Dying sun might enter supernova, explosion could be seen from space

Red Super-Giant star Betelgeuse might implode, when that happens, the light will be seen all the way from the ends of Orion to Earth.

Photo taken by Rogelio Bernal Andreo in October 2010 of the Orion constellation showing the surrounding nebulas of the Orion Molecular Cloud complex. Also captured is the red supergiant Betelgeuse (top left) and the famous belt of Orion composed of the OB stars Alnitak, Alnilam and Mintaka. To the b (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
Photo taken by Rogelio Bernal Andreo in October 2010 of the Orion constellation showing the surrounding nebulas of the Orion Molecular Cloud complex. Also captured is the red supergiant Betelgeuse (top left) and the famous belt of Orion composed of the OB stars Alnitak, Alnilam and Mintaka. To the b
(photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
Astronomers from Villanova University recently published an article noting that Betelgeuse, in the constellation Orion, has been significantly dimmer in recent months, leading some to speculate it could go into a supernova, Reuters reported.
The dimming of the light might mean that burning fuel on the star is running out, which means the planet will explode. If that happens, a supernova - literally ‘super-new’ because a new source of light is spotted in the night sky - would be created. While nova eruptions are not rare, supernova eruptions are.
"Once the star explodes, the explosion would be visible during daylight and could even be brighter than the moon at night for a few weeks or even months," Reuters reported. 
It is believed that the only supernova observed and documented by humans before now took place in 1604 and was described by Johannes Kepler in his 1606 De Stella Nova [The New Star]. The light from that supernova was so intense he was able to see it using the naked eye for three solid weeks.
However, there’s no reason to believe Betelgeuse’s light is dimming because it is about to explode. Other scientists have suggested that these are natural changes which should not cause any alarm.
Located 430 light years away from Earth, Betelgeuse is so large that if it was placed where our sun is it would reach Jupiter, Cosmo-knowledge reported. Should it ever implode, it is suspected it will become a black hole.
The name is derived from Arabic, where Ibṭ al-Jauzā means ‘the armpit of Orion.’ The name had been corrupted in Latin to Beit al-Juz, which is also its name in Hebrew.
While it is spoken in English like the name Beetlejuice, the character Michael Keaton played in the same-named 1988 movie by Tim Burton, the similarity is accidental.
The star was known by the Persians, the people of ancient India, the Chinese, and the people of Hawaii who called it Kaulua-koko: 'brilliant red star.'
 
      


Tags space science