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Huge red star might explode soon and next few weeks are critical [Betelgeuse update]
CNET ^ | February 10, 2020 | Eric Mack

Posted on 02/10/2020 10:33:13 PM PST by BenLurkin

Supergiant star Betelgeuse has been getting dimmer at an unprecedented pace over the past few months, leading some astronomers to wonder if it might be in the process of the collapse that precedes a supernova explosion. But there are other possible explanations, and we should have a better idea of what's happening to the massive star by the end of the month.

Betelgeuse has no more than about 100,000 years left to burn and could start its death throes just about anytime between now and then. When it does go supernova, it's expected to result in a dramatic light show that could be visible in daylight and appear brighter than the full moon for a few weeks. The last time humans were treated to such a sight was the 17th century.

Betelgeuse is a well-known variable star that pulsates over a variety of time periods.

"This whole episode might just be a deeper-than-average pulsation, and perhaps the supernova watch can be called off,"

The most recent data from Guinan's team shows that Betelgeuse could be going through an extended 430-day pulsation. If this is the case, then it should reach its dimmest point on Feb. 21 (with a margin of error of about a week on either side).

However, Guinan and colleagues note that Betelgeuse still appears to be even dimmer than it should be during such an extended pulsation. This could mean that there are multiple factors at work in the great fainting of the giant star.

"So something very unusual is going on,"

(Excerpt) Read more at cnet.com ...


TOPICS: Astronomy
KEYWORDS: betelgeuse; nova; redstar
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1 posted on 02/10/2020 10:33:13 PM PST by BenLurkin
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To: BenLurkin

It might sound like a nitpick, but whatever is happening to Betelgeuse that we are seeing today happened 700 years ago. I think it is an interesting thing to think about at least.


2 posted on 02/10/2020 10:39:51 PM PST by Vince Ferrer
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To: Vince Ferrer

I’d just like to see it exploding and lighting up the sky. That would be very cool.


3 posted on 02/10/2020 10:42:28 PM PST by BenLurkin (The above is not a statement of fact. It is either opinion or satire. Or both.)
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To: BenLurkin

"It's Showtime!"

4 posted on 02/10/2020 10:44:18 PM PST by Ken H (Best SOTU ever!)
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To: BenLurkin

I read where it’s about 700 light years away, so does that mean if it explodes, will it be 700 years before we see it?


5 posted on 02/10/2020 10:46:22 PM PST by Mark17 (Father of US Air Force Officer in pilot training. Air Force aircraft, go faster than Army tanks)
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To: Ken H

I thought bootyjuice was running for prez.


6 posted on 02/10/2020 10:47:10 PM PST by a fool in paradise (Everyone knows Hillary was corrupt, lied, destroyed documents, and influenced witnesses. Rat crime.)
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To: Vince Ferrer

Yeah I’ve heard that too. Betelgeuse was supposed to have gone super nova a long time ago.


7 posted on 02/10/2020 10:47:36 PM PST by jmacusa ("If wisdom is not the Lord, what is wisdom?)
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To: Vince Ferrer

Do we really want a supernova going off only 700 light years away? And during a grand solar minimum when our sun’s ability to deflect incoming cosmic rays is minimized. Not that there’s anything we can do about it, at least not beyond prayer, but I hope someone has thought through how close we can survive a supernova of a given size and knows this in beyond the danger zone.


8 posted on 02/10/2020 10:48:09 PM PST by JohnBovenmyer (waiting fo the tweets to hatch)
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To: Mark17

Betelgeuse is actually only 430 light years away.


9 posted on 02/10/2020 10:51:39 PM PST by jmacusa ("If wisdom is not the Lord, what is wisdom?)
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To: JohnBovenmyer

I was about to ask if that thing can do us harm,


10 posted on 02/10/2020 10:53:09 PM PST by laplata (The Left/Progressives have diseased minds.)
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To: Mark17

Yes-and it means if it exploded it could have done so in 1330 and we won’t know it for another decade. But-if it does happen-it will not be good if it’s pointed this direction.


11 posted on 02/10/2020 10:53:12 PM PST by NELSON111 (Congress: The Ralph Wolf and Sam Sheepdog s<how. Theater for sheep. My politics determines my "hero")
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To: Mark17
I read where it’s about 700 light years away, so does that mean if it explodes, will it be 700 years before we see it?

Whatever we're seeing now is what happened on Betelguese 700 years ago.
12 posted on 02/10/2020 10:53:17 PM PST by AnotherUnixGeek
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To: Mark17

No, it means what we see happened 700 years ago.


13 posted on 02/10/2020 10:53:23 PM PST by DesertRhino (Dog is man's best friend, and moslems hate dogs. Add that up. ....)
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To: Mark17

No, it means what we see happened 700 years ago.


14 posted on 02/10/2020 10:53:24 PM PST by DesertRhino (Dog is man's best friend, and moslems hate dogs. Add that up. ....)
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To: JohnBovenmyer

As long as its poles aren’t pointed at us we’ll be OK.

Other wise the Gama Ray burst will fry us even at 700 light years.


15 posted on 02/10/2020 10:55:00 PM PST by desertfreedom765
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To: BenLurkin

Interesting trivia about Betelgeuse. It’s freaking enormous. If our sun was in the center of Betelgeuse, it would be big enough to swallow up the sun, Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, the asteroid belt, and Jupiter.
That’s how big that red dot in that red star in Orion is.


16 posted on 02/10/2020 10:56:33 PM PST by DesertRhino (Dog is man's best friend, and moslems hate dogs. Add that up. ....)
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To: Mark17
I read where it’s about 700 light years away, so does that mean if it explodes, will it be 700 years before we see it?

If we see an explosion today, that means it happened 700 years ago. That's why I am kind of irked at the reporting of this. The reporting kind of assumes a Star Trek/Star Wars type universe where things happen instantly and characters know what happened across the galaxy, when the reality is we are limited to the speed of light. They are missing an opportunity to explain the vastness of space.

17 posted on 02/10/2020 10:57:20 PM PST by Vince Ferrer
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To: jmacusa; Mark17

>>Betelgeuse is actually only 430 light years away.
<<
Oh, then we damn well should panic.


18 posted on 02/10/2020 10:58:37 PM PST by freedumb2003 ("Don’t mistake activity for achievement." - John Wooden)
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To: desertfreedom765

“Other wise the Gama Ray burst will fry us even at 700 light years.”

Not if you wear a foil hat.


19 posted on 02/10/2020 11:00:42 PM PST by DesertRhino (Dog is man's best friend, and moslems hate dogs. Add that up. ....)
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To: BenLurkin
I'm glad Humanity still has such a grand sense of humor to keep posting this story over-and-over, week-after-week, month-after-month.   LOL
20 posted on 02/10/2020 11:01:23 PM PST by higgmeister ( In the Shadow of The Big Chicken)
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