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Astrophysicists say that Betelgeuse, the red super-giant that is the ninth brightest star in the sky, is losing mass—an indication of gravitational collapse.
And while the celestial event could take place before the end of 2012, it may not occur for a million years.
Originally posted by redoubt
reply to post by fibonacci
Betelgeuse is about 640 light years away.
According to most reputable sources, a supernova would create... for a few weeks or months, a very noticeable companion to the light from our own star, Sol. But it wouldn't last forever and it is unlikely that it would cause any major issues... aside from being a spectacular sight and a once-in-a-lifetime kind of event.
In fact, a severe solar storm from our own sun is more dangerous than Betelgeuse going nova.
Betelgeuse does seem bound to this end... it's just a matter of when it happens and that could be most anytime.
“There’s a reasonably even chance of a neutron star or a black hole”, he says. “If it were me, I’d suspect it would more likely become a black hole at 20 solar masses.”