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Biggazza88

Betelgeuse supernova

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After sgl last night I was wondering when Betelgeuse goes supernova and it becomes massively bright for a few weeks, will it be observable through a telescope or will it be too bright and cook your retina?

Fingers crossed it pops in my lifetime would be a awesome sight!

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No...! I don't understand why so many people want Betelgeuse to blow. It is part of the most majestic constellation we have and would end up a lesser sight for the loss. No doubt after the event everyone would miss good old Betelgeuse and talk about how grand the constellation used to look...:D

There are plenty of other stars, can we pick on a different one for a change and give grand old Betelgeuse a rest. How about Rho Cassiopeia or Eta Carina :)..

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No...! I don't understand why so many people want Betelgeuse to blow. It is part of the most majestic constellation we have and would end up a lesser sight for the loss. No doubt after the event everyone would miss good old Betelgeuse and talk about how grand the constellation used to look... :D

There are plenty of other stars, can we pick on a different one for a change and give grand old Betelgeuse a rest. How about Rho Cassiopeia or Eta Carina :)..

I love the constellation of Orion, but wouldn't it produce another SuperNova remnant similar to the Crab Nebula if Betleguese went boom? That would be a sight to see.

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From the show last night it sounds like it would be as bright as a second sun for a couple of weeks, it will be interesting if it blows during our wintertime it could be like an Artic summer with permanent "sun" light for 24 hours, image what would be left to observe once it settles down.

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Since it's believed to be inevitable, I'd rather it went in my lifetime than I didn't get to see it. I can't see that it will detract from the constellation at all. That part of the sky is so much more than the stars that make up the Orion asterism.

That said, seeing any star in our galaxy go supernova would be amazing as long as it wasn't pointing a massive burst of high energy radiation right at us.

James

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From the show last night it sounds like it would be as bright as a second sun for a couple of weeks, it will be interesting if it blows during our wintertime it could be like an Artic summer with permanent "sun" light for 24 hours, image what would be left to observe once it settles down.

I havnt seen stargazing live (ever) but people in my office have been quizing me about this, i honestly do not believe that it will bright enough to light up the sky.. Plus it may not happen for many many years...

And like said above i like it where it is :)

you guys might find this interesting, its the last naked eye supernova recording

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SN_1604

Edited by zakkhogan

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i honestly do not believe that it will bright enough to light up the sky..

Depends how you define "light up the sky", I guess? AFAIR the estimates are that the apparent magnitude will be as bright as the full Moon and that lights up pretty much the entire sky by some definitions. That it would be "like daylight" seems a bit of a stretch unless it gets a fair bit brighter than that.

James

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I havnt seen stargazing live (ever) but people in my office have been quizing me about this, i honestly do not believe that it will bright enough to light up the sky.. Plus it may not happend for many many years...

And like said above i like it where it is :)

your guys might find this interesting, its the last naked eye supernova recording

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SN_1604

SN1604 estimated to be about 20,000 light years away. Betelgeuse is about 640 light years away. The intensity of a star follow the inverse square law (since the area of the sphere illuminated by the light from the star squares with distance).

Assuming that both SN1604 and Betelgeuse put out a similar amount of light when they went/go supernova, then Betelgeuse will be 976 times brighter than SN1604 was. SN1604 was brighter than everything except Venus, and visible during the day for three weeks.

It is absolutely not an exaggeration to say that Betelgeuse going supernova will be like having a second sun, and if it happens during northern winter, there will be no darkness for the best part of a month.

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976 times brighter is, if my maths is correct, about 7.5 magnitudes. Based on the Wikipedia details for SN1604 that would make it around -10. Not quite full Moon, but not astonishingly far off.

James

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I stand corrected, Wiki says -12 for two to three months, which is full moon like you said above. On the other hand, all that light will be originating from a single point rather than the disc of the Moon, so it will (I suspect) appear an awful lot brighter to look at directly in darkness, even though it doesn't provide much more illumination. (Still a full moon and a supernova out at the same time would make it really bright, if not exactly daylight).

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Well, if we said that M1 has expanded by about one arcsecond per year, then perhaps our new remnant might expand by ten arcseconds year year, being ten times closer than M1. Perhaps it would take a while before you could see much.

James

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Well, if we said that M1 has expanded by about one arcsecond per year, then perhaps our new remnant might expand by ten arcseconds year year, being ten times closer than M1. Perhaps it would take a while before you could see much.

Now I really do have some good news for you on this one:

We can use the small angle approximation to turn an object's distance in to it's actual size as follows:

D = X * d / 206,265

Where D is the actual size of the object, X is the angular size (in arcseconds) and d is the distance.

We know M1 is about 6,500 light years away and that it is expanding at a rate of 1 arcsecond per year. So

D = 1 * 6,500 / 206,265

D = 0.0315 light years

So M1 is expanding at just over 0.03 light years per year.

If we assume that Betelgeuse produces a similar remnant, we can re-arrange the small angle approximation formula to work out how much a Betelgeuse remnant would expand per year, as follows:

X = D * 206,265 / d

X = 0.0315 * 206,265 / 640

X = 10.16 arcseconds per year

So the answer is YES! With a pretty modest instrument (even a pair of binoculars) you would easily be able to see the expansion of the remnant, pretty much from the point where the main supernova had dimmed enough to allow it to show up.

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Just for comparison, within 2 years it would be the apparent size of Mars at a good opposition, and within 5 years it would be the apparent size of Jupiter. I'd imagine it would be fairly bright and easy to see/image due to it being close, especially early on since the hot material expelled would be dense (though it may be that other factors would obscure this for some time, ask Brian Cox tonight!)

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I stand corrected, Wiki says -12 for two to three months, which is full moon like you said above.

With the current weather, I would say there it would be obscured by cloud.

Maybe a 10 to 1 shot I would get to see it, assuming it blows while i'm around.

Knowing my luck, the next star to blow would be 39 degrees or more South of the equator.

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I think the problem with seeing it early after the collapse would be the inability to resolve detail through our atmosphere. Perhaps for a couple of months it would just appear as a bright point?

James

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I think the problem with seeing it early after the collapse would be the inability to resolve detail through our atmosphere. Perhaps for a couple of months it would just appear as a bright point?

Well if we went for the three months before it fades scenario, then at the end of that the remnant it would be about 2.5 arcseconds so would probably look stellar unless you had fantastic seeing, but in the next three months it would grow to 5, so I reckon you'd be able to spot the evolution of the shape almost immediately it starts to fade and by the end of the first year it would be really obvious. Trouble is, it could be tonight or in a million years, nobody knows!

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It would be great if it went in our lifetimes.......can you imagine the amount of people that would suddenly become interested in Astronomy...?

There again, I love looking at it and would miss it in it's current incarnation.

Amazing to think it's diameter is about the same as our distance from the Sun......it's a relatively young star.

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My 2nd favorite star dying is a shame. The nova couldve already happened, but the light from the explosion hasnt reached us yet. When betelguse goes it will be a spectacle to view for people all over the world.

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My 2nd favorite star dying is a shame. The nova couldve already happened, but the light from the explosion hasnt reached us yet. When betelguse goes it will be a spectacle to view for people all over the world.

Right, but it's only 640 light-years away and AFAIK the best guesses of when it might pop is within the next million years... so it seems the chance/risk (depending on your preference) that we will ever get to experience it is on the slim side. And by slim I mean anorexic.

Steve

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My 2nd favorite star dying is a shame.

What's your first?

It would be a shame if ol' Betel explodes; surely, having it around for a while is worth more than a short post-supernova spectacular?

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