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Doomsayer
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http://unixronin.livejournal.com/763082.html

The red supergiant variable star Betelgeuse, estimated to be 530 light years from Earth (although measurements by different means vary from 495LY to 640LY; 530LY is considered the "best compromise" measurement) is the ninth brightest star in the sky, the ninth largest star known to exist in the universe, and has the third largest apparent size as observed from Earth of any known star, after the Sun and R Doradus, which is almost three times closer to Earth. R Doradus is believed to lie 200 +/- 25 LY from Earth, and has an angular diameter of approximately 0.057 arcseconds, making it roughly 370 times the diameter of the Sun, or about 3.46 AU, where one AU is the average radius of Earth's orbit. Placed where the Sun is, R Doradus would contain all of the inner planets and most of the main asteroid belt. Betelgeuse's angular diameter of just under 0.055 arcseconds makes it almost three times larger, 950 to 1000 times larger than the Sun (8.8 to 9.3AU, or roughly to the orbit of Saturn). It is one of only about a dozen stars whose apparent size is so large it has been imaged telescopically as a visible disk rather than a point.

Why is this important?

Well, you see, Betelgeuse has been shrinking continuously since 1993, at an increasing rate. By June 2009, it had shrunk 15% from its size as measured in 1993.

But wait! There's more. It is rumored, though I have been unable to find any reliable confirmation of the source (which is claimed to be first-hand) that the latest observations from Mauna Kea show that Betelgeuse is now shrinking so fast it is no longer round. (Due to conservation of angular momentum, when a massive star collapses gravitationally, it collapses faster at the poles, becoming increasingly oblate — flattened — as its final collapse accelerates.)

What does this mean?

Well, briefly, what it means — if true — is that Betelgeuse could be within as little as weeks of a Type II (core collapse) supernova. (Astronomers have considered for some time that Betelgeuse has the potential to go supernova any time in the next thousand years or so. "Any time" may just turn out to be rather sooner than expected.)

IF this happens, not to put too fine a point on it, it will almost undoubtedly be among the most dramatic astronomical events ever observed by human eyes. A type II supernova can briefly outshine an entire galaxy ... and this one will be only a little over five hundred LY away. The supernova that created the Crab Nebula, SN 1054, was bright enough to see in daylight for 23 days, and remained visible for 653 days ... and it was 6,300 LY away. Betelgeuse is almost 12 times closer, and can be expected to appear around 140 times brighter by virtue of that alone. And as noted at the beginning of this post, Betelgeuse is the ninth largest star known to exist in the universe.

If the rumor is true, this is going to be one hell of a show, and we'll have a front-row seat. (Relatively speaking.)

(Don't panic, though. It is not believed that a Betelgeuse supernova would present any threat to Earth, and we're not anywhere near Betelgeuse's axis of rotation and therefore in no danger from a gamma-ray burst.)





 

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Geronimo!
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That would be some kind of cool to see ... been hearing about the possibility for years. Of course, there is always that slight chance that it would affect us adversely, but you roll with the punches.

Now let's see. One thing in passing .... it could have already gone supernova since it is so far away we are actually looking at what it was some time ago:

But here are the scientific facts (theories and conjectures based on reason):

One day Betelgeuse will appear as a giant explosion in the sky, which may be 4 times the size of a full moon.

Most scientists believe the star is far enough away from Earth that the explosion blast and various particle rays emitted will not affect us drastically (if at all).

This star is a huge mass of hydrogen gas that is (or did) going through a fusion process that changes the matter into heavier elements.

It is one of the largest stars known in the universe to human astronomy.

On June 9th, 2009 it was presented to The American Astronomical Society that Betelgeuse was shrinking. Calculations from 1993 to the present show a 15% decrease in the stars diameter.

It is a pulsating star, whose brightness changes with the density of its atmosphere: 0.2 – 1.2 brightness magnitude, which makes it one of the 10 brightest stars in our sky.

Betelgeuse is surrounded by many layers of dust and gas that it has already blown off through a very strong stellar wind and surround the star in a ring of solar dust.

Betelgeuse is projected by science to be only 6 – 10 million years old.

Science says the star had a core made of hydrogen and thermonuclear fusion has already run out at its core, thus gravity has contracted the core into a hotter and denser state. This process fuses helium into carbon and oxygen which produce enough radiation to swell out its outer layers of hydrogen and helium.

The red star is relatively rich in nitrogen compared to a less evolved star like our Sun (Lambert 1984).

In 1995 astronomers found an enormous bright area more than 2,000 °K, hotter than the surrounding surface of the star (Gilliland & Dupree, 1996).

Betelgeuse’s diameter is roughly 500 times that of the Sun.

If and when it turns into a supernova the threat to Earth would be from the blast waves. Is Betelgeuse one of the “smoking stars” to which Nezahualcoyotl referred in his 15th century Aztec prophecy? It probably will not cause any direct physical destruction, due to the huge distance between Betelgeuse and the Earth. But then again.


Read more: http://scienceray.com/astronomy/apocalypse-soon-supernova-betelgeuse-is-coming/#ixzz0pihL71rB
 
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Geronimo!
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Or could it possibly mean it has fallen into the event horizon of a black hole? That I believe would cause it to flatten.
Nope ... that would cause it to spaghettify. It's the noodle effect that black holes cause upon solid or gaseous mass.
 
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Prepared not crazy.
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Update (finally, solid data!)
20100601-22:02: However much fun it would have been to watch the light show, it seems finally a reputable source, the Bad Astronomy Blog on discovermagazine.com, has weighed in. And, as most of us expected from the start, the original rumor is just that and nothing more: An unsubstantiated rumor. There's no actual new observations of Betelgeuse that would suggest it's any closer to going supernova than we already believed it was 20 years ago. "No BOOM! today."

I can't say I'm surprised, but I'll admit to being a little disappointed. A relatively nearby supernova would have been a truly memorable event.

Ah, well. Just remember — "There's always a BOOM! tomorrow. Sooner or later ... BOOM!"

http://unixronin.livejournal.com/763082.html
 

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Banned
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Update (finally, solid data!)
20100601-22:02: However much fun it would have been to watch the light show, it seems finally a reputable source, the Bad Astronomy Blog on discovermagazine.com, has weighed in. And, as most of us expected from the start, the original rumor is just that and nothing more: An unsubstantiated rumor. There's no actual new observations of Betelgeuse that would suggest it's any closer to going supernova than we already believed it was 20 years ago. "No BOOM! today."

I can't say I'm surprised, but I'll admit to being a little disappointed. A relatively nearby supernova would have been a truly memorable event.

Ah, well. Just remember — "There's always a BOOM! tomorrow. Sooner or later ... BOOM!"

http://unixronin.livejournal.com/763082.html
Phil Plait is the man.
 

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6 Boys and 13 Hands
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Update (finally, solid data!)
20100601-22:02: However much fun it would have been to watch the light show, it seems finally a reputable source, the Bad Astronomy Blog on discovermagazine.com, has weighed in. And, as most of us expected from the start, the original rumor is just that and nothing more: An unsubstantiated rumor. There's no actual new observations of Betelgeuse that would suggest it's any closer to going supernova than we already believed it was 20 years ago. "No BOOM! today."

I can't say I'm surprised, but I'll admit to being a little disappointed. A relatively nearby supernova would have been a truly memorable event.

Ah, well. Just remember — "There's always a BOOM! tomorrow. Sooner or later ... BOOM!"

http://unixronin.livejournal.com/763082.html
Yeah I was just reading that. Oh well next!!!
 

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Vigilant
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Banned
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The Light From the Orion Super Nova


“One last thing about the Super Nova... It will rise in the sky at midnight on Sept 22, 2011. It will light up the Eastern sky as if it were dawn. And at dawn we are going to see 2 suns in the sky. Orion is only visible to the Northern Hemisphere and part of the Southern Hemisphere. The very bottom of the Southern Hemisphere can’t see Orion. What are they going to see? There will be multiple signs in the heavens. It just so happens if you live in the Antarctic, Argentina or South Africa you will see a double crescent moon caused by the Orion Super Nova. It would normally be a crescent moon at that time. What do you have to have on Rosh Hashana? A new moon, a double crescent moon! One by land, two by sea: One crescent, for the first coming; one crescent, for the second coming. On Sept 21st, astronomers have a great big telescope. On Sept. 21st, they are going to alert the whole world that Orion has gone Super Nova. They will see it exploding in their telescope. We cant see it with our naked eye until it climaxes.”
 
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