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Space & Astronomy

It's official - Betelgeuse isn't about to explode

By T.K. Randall
March 10, 2020 · Comment icon 23 comments

The Orion constellation with Betelgeuse on the left. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 3.0 Rogelio Bernal Andreo
Scientists have finally determined what made the giant star appear as though it was getting ready to blow.
The red supergiant, which can be found in the constellation Orion, is certainly no stranger to changes in intensity having been going through periods of dimming and brightening for thousands of years.

More recently however, a particularly notable period of low intensity had led scientists to speculate that it may be about to go supernova - producing a monstrous explosion of stellar proportions.

Such an event, when it does happen, could make Betelgeuse (which is 700 light years away) appear so bright in the sky that it would be like a second sun - albeit only for a few weeks.
Now however, Betelgeuse seems to have returned to normal and scientists have determined exactly what happened - the star had belched out a large cloud of dust, temporarily reducing its brightness.

This also means that it won't be going supernova anytime soon.

"We see this all the time in red supergiants, and it's a normal part of their life cycle," said University of Washington astronomer Emily Levesque.

"Red supergiants will occasionally shed material from their surfaces, which will condense around the star as dust. As it cools and dissipates, the dust grains will absorb some of the light heading toward us and block our view."

Source: Science Alert | Comments (23)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #14 Posted by XenoFish 4 years ago
Hulk smash?!?
Comment icon #15 Posted by RabidMongoose 4 years ago
You haven't provided any facts, you have spouted off some numbers and are claiming them to be true. Personality wise you are also quite a frosty one arent you? You have no scientific links backing up you argument. So lets begin. Firstly Earth is not 8 minutes from the Sun but 8 minutes and 20 seconds. Thats a significant difference. Now lets look at scientific articles for how far away Betelgeuse is. I presume you must have taken 700 light years from Wiki? If so please scroll down and read the part where it tells you about how its distance was calculated. It explains several approaches were us... [More]
Comment icon #16 Posted by Festina 4 years ago
So,  the scientists were wrong?    
Comment icon #17 Posted by drakonwick 4 years ago
Hell, Betelgeuse could have went supernova years ago and none of us would be none the wiser.  
Comment icon #18 Posted by Noteverythingisaconspiracy 4 years ago
Is there a relevant point to this post ?
Comment icon #19 Posted by Festina 4 years ago
So called Finite Fossil fuels, according to “Scientists” .  The Earth is a livings organism, petroleum is its blood.      
Comment icon #20 Posted by Noteverythingisaconspiracy 4 years ago
So the answer to my question is no then.
Comment icon #21 Posted by Festina 4 years ago
  I updated my post.    
Comment icon #22 Posted by Noteverythingisaconspiracy 4 years ago
So the answer is still a no then. Atleast I don't see any connection at all to Betegeuse in your woo.
Comment icon #23 Posted by Festina 4 years ago
They were wrong about Betelgeuse and they have wrong about other things as well. The Connection,  It’s called conversation, and it has movement.   Goodnight.      

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