Supernova Alert: Betelgeuse Could Explode Much Sooner Than Anticipated

Betelgeuse, a well-known star sitting on the shoulder of the Orion constellation, has been behaving unusually in recent years, leading astronomers to believe that it may be closer to exploding into a supernova than previously thought. 

This red supergiant has been observed to dim and brighten over periods ranging from a few months to a few years, a phenomenon that has intrigued scientists worldwide.

In 2019, Betelgeuse dimmed suddenly before returning to its normal brightness a few months later. This led to speculation that the star was on the brink of exploding. 

However, astronomers concluded that the dimming was likely due to a dust cloud, and that Betelgeuse's supernova was probably tens or hundreds of thousands of years away.

Now, a team of researchers led by Hideyuki Saio at Tohoku University in Japan has reanalyzed the data and suggests that Betelgeuse may be closer to exploding than anyone thought. 

Their study, based on the star's pulsations and light emissions, concludes that Betelgeuse is in the late stage of core carbon burning, making it a prime candidate for the next Galactic supernova. They estimate that the star could collapse leading to a supernova explosion in a few tens of years.

This imminent supernova event would make Betelgeuse the brightest star in the night sky and one of the most spectacular phenomena in human history. 

However, astronomers believe it is far enough away not to pose a threat to life on Earth. As Betelgeuse continues to behave oddly, brightening by 50 percent in the last month, astronomers worldwide are watching this mysterious star with keen interest.

Research paper

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