- Betelgeuse: Huge Red Star Might Explode Soon And Next Few Weeks Are Critical
by Eric Mack, February 11, 2020, https://www.cnet.com/
Betelgeuse has been very volatile lately, and astronomers are watching to determine if it’s terminal or just going through a phase.
Supergiant star Betelgeuse has been getting dimmer at an unprecedented pace over the past few months, leading some astronomers to wonder if it might be in the process of the collapse that precedes a supernova explosion. But there are other possible explanations, and we should have a better idea of what’s happening to the massive star by the end of the month.
Veteran Villanova University astronomer Edward Guinan has been watching Betelgeuse for decades and that the star appears to be “the least luminous and coolest yet measured from our 25 years of photometry.”
It’s well known Betelgeuse has no more than about 100,000 years left to burn and could start its death throes just about anytime between now and then. When it does go supernova, it’s expected to result in a dramatic light show that could be visible in daylight and appear brighter than the full moon for a few weeks. The last time humans were treated to such a sight was the 17th century.