Star profile: Betelgeuse

A nice little blog on the comparison of Betelgeuse and our own sun (the star).


Betelgeuse (pronounced ‘betel-jers’) is a red supergiant star around 640 light years away in the constellation of Orion. It is nearly 1000 times larger than the Sun and 20 times more massive; it’s diameter alone would be enough to engulf Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars and would reach the orbit of Jupiter.

The star is in the final stages of its lifecycle and is expected to go supernova any time between now and the next million years. Upon doing so, Betelgeuse–or at the very least the light from the explosion–will outshine the full Moon and be clearly visible in broad daylight.  Due to the distance involved it is quite possible that Betelguese has already exploded, but we wouldn’t know about it until the light had completed its 640 year journey to Earth!

Doomsayers in 2012 claimed the ensuing gamma-ray burst from the supernova could result in the end of the world, but…

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