What would happen if the red supergiant Betelgeuse exploded?

in hive-175254 •  3 months ago 


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Lately we have seen in the press many news about the star Betelgeuse and its impending supernova explosion, some of them even with their apocalyptic dose.

To begin, we have to understand that, for an astronomer, imminent is something between 0 and 10,000 years, wich means that, with a little luck we will not see it neither we nor our immediate descendants.

To understand why they know it is going to explode and what is that of a supernova, you have to know a little how Albert Einstein's theory of relativity is going.

According to this, gravity is the effect or consequence of the curved geometry of spacetime, which is like a mesh that deforms depending on the mass of the objects "placed" in it.


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On the other hand, one must also know that the stars are nothing more than huge balls of incandescent plasma, in which millions of thermonuclear reactions occur per second.

These reactions are produced by the fusion of the hydrogen atoms that, with the enormous temperatures and pressures of the sun, are able to unite to produce Helium and a lot of energy. The balance between that energy and that of gravity is what preserves the integrity of the star and its spherical shape.

As the star ages and ends the hydrogen, the helium merges to form lithium and subsequently other heavier elements that no longer produce so much energy in the fusion.


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During that process the star is "swelling" to become a red giant as is the case of Betelgeuse; When the star has already fused all its fuel, it is unable to withstand the force of gravity and collapses with a tremendous emission of energy to become a white dwarf.

Depending on the mass of that resulting white dwarf, it will burn until it becomes a brown dwarf or collapse again to form a black hole or a neutron star, which is most likely in the case of Betelgeuse.


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But, returning to the title, what will happen if Betelgeuse explodes? Well, nothing, that for a few weeks we would have a star as bright as the moon and a handful of illuminated people talking about the end of the world.

Betelgeuse is one of the stars of the constellation of Orion and is more than 500 light years from us that are something like 10,000 triillion kilometers so I don't think it will even disheve us.

Anyway, do not stop looking at the sky ...


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Hi appreciated @mauromar.

Excellent astronomy notes.
With your narrative I could imagine taking a trip through the cosmos.

You asked yourself this question about Betelgeuse. Why didn't you ask yourself, about the explosion of some other star closer to Earth like Next Centauri, for example. This is the closest star to Earth (not counting the Sun) and is not visible to the naked eye. It is 4.22 light years from us.

Your friend, Juan.

Hi Juan:
I wrote about Beletgeuse because now all news paper are speaking about it, in the case of Next Centaury I guess it will be much more harmful for us but we shouldn't be concerned about because Next Centaury is still very "young".

Thanks for your comment.

I see you are fascinated by astronomy.
I am a beginner fan. I like these topics.

Thank you for your kind response.

Dear @mauromar

I would really love to support your content with some solid upvotes, but I would need you to get familiar with "how are we organized".

Are you perhaps on discord or telegram?

Join our discord sever: https://discord.gg/6p4Pb4

Yours,
@crypto.piotr

Do we know for sure if this has already happened or is about to happen? Since we simply see what happened, not what is happening right now. Right?

I mean the theory that if a person with a powerful telescope sees us from a long distance, say Betelgeuse, he or she is possibly seeing Columbus sailing towards the "supposed" Indies? Or maybe they're watching Spartacus rebelling against the Romans. You follow?

I didn't know about brown dwarf or neutron star.

Thanks for sharing :D

Hi @jadams2k18, yes your are right, maybe Betelgeuse has already exploded 400 year ago and didn't notice it yet.
Thanks for your comment

You're welcome. I love all about space too :D