Oct 31

Betelgeuse, Betelgeuse, Betelgeuse…

In honor of Halloween here’s a pun of a post.  Reminiscent of the 80’s movie “Beetle Juice,” here’s its astronomical namesake, Betelgeuse.  This star is a red supergiant of spectral type M1-2 and one of the largest stars visible to the naked eye.  If Betelgeuse were at the center of our Solar System, its surface would lie beyond the asteroid belt and it would engulf the orbits of Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars!

Less than 10 million years old, Betelgeuse has evolved rapidly because of its large mass and is expected to end its evolution (life) with a supernova explosion, most likely within 100,000 years.  In astronomical terms, that’s really soon!

Orion Constellation Map. Betelgeuse circled in orange.

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