Great informational article about a star in the Orion constellation, Betelgeuse ,and when it will go supernova.
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Its coming and it may reach Earth before 2012. In fact the gamma rays from the Orion star Betelgeuse, when it goes ballistic [Supernova] may hit us any day!
Many people are predicting the end of the Earth when the second brightest star of the Orion Constellation goes Nova. The Internet is being flooded with articles concerning the event is part of the Mayan Calendar 2012 predictions and the end of the world. But what are the facts about this very unusual event located approximately 600 – 800 million light years away from Mother Earth? (The Astronomical Journal –April 2008)
It is also interesting to note that the name of this red star is Betelgeuse, is associated with the “Devil” and evil machinations. Yet, the name Betelgeuse is a corruption of the Arabic word “yad al jauza,” which means the “hand of al-jauza.”. The word “al-jauza” is an ancient Arabic derivative which refers to “Central One,” or a mysterious woman.
The history of the bright star name Betelgeuse is a good example of how scholarly errors can slip into modern spoken word. Very early in pre-Islamic Arabia astronomers, called the star yad al-jawzā’, “hand of the jawzā’.” The jawzā’ was their name for the constellation Gemini. Greek astronomy blended with Arabian astronomy, the word was given to the bright star in the constellation Orion. Centuries later, scribes writing in Medieval Latin rendered the word misread the y as a b, which became the Medieval Latin form Bedalgeuze. During the Renaissance era, another set of scholars interpreted the first syllable bed– as being derived from a putative Arabic word *bāṭ meaning “armpit.” This word did not exist; it would correctly have been ibṭ. Nonetheless, the error stuck, and the new etymological spelling produced Betelgeuse, that melded into French as Bételgeuse, and finally in Late Old English as Betelgeuse.
But here are the scientific facts (theories and conjectures based on reason):
- One day Betelgeuse will appear as a giant explosion in the sky, which may be 4 times the size of a full moon.
- Most scientists believe the star is far enough away from Earth that the explosion blast and various particle rays emitted will not affect us drastically (if at all).
- This star is a huge mass of hydrogen gas that is (or did) going through a fusion process that changes the matter into heavier elements.
- It is one of the largest stars known in the universe to human astronomy.
- On June 9th, 2009 it was presented to The American Astronomical Society that Betelgeuse was shrinking. Calculations from 1993 to the present show a 15% decrease in the stars diameter.
- It is a pulsating star, whose brightness changes with the density of its atmosphere: 0.2 – 1.2 brightness magnitude, which makes it one of the 10 brightest stars in our sky.
- Betelgeuse is surrounded by many layers of dust and gas that it has already blown off through a very strong stellar wind and surround the star in a ring of solar dust.
- Betelgeuse is projected by science to be only 6 – 10 million years old.
- Science says the star had a core made of hydrogen and thermonuclear fusion has already run out at its core, thus gravity has contracted the core into a hotter and denser state. This process fuses helium into carbon and oxygen which produce enough radiation to swell out its outer layers of hydrogen and helium.
- The red star is relatively rich in nitrogen compared to a less evolved star like our Sun (Lambert 1984).
- In 1995 astronomers found an enormous bright area more than 2,000 °K, hotter than the surrounding surface of the star (Gilliland & Dupree, 1996).
- Betelgeuse’s diameter is roughly 500 times that of the Sun.
- If and when it turns into a supernova the threat to Earth would be from the blast waves. Is Betelgeuse one of the “smoking stars” to which Nezahualcoyotl referred in his 15th century Aztec prophecy? It probably will not cause any direct physical destruction, due to the huge distance between Betelgeuse and the Earth. But then again.