Is Betelgeuse About To Go Supernova?

David Trammel's picture

Completely off topic but are we about to see a supernova happen?

Astronomers are wondering whether Orion's shoulder will soon explode

"The dramatic dimming of a giant star has astronomers wondering whether it's getting ready to explode. Betelgeuse — the red shoulder on the left side in the constellation Orion — has dimmed by a factor of about two since October, a change that has never been documented before. "We know that it's the dimmest it's been observed ever, based on the data we have," said Stella Kafka, chief executive officer of the American Association of Variable Star Observers.

What makes this development particularly intriguing to astronomers is that the star is slated to explode in spectacular fashion: a supernova. Astronomers estimate this will happen relatively soon — in astronomical terms anyway. It could be today, tomorrow or 100,000 years from now. And when Betelgeuse goes supernova, astronomers estimate it will be as bright as the full moon and visible even during the day."


That would be something to see, wouldn't it?