
If we do get to see it, then the explosion happened 700 years ago.
Comment icon #18 Posted by Aardvark-DK on 25 December, 2019, 11:50
Darn....Ford Prefect looses his home planet...
Comment icon #19 Posted by fred_mc on 27 December, 2019, 11:46
Why are they talking about a Dyson sphere? It would be really stupid aliens if they try to build a Dyson sphere around a dying giant star that is giving off huge deadly flares as a part of the death process.
Comment icon #20 Posted by psyche101 on 27 December, 2019, 11:57
Well that's disappointing. I was expecting a Tatooine situation. I was going to wait until it happens before I pass on. Don't think I'll bother waiting now.
Comment icon #21 Posted by psyche101 on 27 December, 2019, 11:58
To be fair, the article does say that is an extremely unlikely option.
Comment icon #22 Posted by Jon the frog on 12 January, 2020, 22:46
In astronomical term, ''about to go supernova'' mean it is probably in the next million of years...
Comment icon #23 Posted by L.A.T.1961 on 24 January, 2020, 16:05
Astronomers Detect a Burst of Gravitational Waves From The Direction of Betelgeuse. https://www.sciencealert.com/astronomers-detected-weird-gravitational-waves-from-the-direction-of-betelgeuse   Betelgeuse continues to dim, diminishes to 1.506 magnitude. https://phys.org/news/2020-01-betelgeuse-dim-diminishes-magnitude.html http://www.astronomerstelegram.org/?read=13410  
Comment icon #24 Posted by Desertrat56 on 24 January, 2020, 18:54
If it is 500 - 700 light years away it may already have gone supernova.  What we see happened 500 - 700 years ago.
Comment icon #25 Posted by joc on 13 February, 2020, 14:31
Betelgeuse is 642.5 light years away according to Google. The radius of Betelgeuse   =   617 million km   or   383 million miles  The radius of the Sun         =   696,347  km      or   432,690 miles The radius of the Earth       =  3,959 miles Roughly....   4 Billion miles  vs    .5 Million miles   I also thought this was interesting:           


Please Login or Register to post a comment.


  On the forums
Forum posts:
Forum topics:
Members:

6677436
278746
184477

 
Is there a scientific explanation for deja vu ?
4-1-2020
Most of us will have experienced deja vu at some point in our lives, but what exactly causes this sensation ?
Astronaut pee could help to build Moon base
3-31-2020
The urine of the first lunar settlers could be used as a construction material to help build new structures.
Cops bust man who was 'teaching dog to drive'
3-31-2020
No, teaching your dog how to drive a car is not an appropriate use of your time during self-isolation.
Turkey Mountain 'Bigfoot' caught on camera
3-31-2020
Visitors to the Turkey Mountain Urban Wilderness Area have been reporting sightings of a strange creature.
Stories & Experiences
In over my head
3-3-2020 | CA
 
Stranger at night
3-3-2020 | Merritt Island, FL, U.S.
 
The babysitter
2-8-2020 | ON
 
Mystery brain surgery and JFK
2-7-2020 | Toronto Ontario Canada
 
 
I keep bringing spirits home
2-7-2020 | Michigan
 
Dog and Jamaican statue
1-10-2020 | Canada
 
 
Life changing experience
12-19-2019 | Australia
 
Unexplained smoke or fog
12-19-2019 | West Texas, USA
 

         More stories | Send us your story
Featured Videos
Gallery icon 
10 strange things about our solar system
Posted 3-17-2020 | 0 comments
A look at some of the most mysterious things about our solar system.
 
Lizzie - Scotland's other loch monster
Posted 3-8-2020 | 0 comments
Amelia Dimoldenberg investigates the Loch Ness Monster's neighbor.
 
Adam Savage and Spot
Posted 2-14-2020 | 4 comments
Adam Savage tests out Boston Dynamics' impressive Spot robot.
 
NASA 2020: Are you ready ?
Posted 1-1-2020 | 3 comments
A look at what's coming up in the world of spaceflight this year.
 
Is it possible to levitate a human ?
Posted 12-15-2019 | 2 comments
Science enthusiast Rick Edwards attempts to unlock the secret of levitation.
 
 View: More videos
 
Top   |  Home   |   Forum   |   News   |   Image Gallery   |  Columns   |   Encyclopedia   |   Videos   |   Polls
UM-X 10.712 Unexplained-Mysteries.com (c) 2001-2020
Terms   |   Privacy Policy   |   Cookies   |   Advertise   |   Contact   |   Help/FAQ