Jump to content

Stargazers Lounge Uses Cookies

Like most websites, SGL uses cookies in order to deliver a secure, personalised service, to provide social media functions and to analyse our traffic. Continued use of SGL indicates your acceptance of our cookie policy.

stargazine_ep3_banner.thumb.jpg.5533fb830ae914798f4dbbdd2c8a5853.jpg

hwsoderlund

What happens if Betelgeuse goes supernova?

Recommended Posts

Only 2 thoughts:

Wonder who will actually be observing it when it goes. Bet no-one will believe them.

The first one to report it gets the credit! :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Will it not show signs of increasing instability for some time before actually going supernova? In which case probably everyone will be watching it when it happens.

Apart from here, of course, where it will be too cloudy to see anything.

James

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I imagine it will start to look something like this before it actually goes supernova. It's decreasing size would lead one to surmise that it is nearing the exhausting of its current fuel and beginning to lose it's battle with gravity. As the core gets compressed the temperature inevitably rises, which will trigger fusion of heavier elements giving rise to a either another swelling or it will begin to hiccup producing something like the image of eta carinae , if of course it hasn't begun to create iron, whereby it will go supernova pretty quickly. I guess a spectral analysis of the star's light might yield a better picture of what elements are predominant in its atmosphere... hmm, should look into that :)

post-36021-133877777464_thumb.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It isn't going to happen soon because, if you look in astronomy text book 'before and after' pictures of supernovae, you'll see that shortly before the explosion two short lines appear, one on either side of the progenitor star...

Olly

Edited by ollypenrice

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Olly im shocked you didnt pick up the black hole :(

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Olly im shocked you didnt pick up the black hole :(

I tried, but it was sooooo heavy! I couldn't shift it.

Olly

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I tried, but it was sooooo heavy! I couldn't shift it.

Olly

Shame. It would have made an excellent base for a pier.

James

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Im slightly sceptical that it will be as small as venus. On the WotU by B Cox, he said it would be like a second moon. They have cave paintings in some far away place:) of when they think it happened before, and it is depicting a second moon or sun like object.

Im just thinking that when M101 had a supernova it went from a star we couldnt see in the galaxy of M101, to a star thet looked like it was in our own galaxy, visable with the eye. I am just thinking that BG being that much closer to us, it could be HUGE.

From what i can find M101 is 21 milion lightyears from Ursa Major.... Betelgeuse is 642.5 light years from us.

This was my attempt at Sn2011fe (not good, but just to show as an example.

picture.php?albumid=702&pictureid=13499

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You have to distinguish between moon-like brightness and moon-like extension. It can be moon-bright without being moon-big on the sky. I think this would be the case. In my highly scientific simulataion (ahem, not...) let's just say that I assumed a lot of lens flare...

Olly

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Id agree on that.... I would love to see it, but i really think the odds are against us :(

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If Betelgeuse goes nova, it could offer Earth's astronomers an up close look at how supernovae evolve and the physics that governs how they work. The problem is that is is not clear when that will happen. While stories have been circulating that the star could explode in 2012, the odds of that are actually quite small. Betelgeuse may explode tomorrow night, or it may not go nova until the year 100,000 A.D. It's impossible to know.

Betelgeuse is beyond the death beam distance -somwhere within 30 light years range- where it could do ultimate damage to Earth.The explosion won't do the Earth any harm, as a star has to be relatively close -- on the order of 25 light years -- to do that. Betelgeuse is about 600 light years distant.

Betelgeuse, one of the most luminous stars known and ten times the size of the Sun, is thought to be only 10 million years old. The more massive a star is the shorter its lifespan, which is why astronomers think it has an outside chance of exploding relatively soon.

Late in 2009 year astronomers witnessed the largest explosion ever recorded: a super giant star two hundred times bigger than the sun utterly obliterated by runaway thermonuclear reactions triggered by gamma ray-driven antimatter production. The resulting blast was visible for months because it unleashed a cloud of radioactive material over fifty times the size of our own star, giving off a nuclear fission glow visible from galaxies away.

The super-supernova SN2007bi is an example of a "pair-instability" breakdown, and that's like calling an atomic bomb a "plutonium-pressing" device. At sizes of around four megayottagrams (that's thirty-two zeros) giant stars are supported against gravitational collapse by gamma ray pressure. The hotter the core, the higher the energy of these gamma rays - but if they get too energetic, these gamma rays can begin pair production: creating an electron-positron matter-antimatter pair out of pure energy as they pass an atom. Yes, this does mean that the entire stellar core acts as a gigantic particle accelerator.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Orion would never be the same, he would be shoulderless poor thing!

I heard they are going to rename him "The Black Knight"

"Its just a scratch. A mere flesh wound!"

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thing is, by the time Betelgeuse goes bang the constellation of Orion may be unrecognisable anyway, due to the relative motion of its constituent stars.

When the supernova occurs, it will appear as a very bright point source. The outer layers of the star which are thrown off can't travel faster than the speed of light (and will actually be travelling considerably slower than this), so it will take some time before it expands beyond 1 arcsecond, which is roughly the angular resolution of the human eye.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Betelgeusian version of the Daily Mail must be an interesting read. What with "http://www.space.com/19415-supergiant-star-betelgeuse-crash-photo.html", "sun going nova will harm your pension", "Will nova drop gold prices", "Did Rigellian dole-claimants cause nova", "Bank of Betelgeuse increases mortgage rates before nova" and "Will your stair lift work after sun explodes?""

Read the truth here: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1349383/Betelgeuse-second-sun-Earth-supernova-turns-night-day.html :evil:

P

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

the only thing guaranteed is that when it goe's it will be cloudy here :)

Not quite. What if the climate changed?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not quite. What if the climate changed?

Warmer, more evaporation, more cloud - both more often and thicker.

When Betelgeuese goes it will most likely be the one time in history when the whole of the night side is in cloud.

If we have clear a night when it goes then it will go in the summer and it just won't be visible anyway.

Just imagine how annoying if it is only above our horizon during the day.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If it blew asymmetrically and ended up being a neutron star pointing it's beam directly at us are we far enough away to be safe? .. I guess 400/600 LY's is plenty?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

yeah at a star night with coats observatory[paisley] the astronomy lecturer was asked that question he reckoned that gamma radiation etc would be to far away to realy do much damage to us

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Warmer, more evaporation, more cloud - both more often and thicker.

When Betelgeuese goes it will most likely be the one time in history when the whole of the night side is in cloud.

If we have clear a night when it goes then it will go in the summer and it just won't be visible anyway.

Just imagine how annoying if it is only above our horizon during the day.

Hope not. I was thinking in terms of less cloud and more sunshine. You know the good kind of climate change rather than the whole Earth turns into Venus thing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If it blew asymmetrically and ended up being a neutron star pointing it's beam directly at us are we far enough away to be safe? .. I guess 400/600 LY's is plenty?

Due to the way the gamma is generated the radio beam and the gamma beam do not seem to point in the same direction (see http://arxiv.org/abs/1105.3030) or search for "gamma outer gap" - so if the pole was pointing straight at us we would be most likely safe from the gamma.

However the gamma could cause problems for electronics if it did come our way: see http://www.sci-news.com/astronomy/article00833.html and http://arxiv.org/abs/1211.2584

P

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have said this before but Betelgeuse seems far more red than it was when I was in my early teens getting into this fascinating subject 30 years ago. On the few occasions we had to look at it this terrible winter I really did think the old girl was getting ruby red almost. Maybe our eyes change and become more red sensitive as we get older but I don't observe the same changes with Aldebaran or Dubhe... It's definitely a Betelgeuse thing I think.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have said this before but Betelgeuse seems far more red than it was when I was in my early teens getting into this fascinating subject 30 years ago.

Interesting thought. Looking it up on wikipedia, it's brightness and colour vary irregularly as it's outer layers expand and contract. However, as you say, it's actual colour and how it is perceived by the human eye are two different questions. I'm guessing it would be at it's most red when at it's coolest and dimmest, but I'm wondering if it might appear more red when it's at it's brightest, providing enough light for the cone cells in the eye to register.

Can anyone shed any more light on this please?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yiu know, I was watching space weather on the weather channel, and it said a star within 6000 lightyears could affect a planet, a gamma-ray burst, lets hope that Betelgeuse doesn't go pulsar, or we'd die from continuing gamma rays

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If it blew asymmetrically and ended up being a neutron star pointing it's beam directly at us are we far enough away to be safe? .. I guess 400/600 LY's is plenty?

If it blew asymmetrically and ended up being a neutron star pointing it's beam directly at us are we far enough away to be safe? .. I guess 400/600 LY's is plenty?

Im thinking that a neutron star might have the same effect, it eventually wears out, just like gamma rays

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.