Recently I’ve been reading some stories about getting a second ‘sun’ on the sky as soon as 2012( oh what a perfect date… is this supposed to fuel the theory of the end of the world? it is becoming increasingly ridiculous to correlate unusual natural phenomenons with a world end…
The ‘second sun’ will actually be a supernova explosion of Betelgeuse, one of the brightest and biggest stars in our vicinity. The resulting explosion will be so intense that it will outshine the moon.
Betelgeuse is only about 10 million years old(compare that to the 4 billion years of our sun), but because of its high mass it has rapidly consumed its hydrogen. This star is approaching a cataclysmic death, but scientists can’t be sure when it will happen. It can be today, or thousands of years in the future. So assigning 2012 as the date of this event is just a childish guess. Yes, it can happen then, although it’s highly improbable. And the explosion won’t damage our Earth’s ecosystems: it will just disrupt the normal day-night cycle for a couple of weeks. It’s all about observing a distant astronomical object (Betelgeuse is about 640 light years away form us- that means that the star may have already exploded!).
- Blog – How Much Does Betelgeuse Weigh? (technologyreview.com)
- Supernova explosion will be visible from UK (guardian.co.uk)
- Neutrino fun facts! (scienceblogs.com)