What is Betelgeuse?

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What is Betelgeuse? Blog Image

Overview:

Betelgeuse, a red supergiant star at a distance of 724 lightyears from the Earth is nearly 50 per cent brighter than usual, leading astronomers to suggest that the star may explode in a violent supernova within tens of years.

About Betelgeuse:

  • Betelgeuse is a red supergiant star that forms the left shoulder of the constellation of Orion.
  • It is one of the brightest stars in the night sky and one of the largest stars ever discovered.
  • The star is approximately 650 light-years from Earth.
  • It is one of the largest known stars, measuring more than 700 million miles (1.2 billion kilometers) in diameter, 764 times as large as the Sun
  • It is known for its periodic dimming and brightening up.

What is a Supernova?

  • A supernova is the name given to the cataclysmic explosion of a massive star.
  • They are the largest explosion that takes place in space.
  • A star can go supernova in one of two ways:
    • Type I supernova: Star accumulates matter from a nearby neighbor until a runaway nuclear reaction ignites.
    • Type II supernova: Star runs out of nuclear fuel and collapses under its own gravity.
  • It can emit more energy in a few seconds than our sun will radiate in its lifetime of billions of years.
  • They're also the primary source of heavy elements in the universe.
  • On average, a supernova will occur once every 50 years in a galaxy the size of the Milky Way.

 


Q1) What is a Supernova?

A supernova is the name given to the cataclysmic explosion of a massive star. They are the largest explosion that takes place in space.

Source: Scientists think that a supernova is imminent every time the star grows brighter or dimmer.