Star Betelguese could go supernova as early as 2011 - Earth's 'second sun' - Tree of Souls - An Avatar Community Forum
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Old 01-22-2011, 10:17 PM
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Default Star Betelguese could go supernova as early as 2011 - Earth's 'second sun'


The Earth could soon have a second sun, at least for a week or two. The cosmic phenomenon will happen when one of the brightest stars in the night sky explodes into a supernova. And, according to a report yesterday, the most stunning light show in the planet’s history could happen as soon as this year.

Earth will undoubtedly have a front row seat when the dying red supergiant star Betelgeuse finally blows itself into oblivion.

The explosion will be so bright that even though the star in the Orion constellation is 640 light-years away, it will still turn night into day and appear like there are two suns in the sky for a few weeks.

The only real debate is over exactly when it will happen.

In stellar terms, Betelgeuse is predicted to crash and burn in the very near future. But that doesn’t necessarily mean you have to rush out and buy sunglasses.

Brad Carter, Senior Lecturer of Physics at the University of Southern Queensland in Australia, claimed yesterday that the galactic blast could happen before 2012 – or any time over the next million years.

‘This old star is running out of fuel in its centre,’ Dr Carter told te Austalian website news.com.au.

‘This fuel keeps Betelgeuse shining and supported. When this fuel runs out the star will literally collapse in upon itself and it will do so very quickly.

‘This is the final hurrah for the star. It goes bang, it explodes, it lights up - we’ll have incredible brightness for a brief period of time for a couple of weeks and then over the coming months it begins to fade and then eventually it will be very hard to see at all,’ he added.


The Internet is abuzz with doomsday theories linking the supernova to the Mayan calendar’s prediction of an Armageddon in 2012, fuelled by the association of the word ‘Betelgeuse’ with the devil.

But experts claimed that even if the big bang is looming, it will still happen way too far from Earth to do us any harm.

‘When a star goes bang, the first we will observe of it is a rain of tiny particles called nuetrinos,’ said Dr Carter.

‘They will flood through the Earth and bizarrely enough, even though the supernova we see visually will light up the night sky, 99% of the energy in the supernova is released in these particles that will come through our bodies and through the Earth with absolutely no harm whatsoever.’

When it happens, the Betelgeuse supernova will almost certainly be the most dramatic ever seen.

It is the ninth brightest star in the night sky and the second brightest in the constellation of Orion, outshining its neighbour Rigel – or Beta Orionis – only very rarely.

It’s distinct orange-red colour makes it easy to spot in the night sky.

If it was at the centre of our solar system, its surface would extend past the asteroid belt, wholly engulfing Mercury, Venus, Mars and the Earth.

Betelgeuse to be second sun for Earth as supernova turns night into day | Mail Online

Apologies I misspelt Betelgeuse in the title
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Old 01-23-2011, 03:43 AM
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There are about twenty stars that are going to go boom soon. Betelgeuse is but one of them. It is the closest I think so it would be the most dramatic.

I think that Rho Cassiopeiae is the most likely, but at 11600 lightyears away it will be not nearly the spectacle of Betelgeuse.

One kind of strange thing to ponder. One of the candidates may well have already gone supernova and we are just waiting for the light to arrive.

Last edited by txen; 01-23-2011 at 03:45 AM.
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Old 01-23-2011, 05:56 AM
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I hope it does go soon, but "soon" is astronomic terms means like in the next million years or something. I would love for it to happen in my lifetime, it would be a great reminder to us that there are trillions and trillions of other suns out there.
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Old 01-23-2011, 07:59 AM
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Yeah, if any of us are going to be able to see it, it will have already had to supernova 500+ years ago.
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Old 01-23-2011, 08:19 AM
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Saw this on reddit. Should be interesting.
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Old 01-23-2011, 09:49 AM
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I guess this means Orion will eventually be missing a shoulder?

Pity. I've always liked looking for that constellation, for some reason. The supernova should be interesting though, provided I get to see it.
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Old 01-23-2011, 11:00 AM
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Being able to witness a supernova would certainly be something. If the timing was just right it could make for one hell of a 2011-12 new years eve party.
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Old 01-23-2011, 01:10 PM
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I'm with the rest of you would be an amazing once in a lifetime to see!
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Old 01-23-2011, 02:58 PM
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Interesting. If I was alive to see that it would be so awesome! Who knows, it could've gone supernova 630 years ago and we'd never know it. Or, it'll go supernova in a million years and your great great great(^50 ) grandchildren might see it.

If you're watching out for this, you'll have a good amount of warning. The LIGO (and the future LISA) gravity wave detectors should register something significant (if the theory of Lorentzian relativity is correct, that is) years before Betelgeuse goes supernova.

One thing to worry about, however, is if Betelgeuse goes supernova and becomes a black hole. If one of the black holes' poles is pointed directly at Earth, the intense gamma and UV radiation would cook anything and everything that wasn't 10 miles underground. I'm sure the doomsday theorist will catch on to that.
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Old 01-23-2011, 04:46 PM
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Very interesting - saw the article yesterday but decided to wait until I saw it from a better source than the Daily Fail before discussing it

I will have to make sure I see this!
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Old 01-23-2011, 07:15 PM
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Interesting. I want to see this.
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Old 01-23-2011, 08:31 PM
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Indeed, very interesting. Can't wait to see what comes of this, I hope some of these time predictions are right.
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Old 01-25-2011, 07:27 PM
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Better source:

Supergiant Supernova: Betelgeuse Could Explode and Rival the Full Moon

Corrections needed to my first post as I trust this source far better:

Brightness >/= full moon

Duration of supernova = a year (not two weeks)

Major correction (sorry guys I got excited):
Quote:
While stories have been circulating that the star could explode in 2012, the odds of that are actually quite small. Betelgeuse may explode tomorrow night, or it may not go nova until the year 100,000 A.D. It's impossible to know.

Last edited by Dreaming Of Pandora; 01-25-2011 at 07:30 PM.
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Old 01-25-2011, 09:35 PM
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Hmm, a better source

As for the timing, yeah, I guessed a supernova would be VERY hard to predict that accurately if you could at all... but then again, the original source WAS the Daily Fail

either way, there's still a chance of it happening
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Old 01-27-2011, 01:46 AM
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It would be a once and a lifetime view and you be amazing to see.
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