Betelgeuse : Sep 7th 2010

Today we look at a picture of Betelgeuse, also known as Alpha Orionis, which was taken a few days ago.

Betelgeuse is a red supergiant. It has a mass 20 times that of the Sun’s and is near the end of its life. When it dies, it will explode as a supernova which may be seen from Earth 24 hours a day. This is because Betelguese is only 427 light years away from us which is closer than 1054 supernova which was around 6000 light years away.

So it is altogether possible that when Betelgeuse turns supernova it could be as bright as our own Moon. It is also possible that Betelgeuse could even become a black hole.

But don’t worry…… Beteulgeuse is still far enough away that even if it became a black hole it would have no effect on us.

Will it explode any time soon? That is hard to say. As it is 427 light years away it has probably already exploded and we may not see it for hundreds of years…. or we may see it next week!

Picture Taken 5th September 2010 (Click to Enlarge)

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~ by sydneystargazers on September 7, 2010.

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