For those of us who love space stories, the non-fiction stuff is almost as good as the narrative movies. For latest example, take the red star in the Orion constellation named Betelgeuse. The people who study these things say it might blow up. And give this part of the universe a real light show. And how!
Veteran astronomer Edward Guinan, of the Villanova faculty, has been watching Betelgeuse for decades. He reports that the star appears to be "the least luminous and coolest yet measured from our 25 years" of study. Which means it may be collapsing.
And the next stage would be supernova. Which, even from 642 light years from Earth, would light up the sky even during the day. Some say it could be brighter than a full moon. The last time humans saw such a thing was in the 17th century.
Or, Professor Guinan says, it could just be a low-beam cycle. We'll know in a few weeks.
Talk about raising and lowering expectations. We'll keep our eyes in the night sky, just to the east, just after sunset, where mighty Betelgeuse sits. For now.
Editorial on 02/13/2020
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