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Betelgeuse is behaving oddly
#1

Betelgeuse is behaving oddly
The star, not the movie character.

Betelgeuse, the star in Orion's shoulder, has dimmed by about 50% since October. It's an irregular variable star but this is the largest change that has ever been observed it its luminosity. It has peeked the interest of the astronomical community because Betelgeuse tips the scales at 1400 solar masses and is a prime candidate to end its life as a supernova. Nobody knows what the current bout of instability portends but the observations should be interesting even if nothing more significant happens.

If Betelgeuse does go supenova it will be brighter than the full moon and visible even in full daylight. Happily the solar system is sufficiently distant that no serious effects are anticipated other than the usual wack-a-doodles freaking out. That and we'd learn a lot about the finer details of how large stars die and how many of the elements that we're made of are formed.
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#2

Betelgeuse is behaving oddly
I subscribe to an astronomy mailing list, and this simultaneously popped up in our newsgroup and on the CBC website. For a variable star, 50% is not a huge change in luminosity but it's large and rather unexpected for Betelgeuse. I can guarantee that we're all going to be paying more than the usual amount of attention to Orion this season.
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#3

Betelgeuse is behaving oddly
It's all those black obilesques floating around it.
  [Image: pirates.gif] Dog  
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#4

Betelgeuse is behaving oddly
(12-26-2019, 04:36 AM)Paleophyte Wrote: The star, not the movie character.

Betelgeuse, the star in Orion's shoulder, has dimmed by about 50% since October. It's an irregular variable star but this is the largest change that has ever been observed it its luminosity. It has peeked the interest of the astronomical community because Betelgeuse tips the scales at 1400 solar masses and is a prime candidate to end its life as a supernova. Nobody knows what the current bout of instability portends but the observations should be interesting even if nothing more significant happens.

If Betelgeuse does go supenova it will be brighter than the full moon and visible even in full daylight. Happily the solar system is sufficiently distant that no serious effects are anticipated other than the usual wack-a-doodles freaking out. That and we'd learn a lot about the finer details of how large stars die and how many of the elements that we're made of are formed.

I have been waiting for this for ages.
Supernova in my lifetime, close, but not too close.
God is merciful, indeed Dance
cetero censeo religionem esse delendam 
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#5

Betelgeuse is behaving oddly
The crazies will be out in force.
  [Image: pirates.gif] Dog  
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#6

Betelgeuse is behaving oddly
The one constellation I can recognize!
god, ugh
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#7

Betelgeuse is behaving oddly
I can't wait to become the Hulk.
Being told you're delusional does not necessarily mean you're mental. 
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#8

Betelgeuse is behaving oddly
(12-26-2019, 12:09 PM)brewerb Wrote: I can't wait to become the Hulk.

Imagine you're on the inside of a bubble 1285 light years across. Imagine there is a gamma burster in the center. What are the odds that it will be pointed directly at you?
  [Image: pirates.gif] Dog  
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#9

Betelgeuse is behaving oddly
(12-26-2019, 12:15 PM)Gawdzilla Sama Wrote:
(12-26-2019, 12:09 PM)brewerb Wrote: I can't wait to become the Hulk.

Imagine you're on the inside of a bubble 1285 light years across. Imagine there is a gamma burster in the center. What are the odds that it will be pointed directly at you?

Stop ruining the fantasy. 

Puny human!
Being told you're delusional does not necessarily mean you're mental. 
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#10

Betelgeuse is behaving oddly
(12-26-2019, 12:48 PM)brewerb Wrote:
(12-26-2019, 12:15 PM)Gawdzilla Sama Wrote:
(12-26-2019, 12:09 PM)brewerb Wrote: I can't wait to become the Hulk.

Imagine you're on the inside of a bubble 1285 light years across. Imagine there is a gamma burster in the center. What are the odds that it will be pointed directly at you?

Stop ruining the fantasy. 

Puny human!

Some of my younger cousins were terrified by "How the Universe Works" because of shit like that.
  [Image: pirates.gif] Dog  
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#11

Betelgeuse is behaving oddly
(12-26-2019, 01:41 PM)Gawdzilla Sama Wrote:
(12-26-2019, 12:48 PM)brewerb Wrote:
(12-26-2019, 12:15 PM)Gawdzilla Sama Wrote: Imagine you're on the inside of a bubble 1285 light years across. Imagine there is a gamma burster in the center. What are the odds that it will be pointed directly at you?

Stop ruining the fantasy. 

Puny human!

Some of my younger cousins were terrified by "How the Universe Works" because of shit like that.

Tell'em about the next close boulder event.

It's clobberin time!
Being told you're delusional does not necessarily mean you're mental. 
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#12

Betelgeuse is behaving oddly
Apophis is on their scare list.
  [Image: pirates.gif] Dog  
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#13

Betelgeuse is behaving oddly
(12-26-2019, 01:41 PM)Gawdzilla Sama Wrote:
(12-26-2019, 12:48 PM)brewerb Wrote:
(12-26-2019, 12:15 PM)Gawdzilla Sama Wrote: Imagine you're on the inside of a bubble 1285 light years across. Imagine there is a gamma burster in the center. What are the odds that it will be pointed directly at you?

Stop ruining the fantasy. 

Puny human!

Some of my younger cousins were terrified by "How the Universe Works" because of shit like that.

The universe is a mean-ass place.  If there's a god he/she/it is totally oblivious to life.  Black holes sucking up planets, exploding stars....if there's any life forms near these events they're toast. I looooove  to inform theist, especially Christians, that the sun will eventually become a giant red star and incinerate most of our solar system.  I always like to add that currently the moon is moving slowly away from the earth at around 1/2 inch each year.  I do this when they try to equate the perfect alignment and size of the earth, moon and sun during eclipses as evidence of their god.  It's a very fun thing to do 'cause it scares them to death and totally ruins their day.     Nod         Big Grin
                                                         T4618
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#14

Betelgeuse is behaving oddly
99.9999% of the Universe is nothing, but it's intelligently designed.
  [Image: pirates.gif] Dog  
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#15

Betelgeuse is behaving oddly
(12-26-2019, 04:08 PM)Gawdzilla Sama Wrote: 99.9999% of the Universe is nothing, but it's intelligently designed.

That makes god a good-for-nothin'.
                                                         T4618
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#16

Betelgeuse is behaving oddly
Correct me if I'm wrong but in real time didn't the dimming occur over 600 years ago so unless the supernova occurred circa 530 years or more ago no one alive today will witness said supernova?
Justaminute    Salisbury steak...... A hamburger by any other name. 
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#17

Betelgeuse is behaving oddly
You're right and that's what's happening. We can't see what's going on there right now, only what happened back when.
  [Image: pirates.gif] Dog  
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#18

Betelgeuse is behaving oddly
(12-26-2019, 06:09 PM)adey67 Wrote: Correct me if I'm wrong but in real time didn't the dimming occur over 600 years ago so unless the supernova occurred circa 530 years or more ago no one alive today will witness said supernova?

I bet that also applies to any byproduct that we might want to avoid.  If gamma rays were headed our way from a putative supernova in that region, it would be too late if we observed it.
If it doesn't work, it doesn't matter how fast it doesn't work. ~ ???
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#19

Betelgeuse is behaving oddly
(12-27-2019, 12:33 PM)tomilay Wrote:
(12-26-2019, 06:09 PM)adey67 Wrote: Correct me if I'm wrong but in real time didn't the dimming occur over 600 years ago so unless the supernova occurred circa 530 years or more ago no one alive today will witness said supernova?

I bet that also applies to any byproduct that we might want to avoid.  If gamma rays were headed our way from a putative supernova in that region, it would be too late if we observed it.

And too late even if we knew it was coming. With our level of technology, nothing that we could muster would be more than laughable.

Happily, we know how Betelgeuse is oriented and the polar jets won't be pointed anywhere near us. Some things you can observe in advance.
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#20

Betelgeuse is behaving oddly
Well there's some good news, a lot of my cousins say it marks the beginning of the End Times.
  [Image: pirates.gif] Dog  
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#21

Betelgeuse is behaving oddly
(12-26-2019, 07:07 PM)Gawdzilla Sama Wrote: You're right and that's what's happening. We can't see what's going on there right now, only what happened back when.

Oh good,  I was getting confused.

So I looked up "how far is Betelgeuse from earth ?"

Estimates seem to vary from as little as 180 light years  to 1400 light years.

So, anything we witness could have actually occurred a thousand years ago? 

Slightly off topic. Our sun will not go supernova because it lacks the mass?   Instead, it will eventually  just --umm, , the phrase 'white dwarf ' just popped into my head. I have no idea from whence (?)  Whatever,  will it be in millions or billions of years time ? Not that I think it will matter to our species, which  will probably have gone extinct aeons before. 

 At what point will life (in the shape of say bacteria) cease to exist on earth?
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#22

Betelgeuse is behaving oddly
(12-31-2019, 03:11 AM)grympy Wrote:
(12-26-2019, 07:07 PM)Gawdzilla Sama Wrote: You're right and that's what's happening. We can't see what's going on there right now, only what happened back when.

Oh good,  I was getting confused.

So I looked up "how far is Betelgeuse from earth ?"

Estimates seem to vary from as little as 180 light years  to 1400 light years.

So, anything we witness could have actually occurred a thousand years ago?

Yes. Better estimates place Betelgeuse at 500 to 700 light-years, so the light that you are seeing from it now left Betelgeuse round about the time that Columbus was setting sail.

Quote:Slightly off topic. Our sun will not go supernova because it lacks the mass?

Yes.

Quote:Instead, it will eventually  just --umm, , the phrase 'white dwarf ' just popped into my head. I have no idea from whence (?)

At the end of its life the sun will expand into a red giant and eventually shed its outer layers. The remaining core will form a slowly cooling white dwarf star.

Quote:Whatever,  will it be in millions or billions of years time ?

About another 4 billion years or so. Our sun is round about the middle of its life.

Quote:At what point will life (in the shape of say bacteria) cease to exist on earth?

That depends greatly on how you figure life on Earth will end. At the latest, it's going to have some trouble in about 4 billion years when the sun expands and engulfs the Earth. That said, the outer fringes of a red giant star are pretty nebulous, so Earth may well survive the sun's death throes and bacteria might be able to soldier on deep underground. I wouldn't put any money on that though.
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#23

Betelgeuse is behaving oddly
(12-26-2019, 12:15 PM)Gawdzilla Sama Wrote:
(12-26-2019, 12:09 PM)brewerb Wrote: I can't wait to become the Hulk.

Imagine you're on the inside of a bubble 1285 light years across. Imagine there is a gamma burster in the center. What are the odds that it will be pointed directly at you?

ll it takes is once. Ask the dinosaurs about the combination of the Siberian Trappes and the Asteroid.
A friend in need is a pain in the ass. If you are lucky, when he comes around you won't be home!
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#24

Betelgeuse is behaving oddly
(12-31-2019, 06:37 AM)Paleophyte Wrote:
(12-31-2019, 03:11 AM)grympy Wrote: At what point will life (in the shape of say bacteria) cease to exist on earth?

That depends greatly on how you figure life on Earth will end. At the latest, it's going to have some trouble in about 4 billion years when the sun expands and engulfs the Earth. That said, the outer fringes of a red giant star are pretty nebulous, so Earth may well survive the sun's death throes and bacteria might be able to soldier on deep underground. I wouldn't put any money on that though.
From what i have read, as soon as in 1bio years the sun will start emitting significantly more energy (with usable* hydrogen getting slowly depleted) and drive up average temperatures on earht so that life as we see it today won tbe possible. Then it will start burning helium and bloat....at this point you are going to be glad you wont be here anymore at all.

So, yeah, at minimum we have ca. 1bio years

*usable, becausew the sun is not completely convective in its interior and wont be able to burn all of its hydrogen in the first place)
cetero censeo religionem esse delendam 
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#25

Betelgeuse is behaving oddly
(12-31-2019, 07:45 AM)Deesse23 Wrote:
(12-31-2019, 06:37 AM)Paleophyte Wrote:
(12-31-2019, 03:11 AM)grympy Wrote: At what point will life (in the shape of say bacteria) cease to exist on earth?

That depends greatly on how you figure life on Earth will end. At the latest, it's going to have some trouble in about 4 billion years when the sun expands and engulfs the Earth. That said, the outer fringes of a red giant star are pretty nebulous, so Earth may well survive the sun's death throes and bacteria might be able to soldier on deep underground. I wouldn't put any money on that though.
From what i have read, as soon as in 1bio years the sun will start emitting significantly more energy (with usable* hydrogen getting slowly depleted) and drive up average temperatures on earht so that life as we see it today won tbe possible. Then it will start burning helium and bloat....at this point you are going to be glad you wont be here anymore at all.

So, yeah, at minimum we have ca. 1bio years

*usable, becausew the sun is not completely convective in its interior and wont be able to burn all of its hydrogen in the first place)

By that time, we will dead here or unrecognizable (no species stays the same or lives forever) or will be long gone from THIS planet. The sun's lifetime is irrelevant to us.
A friend in need is a pain in the ass. If you are lucky, when he comes around you won't be home!
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