A nearby star known as Betelgeuse could reach a record level of brightness when the supernova state begins, becoming brighter than a full moon and gaining the ability to cast shadows according to a team of researchers.
Betelgeuse is situated at a distance of 640 light-years away from Earth, but it is already one of the visible stars on the night sky thanks to a radius that is up to 900 times bigger than that of our sun. It tends to dim from time to time, a phenomenon that signals that it may enter the supernova state soon.
Observations have been taken from years, but the dimming has become more pronounced in recent months. In December, the star lost its position as one of the top 10 brightest stars that can be seen with the naked eye, falling on the 21st spot out of 5,000.
Betelgeuse Supernova Will Be Brighter Than A Full Moon
Stars can generate light for millions of years, but at some point, they will run out of fuel. When this happens, a supernova explosion will take place as the nuclear fusion process becomes unstable. The original object will transition into a neutron star, a black hole, or it could vanish.
This happens due to the strong gravitational force generated by the star. At some point, it will be so heavy that it can no longer sustain its core, which unleashes powerful nuclear fusion reactions as it starts to collapse.
Researchers are confident that the supernova event will be the brightest event of this type that can be observed with the naked eye. In 1604 Kepler’s star reached the supernova stage, generating such a large amount of light that it remained visible during day time for more than three weeks. A researcher mentioned in a scientific article that Betelgeuse would be brighter than Kepler’s Star, appearing on the sky as a second full moon.