I’m a bit late on this; this news is about 2 weeks old and I only learned about this last week. Apparently, there’s a buzz on the blagoblag about the star Betelgeuse, the brightest star in the night sky, going supernova, and how the explosion would be so bright, it would essentially create a second sun in the sky, and would supposedly create no nighttime on Earth when the star goes off. At first, I was intrigued, which took a hard left to skepticism when I looked at their prediction date: 2012.
I did a research paper for my College science class about a year ago on stars, so I understand a good deal about stars and their lifecycle. To avert a long explanation about their lifecycle, stars live for roughly 10-15 billion years, and pinpointing the death date of any star is next to impossible. Even though Betelgeuse is on its last legs, it could die now or sometime in the next several hundred thousand years; the likelihood of it exploding in 2012, much less December 12, 2010 is extremely unlikely. Even then, the star is over 1000 light-years away. Any information that we receive about the star only travels at the speed of light unless there’s something I don’t know. By that logic, if the star DID go nova, it would have exploded back during the days of Leif Eriksson.
The world ending scenario people have envisioned will most likely not happen. Radiation particles and material being spewed out from the explosion would dissipate or spread out over time. Any particles that would eventually hit us would be reflected/deflected/absorbed by the Earth’s natural shield, which protects us every day from the destructive radiation of space and most of whatever the Sun happens to throw at us.
This all being said, I kinda want to see Betelgeuse go nova at some point in my lifetime. Can you imagine the scientific and historic shit storm that would follow? The last supernova we knew about was back in the 1600s; we were barely capable of wiping ourselves back then! It would be an awesome event that never happens, but it’s far from a world-ending event, so calm down.
7 years, 7 months ago
02 Feb 2011 08:51 CET