Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Betelgeuse Pic

Hey Space Placers!

The closest red giant star to us, Betelgeuse - located in Orion the Hunter and easily visible due to its organish color - was recently photographed by ESA's Herschel Space Observatory:

The pic shows the giant star, 1,000 times the size of our own Sun and 100,000 times as luminous has thrown off mass in the form of arcs. This gas and dust has been expelled by the 10 million year old star and shows that it is unstable. In 5,000 years Betelgeuse the star will slam into the arcs and that may be one for the history books for all to see.

But Betelgeuse is also going to go supernova someday, that is blow its self to bits in the largest explosions that take place in the Universe when a supermassive star has run out of fuel.

When THAT happens, it will be unreal to see as Betegeuse could be anywhere from 400 to 900 light years away. There is so much dust around the star it is next to impossible to get accurate measurements iin order to calculate the correct distance. When, and it is only a matter of time, Betelgeuse goes supernova it is expected to brighten to -12 or about the brightness of the Full Moon and be visible in daylight.

I'd sure like to be around for that event!

Sky Guy in VA

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