Mayan Latest News
Second Sun for Earth
Betelgeuse is the second-brightest
star in the constellation Orion, and the ninth-brightest star in the night
sky, but it’s about to get a whole lot brighter. In fact, when Betelgeuse
goes supernova, Earth may be getting a second sun for up to a fortnight.
That means there may be 24 hours of daylight for up to two weeks! “This
old star is running out of fuel in its center,” said Dr. Bradley Carter,
physics lecturer of the University of Southern Queensland.
Just think: millions
of years from now, our sun will be the star that goes supernova and the
earth will be just another drifting planet. By the time that happens,
though, humanity will be spread throughout the stars and Hari Seldon will
have started The Foundation.
|| ”This fuel keeps
Betelgeuse shining and supported. When this fuel runs out the star
will literally collapse in upon itself and it will do so very quickly.
This is the final hurrah for the star. It goes bang, it explodes,
it lights up – we’ll have incredible brightness for a brief period of time
for a couple of weeks and then over the coming months it begins to fade
and then eventually it will be very hard to see at all.”
What prompted this speculation?
noticed that Betelgeuse, the second-biggest star in the universe, is losing
mass, indicating that a gravitational collapse is set to occur. "The star
will literally collapse in upon itself and it will do so very quickly,"
says physicist Brad Carter, as quoted by News.com. Earthlings will have
a "front-row seat" for the eventual explosion, says Alasdair Wilkins at
IO9. Betelgeuse, he adds, is "one of the brightest and biggest stars in
our galactic neighborhood — if you dropped it in our Solar System, it would
extend all the way out to Jupiter, leaving Earth completely engulfed."
So when is this explosion
going to happen?
While it's possible that
Betelgeuse will explode in 2012, the event "may not occur for a million
years," says William Lee Adams in Time. Other commentators are more openly
dismissive of the 2012 prediction: The "two suns" hype is a lot of hot
air, scoffs Ian O'Neill at Discover, and the theory of Betelgeuse's imminent
explosion — propagated partly by believers of a coming, Mayan-predicted
doomsday — is "complete garbage." First of all, "there is absolutely no
indication that the star will explode in the next year or so," and besides,
"even the most advanced telescopes and sophisticated computer models cannot
predict an exploding star with that precision."
When it does happen, will
it be bad for Earth?
No. Betelgeuse is too
far away to harm our planet and if it did someday appear as a second sun,
it would only shine a fraction as brightly as the one we're used to. Wilkins
says that, although uninformed observers are warning of dangerous ramifications,
"as with pretty much all doomsday speculation, you can just ignore it."