When Betelgeuse Goes Supernova!

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Wade Hampton III
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When Betelgeuse Goes Supernova!

Post by Wade Hampton III » Thu Mar 14, 2019 11:39 pm

Betelgeuse has inspired a lot of astronomical scare-stories because it is a
nearby red giant star that is expected to explode soon as a powerful
supernova. What these stories often gloss over is that “nearby” and
“soon” are relative terms. The way astronomers use them is quite
different from the way we use those words in everyday conversation.
First, let’s look at “soon.” Astronomers estimate that Betelgeuse is
approximately 10 million years old, and it began expanding into a red
giant 40,000 years ago. That means it has begun nuclear fusion of helium
in its core, creating oxygen and carbon and starting down the pathway to
core collapse and eventual supernova detonation. Exactly how long it will
take for that to happen is unknown; astronomers can only make estimates
using models of stellar evolution. Those models, in turn, depend on Betelgeuse’s
mass and rotation period, both of which are imprecisely known. If Betelgeuse
is almost 20 times as massive as the Sun, as most studies indicate, then it
will explode sometime within the next 100,000 years, leaving a celestial
splatter similar to Cassiopeia A. It’s more likely to blow up later in that
time-frame, but it’s not impossible that it could explode tomorrow. Still,
even if you assume that an explosion could happen randomly any time within
that period, the odds of Betelgeuse exploding in your lifetime are less
than 0.1%.
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Future Betelgeuse
Future Betelgeuse
60374.JPG (54.38 KiB) Viewed 594 times
Then again, if Betelgeuse is closer to 15 times the mass of the Sun, as implied
by a few other studies, and if it is rotating slowly, then it could take a million
years or more to go supernova. In that case, the likelihood that you will live
to see Betelgeuse go boom is a good, solid zero. Now, let’s look at “close.” It’s
not so easy to measure the distance to a bright red giant star like Betelgeuse.
Different methods give answers ranging from 520 light years to nearly 700 light
years, about 150 times as far away as Alpha Centauri. (Betelgeuse looks bright
in our sky because it is so intrinsically large and luminous, as shown in this
illustration.) Even at the low end of the distance estimates, Betelgeuse is too
far away to do significant damage to Earth. As Charlie Kilpatrick explains, the
material ejected directly by the Betelgeuse supernova will have expanded and
cooled to insignificance long before it reaches Earth.

Radiation from the Betelgeuse supernova will certainly have some measurable
effects on Earth’s environment, but probably only a minor impact on life.
Betelgeuse is too far away to significantly ionize Earth’s atmosphere, for
instance. One way to evaluate the risk is to look at the consequences of
past nearby supernovas. It’s not easy to find evidence of them, which is
one strong indication that only the very closest supernovas present much
of a risk. A recent study claims to find chemical evidence of two supernova
explosions between 1.7 million and 3.2 million years ago. These explosions
allegedly happened on the order of 300 light years from Earth, meaning they
hit us with radiation 4 times as strong (give or take) as what we’d expect
from Betelgeuse. There’s no clear sign that they had any effect on life,
however. It’s possible they caused a period of climate cooling, but it’s
also possible that the changing climate was completely unrelated. At any
rate, there was no mass extinction during that era. Statistically speaking,
supernova explosions should occur within 100 parsecs (300ish light years)
every 2 million–4 million years. Whatever effect they’ve had on ancient life
is too subtle to recognize in the fossil record. So it’s safe too say that
even if Betelgeuse were to explode really soon, in your lifetime, it still
isn’t close enough to pose much of a risk. One less thing to worry about!

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Wade Hampton III
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Re: When Betelgeuse Goes Supernova!

Post by Wade Hampton III » Thu Jan 23, 2020 1:05 pm

Is Betelgeuse preparing to go supernova? Star 1,400
times larger than the Sun could EXPLODE 'soon',
astronomers claim (not that any of us will still
be around to see it). Betelgeuse, a bright, very
large star in the constellation of Orion has been
dimming since October - suggesting it might go
supernova, according to astronomers. A supernova
occurs when a star explodes, shooting debris and
particles into space. A supernova burns for only
a short period of time, but it can tell scientists
a lot about how the universe began. One kind of
supernova has shown scientists that we live in
an expanding universe, one that is growing at
an ever increasing rate. Scientists have also
determined that supernovas play a key role in
distributing elements throughout the universe.

There are two known types of supernova. The first
type occurs in binary star systems when one of
the two stars, a carbon-oxygen white dwarf,
steals matter from its companion star. Eventually,
the white dwarf accumulates too much matter,
causing the star to explode, resulting in a super-
nova. The second type of supernova occurs at the
end of a single star's lifetime. As the star runs
out of nuclear fuel, some of its mass flows into
its core. Eventually, the core is so heavy it can't
stand its own gravitational force and the core
collapses, resulting in another giant explosion.
Many elements found on Earth are made in the core
of stars and these elements travel on to form new
stars, planets and everything else in the universe.

Dozens of scientists from around the world have
taken to Twitter to discuss the phenomenon and
speculate over whether it will soon explode. The
star has a 'very variable brightness' and a pattern
of regularly dimming, but astronomers say the
latest dimming period 'appears to be different'.
Researchers from the Astronomer's Telegram - a
place for experts to share astronomical findings
- say it is the faintest it has been in 50 years
of observations.

Betelgeuse is dimming, which is an indication that
it will go supernova soon - when we don’t exactly
know', says space security expert Dr Malcolm Davis.
'When it happens (it would have actually happened
~690 years before we see it on Earth given the
star’s distance) it will be as bright as the full
Moon.' Betelgeuse will explode - it's just a matter
of when - it’s at the end of its life and is due to
end in a supernova event, astronomer Dave Eagle
explained. 'The statistical likelihood of this event
occurring during your 90 (give or a take a few years)
year lifetime is extremely small.' Science writer,
Jason Major, says it is unlikely to happen but
speculating about the idea of a nearby supernova
for scientists is like 'imagining what you'd do with
the money if you won the lottery'.

The last time a nearby supernova was visible from
Earth was in 1987, that star was in the Large
Magellanic Cloud about 168,000 light years away -
Betelgeuse is 700 light years away so its explosion
would be much brighter. 'Whatever happens it will
be worth watching. A supernova within our galaxy
is a once in a lifetime spectacle', tweeted physics
teacher Dr David Boyce. Betelgeuse is a red super-
giant star that is about 1,400 times larger than
the Sun, according to the European Southern Observatory.
If it were at the center of the Solar System in
place of the Sun its surface would engulf the inner
planets from Mercury to Mars and possibly even Jupiter.

Astronomer and BBC Sky at Night presenter Chris
Lintott says the star's light is variable, which
means it's not likely to go supernova in the near
future. 'Lots of people are either excited or scared
that Betelgeuse is about to go supernova. The fact
it’s dimming is amazing - so weird that Orion looks
different - but it’s no more likely to go bang in
a dip like this than before. 'Betelgeuse just does
this from time to time. It’s hard being a constant
brightness when you’re big enough to engulf the
inner solar system.' If it does go supernova, as
some scientists predict, it will appear much brighter
than Venus when looked at by the naked eye - says
data scientist Jason Baumgartne.

Venus has an apparent magnitude of -4.4. Betelgeuse
going super-nova would probably get to around -12.4
apparent magnitude. 'Imagine looking at Venus in the
sky but it was over 1,500 times brighter. That's how
bright Betelgeuse would appear.' It takes about 642
years for the star's light to get to Earth so any
sign that it might be going supernova that we are
seeing now, actually happened in 1377. 'If Betelgeuse
goes supernova, the blast will take 20,000-100,000
years to reach us, and the Sun's magnetic bubble will
shield us', says science writer Corey S Powell. 'It
would be as bright as the full moon, concentrated
into a point. Easily visible during the day, and
possibly painful to look at directly at night!'

Mr Eagle said that when it does pop it will be 'as
bright as a full Moon,' but the light would be
contained with a tiny point of light - making
Orion strange to look at. 'After many weeks outshining
all the other stars in the sky, the supernova’s light
will start to fade. 'From then on our view of Orion
will change forever, The Mighty Hunter effectively
losing his right shoulder.'

What is not known is whether Betelgeuse will turn
into a neutron star or a black hole after its end
of life explosion. To become a black hole it has
to leave behind material equalling more than three
times the mass of the Sun. Under that and it becomes
a neutron star.
66697
Bang!
Bang!
66697.JPG (25.77 KiB) Viewed 301 times
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hJPVuSNFxlY[/size]

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Wade Hampton III
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Joined: Fri Oct 18, 2013 10:40 pm
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Re: When Betelgeuse Goes Supernova!

Post by Wade Hampton III » Sun Jan 26, 2020 7:57 pm

Imminent supernova?

While watching this star you might wonder if this
supergiant is about to go supernova (a star explosion)
and end its life in a spectacular show of light. Indeed,
this star is the closest known candidate to soon go
supernova in astronomical timescales – anytime within
the next 100,000 years. But this current substantial
dimming is not necessarily a sign of its imminent
death. That’s because, at this stage, we do not know
enough about how a star’s brightness develops before
such an event. That said, this makes Betelgeuse rather
interesting for astronomers. If it did occur, it would
become the brightest supernova ever observed. In a
matter of days, it would become as bright as the full
Moon, be visible during day time and be bright enough
at night to cast shadows on Earth. Betelgeuse would then
start a phase of final, rapid dimming and again reach its
current brightness level after possibly three years.
After six years, it would be too faint to see with the
naked eye. This would forever alter the visual appearance
of Orion and we might need to think of another object
the remaining constellation might represent.

So Betelgeuse is an easy starting point to explore the
wonders of our universe for yourself. And as you do,
reflect on the fact that primitive humans have been doing
exactly the same thing for time immemorial – there is,
in fact, evidence that Aboriginal Australians watched
stars and spotted their variability many thousands of
years ago.
66778
Betelgeuse & Bellatrix
Betelgeuse & Bellatrix
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66779
Orion
Orion
66779.JPG (54.92 KiB) Viewed 191 times
https://theconversation.com/betelgeuse- ... ent-129730

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Jim Mathias
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Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2016 8:48 pm

Re: When Betelgeuse Goes Supernova!

Post by Jim Mathias » Mon Jan 27, 2020 2:46 pm

What if ..
1. There's intelligent life in betelgeuse's system?
2. They know their star is going to blow?
3. They know we have a nice home here?
4. They want it for themselves?
5. They think we look tasty?
6. I'm just exercising my imagination?
Contact me via PM to obtain quantities of the "Send Them Back" stickers. Also available are the "NA Health Warning #1" stickers, and any fliers listed in the Alliance website's flier webpage.

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Wade Hampton III
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Joined: Fri Oct 18, 2013 10:40 pm
Location: Pontiac, SC

Re: When Betelgeuse Goes Supernova!

Post by Wade Hampton III » Mon Jan 27, 2020 3:30 pm

Most likely the last item. Do some
research on the "Fermi Paradox."

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