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article imageScientists say Betelgeuse will explode, provide Earth second sun

By Andrew Moran     Feb 1, 2011 in Science
Moscow - Betelgeuse is the second largest star in the constellation Orion and is about 640 light-years away. Scientists say this star, which is 100,000 times brighter than our sun, will explode and could give us a temporary secondary sun.
What is an extraordinary scientific event in the universe has been turned into an apocalyptic, end of the world, 2012 doomsday scenario. The bright red supergiant star, Betelgeuse, is massive enough that it could end its life as a supernova and give planet Earth a secondary sun, but it will not be the end of the world.
Scientists say that Earth could experience one of the greatest light shows since the dawning of our planet, according to Ria Novosti. Betelgeuse’s explosion will be so bright that night could become day for about a week or two.
“We will see a bright light, a flash, which will last for years,” said head of the department of Variable Stars and Astronomical Spectroscopy of the Russian Academy of Sciences' Institute of Astronomy, Nikolai Chugai. “But even at its strongest, it will be about as bright as the Moon - not anywhere near as bright as the Sun. There are several types of supernovas, and we know that this one will be a type two.”
They show that the star has a vast plume of gas almost as large as our Solar System and a gigantic b...
They show that the star has a vast plume of gas almost as large as our Solar System and a gigantic bubble boiling on its surface.
ESO
However, it is unclear as to when the explosion will occur. Some argue that the explosion could have already happened, but the light rays have not yet reached the Earth. Others say that the supernova could take place in 2012, notes the Kansas City Star.
Meanwhile, the London Telegraph reports that senior lecturer of physics at the University of southern Queensland in Australia, Brad Carter, explains that the explosion could take place before the end of the year or over the course of the next million years.
In the end, though, this explosion will not cause any harm to our planet.
“We have nothing to be concerned about before the shock wave reaches the Earth, and this won’t happen for a very long time,” said Chugai, reports Space Daily. “It will expand at a speed well below the speed of light. If it takes the speed of light 640 year to reach the Earth, something travelling a hundred times slower will take a very long time to reach us.”
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