Betelgeuse’s Recent Status: the Giant Red Star Could Die in 100,000 Years

According to new research, the famous giant red star Betelgeuse might die in 100,000 years. Also, more details are now available.

Dr. Meridith Joyce from The Australian National University (ANU) and the one who led an international team of researchers, released a statement about Betelgeuse’s fate. She also detailed how the giant red is both smaller and closer to our planet than initially believed. 

Here is what you need to know.

Betelgeuse in the Spotlight Again: What to Expect

Betelgeuse has long intrigued scientists, but lately, it’s been acting strangely.

According to previous studies, Betelgeuse was considered one of the brightest stars, but since 2019, approximately two drops in its brightness have been reported. 

Such results made some believe the supergiant might explode soon. However, Dr. Joyce’s research shows otherwise. Her team found that the first dimming event comprised a dust cloud, during the second event, some pulsations were captured. 

Furthermore, the team utilized some seismic and hydrodynamic modeling to understand the pulsations’ physics better. Researchers wanted, too, to get a more precise idea of what phase of its life the supergiant is.

Dr. Joyce stated: 

“It’s burning helium in its core at the moment, which means it’s nowhere near exploding. […], 100.000 years before an explosion happens.”

More Findings

According to Dr. Shing-Chi Leung, the co-author of the research, the team’s investigation confirms that some pressure waves, also known as “sound waves,” were actually troubling Betelgeuse’s pulsation. 

Another co-author, Dr. Laszlo Molnar from the Konkoly Observatory in Budapest, discussed the importance of the new research, saying that the team also discovered how Betelgeuse is and its distance from our planet. 

The good news is that our popular star is still too far from us for the eventual blast to have an important impact. In a way, it’s somehow unfortunate that we mos likely witness an event at all.

Recent research has been published in The Astrophysical Journal. 

 

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