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Originally posted by iSHRED
yes that was a great explanation of a stars life, i feel smarter after reading it.
how do you know its not already fusing iron?
or almost done fusing iron for that matter...
maybe this is its final red shine and now its gonna BOOM!!!
i can be hopeful if i want, dont burst my bubble
Originally posted by GypsK
Here's an article on Discovery News that says there won't be a betelgeuse supernova next year, in fact, these things aren't this accurately predictable. The article states that the author of the doomsday nova scenario added some fantasy to an existing article from last year
Originally posted by [davinci]
reply to post by tauristercus
You nailed it.
The only thing I can add is a size comparrisson to give people an idea of just how large the star is and therefore how much material needs to be consumed at each stage...
Originally posted by muse7
Betelgeuse is 640 light years away, so whatever data astronomers in the most advanced observatories have is over 640 years old.
Betelgeuse is already old for its size class and is expected to explode relatively soon compared to its age. Solving the riddle of mass-loss will be the key to knowing when a supernova might occur, an event expected anytime in the next million years, with some speculation it could even occur in the next millennium. Supporting this hypothesis are a number of unusual features that have been observed in the interstellar medium of the Orion Molecular Cloud Complex, which suggest that there have been multiple supernova explosions in the recent past. Betelgeuse's suspected birthplace in the Orion OB1 Association is the probable location for such supernovae. Since the oldest subgroup in the association has an approximate age of 12 million years, the more massive stars likely had sufficient time to evolve to this stage. Also, because runaway stars are believed to be caused by supernova explosions, there is strong evidence that OB stars μ Columbae, AE Aurigae and 53 Arietis all originated with such an explosion in Ori OB1 2.2, 2.7 and 4.9 million years ago.
At its current distance from Earth, such a supernova explosion would be the brightest recorded, outshining the Moon in the night sky and becoming easily visible in broad daylight. Professor J. Craig Wheeler of The University of Texas at Austin predicts the supernova will emit 1053 ergs of neutrinos, which will pass through the star's hydrogen envelope in around an hour, then reach the solar system several centuries later. Since its rotational axis is not pointed toward the Earth, Betelgeuse's supernova is unlikely to send a gamma ray burst in the direction of Earth large enough to damage ecosystems. The flash of ultraviolet radiation from the explosion will likely be weaker than the ultraviolet output of the Sun. The supernova could brighten to an apparent magnitude of −12 over a two-week period, then remain at that intensity for 2 to 3 months before rapidly dimming. The year following the explosion, radioactive decay of cobalt to iron will dominate emission from the supernova remnant, and the resulting gamma rays will be blocked by the expanding envelope of hydrogen. If the neutron star remnant becomes a pulsar, then it could produce gamma rays for thousands of years.
Although Betelgeuse is only around six million years old, some regard the star's current variability as suggesting that it is already in the carbon burning phase of its life cycle, and will therefore undergo a supernova explosion at some time in the next thousand years or so.