Nov 22, 2011

Betelgeuse- The Star that might Explode Tomorrow

I'm not really good at constellations, and one of the few I can distinguish is Orion. One of the stars forming Orion is very famous.

That star is Betelgeuse, the one in the upper left of the constellation. It is the only star that can be seen as a "disk"as opposed to the other stars that can only be seen as a"dot"even with the best telescope.
Though it's far away at 640 light years from Earth, it's huge- 1000 times the diameter of the Sun.
The reason it's so big is that it's in the final stage of a star's life cycle. This is" red giant"is very close to its fiery end, a supernova explosion.

But still, we won't know if it will explode tomorrow or 1000 years later.
If it did, it'd be instantly recognizable to us. It will become the brightest star, and we'll be able to see it even during daytime when the sun's up.

Well let's hope we won't be gone before Betelgeuse does.

5 comments:

  1. Since Betelgeuse is many lightyears away (anywhere from 180-1300 lightyears) it may have supernovaed over a thousand years ago but the light just hasn't reached us yet!
    Great post!

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  2. thanks! it's really weird knowing that it "might" have exploded centuries ago though we're just not seeing it yet.

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  3. Your favourite teacher11/28/2011

    I'm confused by the first sentence - are you saying that Betelguese is bright because it's made of butter?

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  4. thanks for pointing it out to me :)
    it's not that Betelgeuse is made of butter, but just a weird autocorrect software on Blogger.

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  5. Hey I thought you might find this interesting! the Huffington Post just wrote an article on Betelgeuse!

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/01/20/two-suns-twin-stars_n_811864.html

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