Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Star Wars on Earth? Betelgeuse gone SuperNova?

       There is a strong possibility we may be able to get a vision like Luke Skywalker had on the planet of Tatooine. When he looked up at his uncles farm, you could see that he lived in a Binary Star System. A Binary Star System is actually having two suns in your solar system. How could we have two suns? Well, technically we wont, however it may look like that for a couple of weeks.
       We know that the star located as the left shoulder of Orion, named Betelgeuse, is about to blow. It has reached the end of its long long life and when that happens, a star has one of two options. It can go out nice and peacefully, or go supernova taking everything around it with it. We believe that Betelgeuse will be taking its system with it as it becomes a supernova. When that happens, although we are 640 light years away, we will see it. In fact, we will see it in the day. This may slightly resemble having 2 suns, resembling the famous scene of "A New Hope".
       There is a chance that our ancestors had seen this before. We have documented reports of being able to see a bright star in the daytime from a bit under 1000 years ago. The Chinese from that time period left records of what we can tell is a supernova. We have detected isotopes in Antarctica that support what we believe the effects of a Super Nova might be on planet earth.
       Can a Supernova hurt us? Most of the time no, however there is a type of supernova that arises from white dwarfs  that may cause damage to the biosphere. It is believed to have happened long ago and caused a mass extinction in oceanic life. The effects of these will cause the ozone to be converted into something less protective allowing harmful radiation to reach the Earth's surface. This will most likely be unpredictable.

      There have been many suggested reports that the Betelgeuse star will be noticed this year(2012) but that claim lacks evidence. We do know that it will occur, but its exact time is unknown. It could be soon, or maybe it will be many more years. I'm sure those lucky enough to witness it will be enthralled. Seeing a star so bright it can be seen in the day time would be absolutely incredible. Just keep your eyes on Orion and maybe you'll be the first to witness a once and a lifetime supernova as we say goodbye to many peoples favortie star, Betelgeuse.

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