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Red giant star Betelgeuse mysteriously shrinking

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posted on Jun, 10 2009 @ 11:22 PM
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Red giant star Betelgeuse mysteriously shrinking


www.berkeley.edu

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
(visit the link for the full news article)


Related News Links:
www.foxnews.com




posted on Jun, 10 2009 @ 11:22 PM
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Doesn't it make one wonder if we will ever truly be successful in contacting other intelligent life?

We are constrained by the very science that allows us and the universe to exist. It takes light 600 years to reach us from that star. It could very well have gone nova and be gone now, but we won't know for years possibly.

This kind of thing makes me feel odd. I wonder if there was a civilization there and if so - did they see this coming? Were they monitoring their star's collapse (if it indeed is collapsing?)

Anyhoo, thought this would be a good article for those amateur astronomers out there.

www.berkeley.edu
(visit the link for the full news article)



posted on Jun, 10 2009 @ 11:29 PM
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not only shrinking but maybe exploding too!!!

you should change your thread title to exploding!!!!


www.foxnews.com...

it would be an amazing sight. it may have already exploded and we may not witness it for many years because of the whole light speed/time thing.



[edit on 10-6-2009 by grantbeed]



posted on Jun, 10 2009 @ 11:32 PM
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I am not sure how this goes towards contact with another species, but this is going to go a lot toward science in the years to come as we will find out how a star will die. It is more than likely that the star isn't there anymore but the question now is it shrinking out of existence or is it building to go nova. If it does go nova, it has been conjectured that it would produce enough light to rival the moon.



posted on Jun, 10 2009 @ 11:34 PM
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reply to post by bigvig316
 


It would indeed be an impressive sight to be this "close" to a supernova. I'd hate to think about what happened to the planets (if any) that were there in the path of such a thing.



posted on Jun, 10 2009 @ 11:36 PM
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yeah. That's what I thought.

Just checked around. She's a bit close too to us for that to be a comfortable thought. Shrink, and then KABLOOOEEE! Super Nova.

Ugh.

Man we really really really gotta get off this one planet.



posted on Jun, 11 2009 @ 12:20 AM
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Wow! So Betelgeuse might not even exist anymore! And hasn't since 1400!



posted on Jun, 11 2009 @ 12:45 AM
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Holy Moly, its gonna blow, or already has.


I wonder if we'll get to see it in our life time,

and what effect will it have on us if any.

Maybe thats why THEY are here.


I would hate to be too close to anything like that.
The crab nebula(the remnants of a super nova) is 11 light years across.



posted on Jun, 11 2009 @ 12:54 AM
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Originally posted by punkinworks09
Holy Moly, its gonna blow, or already has.


I wonder if we'll get to see it in our life time,

and what effect will it have on us if any.

Maybe thats why THEY are here.


I would hate to be too close to anything like that.
The crab nebula(the remnants of a super nova) is 11 light years across.


Maybe that's what 2012 actually is ......

listen to Coast to Coast now okay?



posted on Jun, 11 2009 @ 02:16 AM
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Perhaps time is actually flowing in reverse and we are seeing it from the point after the star started dying.



posted on Jun, 11 2009 @ 02:26 AM
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The universe is amazing isnt it?!



posted on Jun, 11 2009 @ 02:32 AM
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[edit on 11-6-2009 by mf_luder]



posted on Jun, 11 2009 @ 02:44 AM
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Originally posted by Tentickles
The universe is amazing isnt it?!


I was thinking that.



posted on Jun, 11 2009 @ 03:15 AM
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One of the things a red giant does is change size.

I was taught about Red Giants by astronomy teachers and books. What really causes them can get pretty complex.. But it can, generally, be summarized in the following way.

When a star is born, it is bluish and extremely hot because of how stars always first burn off heavier metals and other elements first. Later on in life they primarily burn hydrogen and helium (like our sun, which produces the sun's very distinct yellowish/orange color) along with smaller amounts of other elements.

How a star maintains it's semi-circular shape is a delicate balance of outward nuclear energy being produced within the star and the constant, inward crush of gravity. Elements required to initiate the nuclear reactions don't last forever. What results is a complex battle between the star's gravity and the star's internally created nuclear reactions.

How this was explained to me is pretty simple to understand.
The star's gravity starts to compress the star, making it smaller. This continues until the ingredients are once again correct for nuclear reactions to take place within, since they can't take place when the star is it's normal size anymore due to the star running out of nuclear fuel. The compression of the star also compresses the leftover nuclear fuel deep within, which then ignites under gravitational pressures and all kinds of other exotic "ingredients". This forces the star and all of its components outward as the energy released overcomes the star's gravity.

This forces the star outward and makes it many times larger than it would ordinarily be. What will usually happen is the gravity will eventually begin to overcome the outward momentum. The star begins to fall/collapse again under its own gravity. Suddenly, the nuclear fuel, again, ignites under immense forces and temperatures which releases untold amounts of energy, which AGAIN forces the star outward further and further. Every time the outward momentum is overcome by gravity, the star has more inward gravitational momentum, which has the potential to create much more violent nuclear chain reactions each time, which then pushes it out further, etc..etc..

For stars like our sun, I think you end up with a planetary nebula where one of these outward "breaths" of the star just continued outward into space forever.. Which make for some pretty amazing astrophotography, apparently.

For some stars, what probably happens is that they're so large and massive that instead of expanding out forever, one of the violent, inward crushing cycles actually continues towards the core of the star and under the immense gravitational collapse it forms a singularity (black hole) by piercing the fabric that makes up the universe as we know it. The size of the black hole will always be dependant on the size and mass of the star that created it. Thus, the largest stars are most likely to produce the largest black holes.

This light curve from Wikipedia shows the star's apparent magnitude between 1988-2002:



You can easily look at this chart and visualize the inevitable tug of war between gravity and nuclear chain reactions that is taking place (or WAS taking place since what we're seeing now was the star as it looked 600 years ago.)

I guess the star continues to be shrinking from what UC Berkley has to say. But if you look at this particular chart you can see that this really isn't anything new for this particular star. The patterns of the star's changes in apparent magnitude don't seem to foretell any kind of imminent runaway collapse that would create a supernova. At least not right now.. Of coarse, we don't understand the process well enough to predict these types of events based on past scientific data. We just don't know what will happen and when. All we can tell is that the star is currently shrinking.. That doesn't tell us a whole lot. We won't know when the star goes supernova until it actually happens. That's what I gather.

A supernova being created by a star of this size and mass.. Pretty likely from what everyone has been saying. So it is probably inevitable that the star WILL go supernova at some point. any guess is just a guess. Noone knows if the current collapse will continue to produce a supernova.

-ChriS



posted on Jun, 11 2009 @ 03:26 AM
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if it happens, would there be any effects here on earth?

would it effect our sun?




posted on Jun, 11 2009 @ 03:53 AM
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reply to post by grantbeed
 


It is about 5-600 light years way I think. The only thing that could really reach us in that 5-600 year timeframe since the time of the supernova would be the light of the star and the supernova, itself reaching our eyes on earth.

It's safe to say that the radiation and energy released probably wouldn't affect us at all, or our sun.

Betelgeuse's axis of rotation is not facing earth anyway. Thus, any bursts of gamma rays from the resulting explosion wouldn't even be fired toward earth. This is because gamma ray bursts seem to occur along the axis of rotation only.

-ChriS

[edit on 11-6-2009 by BlasteR]



posted on Jun, 11 2009 @ 04:23 PM
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me lieks teh universe...


;---------------)



posted on Jun, 11 2009 @ 04:36 PM
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I thought stars like our Sun did not go supernova,
but expanded into Red Giants which is what Betelguese is/was.
I did read somewhere that a nearby white Dwarf can draw from a Red Giant,
so if there is a White Dwarf near Betelguese, maybe that is what is happening
...although i'm sure that the scientists would be taking that into account.



posted on Jun, 11 2009 @ 05:30 PM
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As BlasteR said luckily Betelgeuse is on a pole-orientated plain as respect to our own Solar System, so that when the star does explode its remnants and Gamma Rays will be spread outwards across its orbital axis but as were looking Polar upon the star we'll luckily avoid this.

To give a perspective in size of this star, its size is the equivalent of the entire orbit of Jupiter, Earth wouldnt even be half-way through the stars circumfrence putting it into perspective.



posted on Jun, 12 2009 @ 12:04 AM
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Originally posted by smurfy
I thought stars like our Sun did not go supernova,
but expanded into Red Giants which is what Betelguese is/was.
I did read somewhere that a nearby white Dwarf can draw from a Red Giant,
so if there is a White Dwarf near Betelguese, maybe that is what is happening
...although i'm sure that the scientists would be taking that into account.


Stars with the relative size and mass of our sun are not massive enough to produce supernova explosions. And our sun is generally an average-sized star.

Betelguese is unique in this regard. It DOES have the overall size and mass composition to create a supernova explosion. Just as only stars of specific sizes and mass compositions can create black holes.

-Some stars create planetary nebulae when they die.

-larger and more massive stars create supernova explosions with a white dwarf at their cores when they die after this final collapse scenario I talked about earlier.

-even larger and more massive stars can create black holes when they collapse. The gravity of these stars is so immense because of their mass and overall size. The gravity is actually so intense that nothing can slow or stop the runaway forces that inevitably crush the star towards it's center. The forces acting to crush the star to a single point force the star into such a confined space that its gravity punctures a hole in the time-space fabric which permeates the universe. At least this is what we believe.

3 years before I even heard the term "white hole" I had talked to family members and friends about an epiphony I had one night in 2003. This is basically what it was..

If black holes can create wormholes to other times in our own universe then perhaps they don't just act as cosmic vacuum cleaners. Maybe they all have exits somewhere on the other side of the wormhole which expel some of the "vacuumed" material. If wormholes can go backward in time (as some theories currently suggest), then perhaps sometime in the distant past the material was expelled from just such a wormhole that would form from a black hole billions of years in the future.

If you progress this trend further and further backward in time towards the birth of the universe, itself, the material would have a smaller and smaller place to pop into existence out of these womrholes since the universe was inevitably smaller back then than it is now (because the universe is currently expanding and seems to always have been expanding). If you compress the early universe into a single point smaller than the nucleus of an atom (as most scientists describe the moment just before the big-bang) then all of that energy would have only one place to go.. And that is outward.

So it is quite possible that black holes we are observing indirectly right now with things like X-ray observatories are collectively responsible for the very birth of the universe. It would explain alot and would answer alot of questions scientists still have about the big bang. Things like.. How did elementary particles come into being? One explanation is that they came from the distant future and were expelled in this manner at the exits of wormholes. An influx of energy and matter into the early universe.

I realized all this that night.. Then 3 years later I heard the term "white hole" in Discover magazine which basically postulated that some black holes might have white holes at the exits of the wormhole that connects the two. And it also theorized how white holes might expel matter, energy, and subatomic particles while black holes vacuum them all up on the other end of the wormhole. I was pretty giddy for like a month since I had realized this before even reading about it years later. LOL.. I was like.. Well that would explain alot!! I mean, honestly! The hilarity.


-ChriS




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