Back in December last year, astronomers have been suspecting that the supergiant red star Betelgeuse is about to explode. The cosmic object has become much dimmer in the recent months, even though it was among the brightest stars in the night sky. Being located in the Orion constellation, Betelgeuse will finally face its end and turn into a supernova. It’s not a matter of “if” anymore, according to the latest data gathered by LIGO, the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory.
Thus, gravitational waves coming from Orion’s direction have been detected by LIGO. Such an event can be caused by a supernova, and as you might have already guessed, the astronomers are placing their bets on Betelgeuse’s explosion.
Betelgeuse’s explosion could occur in the next several weeks
This is one hypothesis claimed by scientists, and among them is Edward Guinan, a professor at Villanova University’s Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics. His university has been examining Betelgeuse since almost four decades ago, so he might know what he’s talking about. However, it’s also possible that Betelgeuse will explode much later, when humanity will be fully extinct.
What’s for sure is that the supergiant star will indeed explode, but we’re not sure exactly when it will happen. When it does, the supernova will be visible with the naked eye for months since it will be as bright as several stars on the night sky.
Will Earth get caught in the explosion?
Luckily for us, Betelgeuse is very far away – about 700 light-years. Therefore, we shouldn’t worry about Earth being obliterated by the explosion, although some radiations could reach us.
Therefore, we’ll have all the time in the world to explore deep space and understand our role in the Universe as much as possible. Don’t worry about Betelgeuse, and take your time to increase your knowledge about the world we live in!