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When Will Betelgeuse Explode?
The sudden dimming fueled rumors that the star might be set to erupt. Red supergiant Betelgeuse, which is more massive and has a lifespan thousands of times shorter than the Sun, is predicted to explode in a magnificent supernova within the next 100,000 years.
Astronomers have been asking when Betelgeuse will explode. The red giant star is becoming dim and fading in recent years, which has piqued the curiosity of astronomers and non-astronomers alike. Since it is at the end of its life cycle, it may explode as a Type II supernova. But what exactly will happen when it does? Read on to find out more about Betelgeuse’s future.
Betelgeuse is a giant red star.
While Betelgeuse is a relatively young star, it will soon undergo a supernova and become visible to Earth’s observers. It is expected to go supernova sometime in the next 100,000 years. Although a long time in human terms, this amount of time is only a blink of an eye when viewed in cosmic terms. But how long before Betelgeuse explodes? How do you find out for sure? Here are some things you should know about Betelgeuse.
The star is dimming due to an eruption. Astronomers have previously concluded that a supernova caused this phenomenon, but many astrophysicists have urged caution. It could be caused by a convective cell or by a cloud of dust crossing the star’s line of sight. Nonetheless, scientists can still not say with certainty when Betelgeuse will explode.
Betelgeuse is the nearest red supergiant star to Earth and could explode as a supernova in the next few thousand years. Astronomers say the star is a highly unusual candidate for a supernova, and their data will provide valuable information for stellar physics research. Moreover, their study also raises questions about other red supergiants and how the star’s life cycle works. Finally, with the help of new tools, astronomers can estimate Betelgeuse’s next phase of life.
In January and March 2019, Betelgeuse looked like any other star. It gave off more ultraviolet light, increasing its temperature and electron density in the southern hemisphere. The star’s temperature increased, dimmed two-thirds of its brightness by February 2020, and it could be a supernova. If Betelgeuse explodes, this would be the first time such a phenomenon has happened in the night sky.
While this is the most likely answer for Betelgeuse’s sudden extinction, astronomers also work to understand what happened to the star. Recent research from the European Southern Observatory’s VLT, which has the highest resolution available to image a star’s surface, has been helpful for scientists in understanding what causes the sudden dimming and subsequent explosion. The dimming of a star results from various factors, including an excellent large spot within its orbit or a cloud of dust.
It is a semi-regular variable star.
A semi-regular variable star is a giant or supergiant star that shows periodic changes in its light. It is a variable star because it varies in light periodically but with irregularities. Semi-regular variables are the most common type of variable star. Their irregularities are caused by their mass. These stars are also known as ‘fake’ stars. Fortunately, there are a few ways to spot a semi-regular star.
Semi-regular variables are incredible giant evolved stars on the asymptotic giant branch. They are characterized by their long pulsation periods, ranging from a few hundred to over 1000 days. They exhibit periodic variations in their brightness and create irregular light curves. Almost all semi-regular variable stars have at least two modes of variability. Those with prolonged periods are LSPs.
These stars are classified as either SRa or SRB. SRa variables are late-type red giants, while SRBs show irregular fluctuations of about 2.5 magnitudes. Both types are closely related to the RV Tauri stars but differ in many ways. The difference between a spectral-type SRa variable and an SRB variable is that the amplitudes of these stars differ significantly.
A survey of the galaxy’s 300 brightest semi-regular variable stars was conducted using a 0.4-m telescope at Extremadura University in Spain. These observations revealed that the semi-regular variable star, SY Leonis, is unquestionably classified as an SRB in GCVS4. The other two semi-regular variable stars were classified as IRB, Mb, and Vb, with some doubts.
The majority of red giants are irregular variables. They have periodic changes in luminosity but without a periodic pattern. Eta Carinae, a bipolar variable star, is an example of this type of variable star. It appears in the center of the image as a white patch. Thermonuclear processes cause its violent outbursts. It is a close binary, a semi-regular variable star during periodic outbursts.
In addition to this, SRd stars are also yellow giants. Unlike the other semi-regular variable stars, these stars are much hotter and can vary in brightness from one to four magnitudes. In addition, their light curves can have various shapes. Hence, it is essential to observe these stars. But it is important to remember that they are scarce objects in our solar system.
It is approaching the end of its life.
The Betelgeuse explosion is a rare event that occurs only a few times every century. The last time this star exploded was 33 years ago in our neighboring galaxy. Betelgeuse is an aging massive star that has gone through nuclear fusion and is about to blow up. The explosion will likely leave remnants of the star in the region where it exploded. We will soon learn more about how the star will explode and what will happen afterward.
The astronomical community wonders, “How did Betelgeuse become so dim?” The star’s recent dimming may have something to do with its impending explosion. Typically, material ejected from a dying star collides with itself, making the star brighter. Instead, Betelgeuse may have an inbuilt dust cloud that has caused its sudden dimming. The star is around 15-20 times the mass of our Sun, so its sudden decrease in brightness could indicate that it’s about to go supernova.
Betelgeuse is the brightest star in Orion. But in recent years, it has appeared fainter, causing speculation that it might be about to explode. It is the shoulder star of Orion and a potential candidate for a supernova. But when will Betelgeuse explode? It becomes a question we must ask ourselves. If we wait too long, it could cause catastrophic weather. This would cause the Earth to sink into a vast ocean and kill the planets in its path.
Although Betelgeuse is one of the closest red supergiant stars to us, it has not yet undergone its supernova. However, its dimness in late 2019 caused speculation about a supernova. Betelgeuse hasn’t exploded yet and appears to be in a less active phase. A supernova isn’t as dramatic as many people think. The star has just returned to a less active state.
It is unknown when Betelgeuse will explode, but we know its life span is less than a million years. This is because it is so massive and has burned through its hydrogen faster than stars of lower mass. Eventually, Betelgeuse will run out of fuel and explode as a supernova. Then, its mass will be reduced to a millionth of the Sun’s, and it will recompose itself as a red supergiant.
It could explode as a Type II supernova.
While the final explosion of Betelgeuse is not likely to occur in our lifetime, it is a fascinating prospect for astronomers. As the most prominent star discovered to date, Betelgeuse is likely to be the most spectacular supernova for millions of years. Its eventual explosive end could be a spectacle, visible in the sky for days or weeks. In addition, Betelgeuse is only one of two nearby stars currently considered candidates for a Type II supernova.
If Betelgeuse were to explode as a Type II supernova, its outer layers would travel five percent the speed of light. The remaining core would fade into a neutron star, a solid ball of nuclear matter weighing more than the entire human population. When the stars explode, they would be visible to humans in the daytime. However, the blast would be so powerful that neutrinos, ghost-like particles, would carry most of the energy emitted from the explosion.
The dimming of Betelgeuse could be an indicator of an impending explosion. Researchers believe that material ejected from the dying star would collide and make it brighter, but it could also shroud the star and make it even dimmer. Betelgeuse’s eventual explosion could provide astronomers with a unique insight into the dying process of red supergiant stars.
The study’s authors, affiliated with Northwestern’s Center for Interdisciplinary and Exploratory Research in Astrophysics, estimate that the doomed star could explode as a Type II supernova in 2020. They say this date is based on the SN 1987A, detected by Pan-STARRS in the summer of 2010.
Researchers have studied Betelgeuse for a decade and have calculated its physical diameter using a 2.5-meter telescope at Mount Wilson Observatory. It is about 50 milliarcseconds across. This new measurement is the first direct image of Betelgeuse’s size. This discovery is fascinating for astronomers. The discovery of such a star will change how we view the universe.