We won't see the Betelgeuse explosion in our lifetime
Contemporary astronomers still look forward to watching a supernova come live. For some years now, some star scholars have speculated that Betelgeuse, a supergiant in the constellation Orion, is on the verge of "death." For Meridith Joyce, astrophysicist, it would be a spectacle that could provide the opportunity to “study what happens” when stars like this explode.
According to latest calculations carried out by scientists, there would be more or less 530 light years between us and the celestial giant. The event, if it occurs in our lifetime, will be visible to the naked eye and in broad daylight, but we are still far enough away to feel the heat of the explosion.
Unfortunately, the astronomers of our generation will probably not be able to attend this impressive scene.
Great disappointment of astronomers
The second brightest star in the earth's sky has been observed for many years through the most efficient telescopes available to researchers. They noticed glaring variations in its light intensity, making them think that it would soon be at the end of its life.
However, Meridith Joyce and her team discovered that the star "is burning helium in its nucleus at the moment". A clue that the long-awaited explosion is still far from happening. László Molnár, astronomer at the Hungarian Observatory in Konkoly, said astronomers are "all a little disappointed" with the situation.
See also: The magnitude of Betelgeuse continues to decrease
A star that is not ready to go 'turn off
Different changes in brightness can be understood in two different ways. The first explanation is that, like our sun, the red giant is traversed by waves of pressure, rippling within its mass. The powerful molten core circulates gases, making the "star pulses" visible through the telescope.
We also know that Betelgeuse's activity is so intense that stellar dust envelops it at times. This forms a smokescreen, blocking its light radiation in the eyes of scientists, and making them think of a decline in activity.
Today, astronomers have deducedit is that Orion’s star still has plenty of time ahead of it. Joyce and her team estimate that it is still "100,000 years before an explosion occurs. "
See also: A new theory concerning the decrease in the luminosity of Betelgeuse