The Impending Supernova of Betelgeuse: Exploring the Potential Explosion of a Red Supergiant Star

2023-06-19 00:06:04

03:04 am (Yemen Voice: Akhbar Al-Youm newspaper)

The luminosity of the star of Betelgeuse has recently increased by 50%, which rekindled speculation that it may soon explode not only in the sky, but in the arena of research and public discussion as well. No wonder this famous star is one of the brightest stars in the sky, and it is located in the constellation of Orion (Orion), which is considered One of the most important features of winter.

Betelgeuse joins a class of stars called red supergiants, which means that Betelgeuse is already at the end of its life, and the nuclear fusion reactions in its nucleus are nearing completion.

It is expected – according to astrophysics – that a star of this size and at this stage of its life will explode one day when the fusion reactions stop in its nucleus, and it turns into a supernova that we see clearly on Earth, but of course we remain at a safe distance from an explosion of this huge size.

Scientific bewilderment

Betelgeuse attracted the attention of the whole world during the years 2019 and 2020, when its brightness suddenly decreased twice in a row. But a study published in The Astrophysical Journal Letters in March 2020 had indicated that the first decrease in the brightness of Betelgeuse was due to a huge cloud of dust that passed in front of this star.

But a new paper accepted for publication in The Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomy Society, its authors say, is that Betelgeuse is likely to be the next supernova in the Milky Way.

According to the study – which relied on data from several telescopes, including the European Space Agency’s Herschel Space Observatory – Betelgeuse is in the last stage of primary carbon burning, and is, accordingly, a good candidate for a nearby supernova.

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