Betelgeuse supernova could appear in sky any day.

By | June 11, 2009

Betelgeuse supernova could appear in sky any day

The star Betelgeuse might someday appear as a spectacular explosion in our sky, a supernova.

Brad Schaefer is an astronomer in Baton Rogue, Louisiana. He said Betelgeuse could become a supernova any day now.

Brad Schaefer: For all we know, Betelgeuse has just gone supernova. Betelgeuse is about a thousand light years away. So if Betelgeuse has gone supernova anytime in the last thousand years, the light of this supernova explosion could be speeding to us even as we speak – maybe it will arrive tonight – and suddenly Betelgeuse will flash into being brighter than a million full moons in the sky – all up above us. It would be a spectacular sight.

Schaefer said that if Betelgeuse replaced the sun in our solar system, Earth would be submerged inside this star. Its outer layers would extend halfway to Jupiter. Betelgeuse is a red supergiant. It long ago burned up its main star fuel – hydrogen – that keep stars like our sun shining.

… How close could Earth be to a supernova, without suffering damage? Schaefer said that people argue back and forth about this (there are many unknown effects that go into these sorts of calculations), but, he said, a typical figure might be 100 light years away. – earthsky

Betelgeuse one of the largest stars ever observed may explode in a Supernova within a timeframe of a few thousand years (if it hasnt already), when it does it will easily outshine the moon in the night sky and be visible in daylight. I really hope this happens in my lifetime (and lucky the rotational axis of the star rules out any extinction causing Gamma ray burst reaching Earth). – youtube

Bright Red Star In Constellation Orion Has Shrunk By 15 Percent In 15 Years

The red supergiant star Betelgeuse, the bright reddish star in the constellation Orion, has steadily shrunk over the past 15 years, according to University of California, Berkeley, researchers.

Long-term monitoring by UC Berkeley’s Infrared Spatial Interferometer (ISI) on the top of Mt. Wilson in Southern California shows that Betelgeuse (bet’ el juz), which is so big that in our solar system it would reach to the orbit of Jupiter, has shrunk in diameter by more than 15 percent since 1993.

Since Betelgeuse’s radius is about five astronomical units, or five times the radius of Earth’s orbit, that means the star’s radius has shrunk by a distance equal to the orbit of Venus.

“To see this change is very striking,” said Charles Townes, a UC Berkeley professor emeritus of physics who won the 1964 Nobel Prize in Physics for inventing the laser and the maser, a microwave laser. “We will be watching it carefully over the next few years to see if it will keep contracting or will go back up in size.”

…” we do not know why the star is shrinking,” Wishnow said

via Bright Red Star In Constellation Orion Has Shrunk By 15 Percent In 15 Years.

“The cause for this reduction is unknown, as it is unclear how red supergiants behave near the end of their lives.” – newsci

Researchers believe Betelgeuse is at the collapse stage and may explode into a supernova once its iron fuel is depleted. A supernova explosion would result in a big fireworks show, blasting newly created elements into the universe and leaving behind a much smaller neutron star. – chattahbox

7 thoughts on “Betelgeuse supernova could appear in sky any day.

  1. John Baez

    I think it’s a vast exaggeration to say that Betelgeuse would become “brighter than a million full moons” if it went supernova.

    My own calculations suggest that if Betelgeuse went supernova, it would be roughly as bright as the full moon. Maybe less, maybe as much as 3 times as bright. But nothing like a million times as bright.

    And that’s good, because if it were a million times as bright, it would be twice as bright as the Sun!

    1. Gyaos

      Ah that depends on where you are standing (floating?) when it goes. That being said I don’t think it would be that bright from anywhere you or I are likely to stand any time soon.

  2. Tyler Pruett

    Haha I hope that’s an exaggeration because that doesn’t make any sense. If it were that bright we would possibly all be blinded or fried. Isn’t Betelguese also only 640 ly away?

  3. richard wheeler

    it would be as bright as a million full moons if you were nearby. so maybe not such an exageration afterall…

  4. myth buster

    It’s no exaggeration- supernovae emit 100 billion years’ worth of solar output into 10 seconds. When the supernova is first visible from Earth, it will be brighter than the sun for that 10 second interval. At only 15 solar masses, Betelgeuse is too small to cause a gamma-ray burst, but flash blindness is quite likely.

  5. Learn To Make Money In Just 8 Pages

    I think I can speak for all of us after I say this, our health stands out as the most essential thing. If we have our health, I consider that we can get any woman/man we want and any task we want. But in the current climate of elements on the raising prices of supplements and such, I think the average spend on health merchandise is around $1000-2000 a year for me, it’s possibly higher for others. I discovered an awesome method to fund this expenditure which has also helped me fund my holidays. Don’t worry, this just isn’t heading being any nonsense which bores you to death, and it does really work, some men and women I know who use this actually make a living off it 🙂 It takes around an hour to set up and you do not require significantly income at all. If you’re interested, just verify out the link in my name.

Leave a Reply