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Dimming On Betelguese


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#1 Timboo

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Posted 08 February 2020 - 05:03 PM

If Betelgeuse keeps dimming without getting brighter again is that a sign it is dying and will go supernova?

#2 Mutex

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Posted 08 February 2020 - 09:44 PM

It might be, or it might not, that's about the best science can do at this point, in other words your guess is as good as any scientists guess.

 

The problem is we don't really have any evidence to support that happening, it's just speculation.

 

It's like trying to explain the big bang, we don't really have a clue at all about if or how the big bang happened, we have never experienced that happening as such we have nothing to compare with. In science this means we have no 'control' experiment. 

 

So it leaves it open to almost complete and pure speculation and guessing, so my guess is as good as your guess is about the most scientific we can get.

 

This would not be the case if there was a solid body of data and knowledge about how stars behave before going supernova, or universes starting up. 

Just as we have never directly observed a galaxy rotate, or the universe expanding, or the birth, life and death of a star! We see different starts (possibly the same type) starting, living and dying, we've never actually seen the whole thing.

 

We just guess these things based on scant evidence, sometimes we might get it right, sometimes we may be way off.

 

But if Betelgeuse does go supernova, it will be one of those mega historical things for the world to see, like being alive to see Haleys Comment return. I will be having a look for sure.. 



#3 Timboo

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Posted 09 February 2020 - 08:51 AM

So the constant dimming can be really bad for us then

#4 Mutex

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Posted 09 February 2020 - 09:20 AM

So the constant dimming can be really bad for us then

 

I think it is actually really good, if (or even if not) it goes supernova, the data we collect now before it happens will add greatly to the body of knowledge about stars, we do not really know all that much about stars (Sun's) and how they work. So seeing one doing something new and different will add to what we know....



#5 Timboo

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Posted 09 February 2020 - 09:26 AM

Yes but as you said nobody knows, if it does go supernova what could happen to us here at 650 light years away?

#6 Mutex

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Posted 09 February 2020 - 10:21 AM

Yes but as you said nobody knows, if it does go supernova what could happen to us here at 650 light years away?

 

Nothing at all, except we might get a good show, apart from probably being able to easily see it by eye only there will be no other impact on the earth, it's just way too far away to effect us. So it might/will be great to see, and once in a lifetime thing, and science will learn some more things.