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Tue Feb 11, 2020, 03:26 AM

The star Betelgeuse will reveal likelihood to go supernova by Feb 21st


Anthony Watts / 1 hour ago February 10, 2020

Feb 21st is the day we’ll know if the puzzling dimming of Betelgeuse is just an alignment of dimming cycles in a highly variable star, or a prelude to a supernova we’ll be able to witness with our bare eyes. If it happens, the dying star will be visible in the daytime and shine as bright as the moon.

From Spaceweather.com :

For months, astronomers have been keeping a wary eye on Betelgeuse, the bright red star in Orion’s shoulder. What’s attracting their attention? All of a sudden, Betelgeuse isn’t bright anymore. Its luminosity has “fallen off a cliff”–a sign that the star could be on the verge of going supernova.

“The most recent measurements put the visual magnitude of Betelgeuse at about +1.66, the dimmest its been in our 25 years of photometry,” says Edward Guinan of Villanova University.

Betelgeuse is a highly evolved red supergiant–the type of star that could collapse and explode at any moment. Indeed, the dimming of Betelgeuse could be explained if the star has suddenly contracted to about 92% of its previous radius. But that’s not the only possibility. Betelgeuse might be dimmed by a giant starspot–or maybe it is shrouded by an outburst of stardust from its own cool outer layers–or something else entirely. No one knows.

More:
https://wattsupwiththat.com/2020/02/10/the-star-betelgeuse-will-reveal-likelihood-to-go-supernova-by-feb-21st/

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Reply The star Betelgeuse will reveal likelihood to go supernova by Feb 21st (Original post)
Judi Lynn Feb 2020 OP
Kablooie Feb 2020 #1
happybird Feb 2020 #2
B Stieg Feb 2020 #3
jb5150 Feb 2020 #4
Wednesdays Feb 2020 #11
DarthDem Feb 2020 #5
Blues Heron Feb 2020 #6
DarthDem Feb 2020 #8
Danascot Feb 2020 #7
DarthDem Feb 2020 #9
Wednesdays Feb 2020 #10
DarthDem Feb 2020 #12
FiveGoodMen Feb 2020 #13
caraher Feb 2020 #14
muriel_volestrangler Feb 2020 #15

Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Tue Feb 11, 2020, 03:44 AM

1. Tim Burton must be on pins and needles.

Betelgeuse! Betelgeuse! Betelgeuse!

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Tue Feb 11, 2020, 04:15 AM

2. By the time we see it here on Earth,

the supernova would have already occurred 600+ years ago. It has always fascinated me how looking at stars in the sky is like looking back through time. I used to have a stargazing app with a section that listed about 100 different stars and how long it took for their light to reach us. It also showed the date. If Betelgeuse did blow, it was back in the Middle Ages. That’s so cool to think about. I dropped the app for a better one, but miss that section of it. Wish I could remember the name.

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Response to happybird (Reply #2)

Tue Feb 11, 2020, 04:47 AM

3. My thoughts exactly!

We're are actually observing the past when we look up!

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Tue Feb 11, 2020, 05:14 AM

4. Just curious ..

but how did they arrive at the Feb 21st date?

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Response to jb5150 (Reply #4)

Tue Feb 11, 2020, 06:11 PM

11. Feb. 21 is probably the predicted date of the bottom of its ebb cycle

After which, if there's not an upswing then they know something peculiar is definitely going on.

Which is not to say the thing will blow up on the 21st. Even if it's doomed, the supernova could still be years or even decades away.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Tue Feb 11, 2020, 06:11 AM

5. This Saddens Me

Such a beautiful constellation and star. I hope it's still there.

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Response to DarthDem (Reply #5)

Tue Feb 11, 2020, 08:36 AM

6. I hear you - any other star but that one!

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Response to Blues Heron (Reply #6)

Tue Feb 11, 2020, 12:08 PM

8. My Very Favorite

Is Rigel, right "next door" from our little perspective, but I love Betelgeuse's bright red color and the whole constellation is majestic amidst all the other bright stars in that area of the sky. Hopefully she is still up there.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Tue Feb 11, 2020, 11:28 AM

7. If it does go supernova

how long would it be visible on earth? Would it be a matter of days, months, years?

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Response to Danascot (Reply #7)

Tue Feb 11, 2020, 12:08 PM

9. A month or two

I believe I read that a few weeks back.

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Response to Danascot (Reply #7)

Tue Feb 11, 2020, 05:42 PM

10. It probably varies

But if it's any help, the supernova of 1054 AD was visible for about two years.

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Response to Wednesdays (Reply #10)

Thu Feb 13, 2020, 05:59 PM

12. Ah

Wonder where I got that one or two-month figure from? You know, I think that was the time estimate for Betelgeuse being the brightest star in the sky.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Thu Feb 13, 2020, 06:16 PM

13. Read the comments -- ugh!

Never going back to that site.

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Response to FiveGoodMen (Reply #13)

Sun Feb 16, 2020, 12:27 AM

14. Yes - it's an infamous climate change denial site

Probably better to track down another link for astronomy news...

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Tue Feb 25, 2020, 09:09 AM

15. Oh Well, Betelgeuse Has Officially Stopped Dimming For Now

The latest round of observations of the star Betelgeuse are in, and the dimming that some were reporting as a precursor to supernova has stopped; now, there's evidence of brightening.

This means the star isn't coming to a premature end, as some have hoped; but everyone is still a little bit baffled about why the star dimmed so deeply in the first place.
...
"Photometry secured over the last ~2 weeks shows that Betelgeuse has stopped its large decline of delta-V of ~1.0 mag relative to September 2019," astronomers wrote in an Astronomers Telegram.

"Based on these and additional observations, Betelgeuse has definitely stopped dimming and has started to slowly brighten. Thus this 'fainting' episode is over but additional photometry is needed to define the brightening phase."

https://www.sciencealert.com/betelgeuse-has-officially-stopped-dimming

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