Betelgeuse a Type II Supernova Soon?

posted in: Facts.Science | 0

It is said by some scientists that the only 10 million years old Betelgeuse star (or Alpha Orionis) will transform from a red supergiant into a supernova to a neutron star with only 20 km in diameter (and after that the remnant may becomes a pulsar) – and that process starting as early 2012

Probably nonsense as that can’t be predicted with such a precision.

The star in the constellation of Orion is 640-1300 light-years away from our solar system; and what will that have an impact on what happened on earth? Nothing, according Discover’s Phil Plait.

Even as Betelgeuse is about 18 times or so the mass of the sun and with an amazing brightness of 100,000 times greater as our one, the distant is just too far from us.

Note that if Betelgeuse would be placed in our sun’s orbit, it would reach the Jupiter without problems.

Given that a Type I(!) supernova emits material say between 2-7% of light speed, it would take them at 5% average 12,800 years to arrive our location. But the universe is not empty and gravitational disturbances exist, so the material are likely never arrives at our solar system at all.

If we see with our naked eyes the supernova from Earth, remind yourself that happened at least 640 years ago. but it will still be almost 20 times later until any material could arrive – around 12,160 years in the future from today.

Shock waves might travel faster, but even so, the distance is just too far away.

For now, Betelgeuse is the brightest star you can see from Earth and if it explodes, it will be even much brighter than that; as bright as the full Moon; for about 2 months and then decreases. But compared to our sun, the brightness will be still only about 1/100,000th of that.

As the impact on earth will be minimal (if any) and the shock waves will be already gone after a journey of at least 640 years at lights speed, we have nothing to fear. No need to execute Plan A or Plan B yet. Forget Plan C as well.

More likely, the star will explode only within the next few million years in the future…but who can say it with 100% certainty?

Yet, an exploding star near to the Earth, about only 4 light-years away, might had already a profound impact in the past. As a new theory, the dinosaur might have died because of it!

But for now, just travel a bit around and enjoy the silent deep black sky on the countryside.

P.S.
Just discovered by scientists, the heaviest neutron star currently known is about 3000 light years away from Earth, with the size of a city, an extremely fast spin of 317 revolutions per second and a mass of about two times of our Sun. To remind, neutron stars are made of what is left after a star exploded to a super nova. Not all stars who died develope to neutron stars, but Betelgeuse however might. Luckily, both stars are far away from us.

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