So, there’s a woo-mah (you know, a rumor) that in 2012, our Sun will be joined by ANOTHER sun-like bright disk in the sky that people have been worshiping for millions of years. Our Sun, G2V, could possibly (theoretically) be competing for prime time sky space with the impending supernova of Betegeuse – some know it as Alpha Orionis.
The big rumor is that Betelgeuse is running out of betel-juice – which generally means that the fuel at the center of the star is diminishing. Once this happens, it’s pretty much curtains for the supergiant star. A few things could happen if the supergiant does its end-of-star death thing – one, it’ll turn into a massive black hole, or two, it’ll shower the Earth with neutrinos, or both. Scientists don’t really have a solid understanding of what exactly happens with a supernova, but they do know that it’s only something that happens with stars that have a mass of at least nine times larger than our Sun (G2V).
Some people are being ridiculous about this possible event, saying that it’s a sign of the 2012 Mayan Doomsday thing. While sometimes I think that it’s fun to pretend, this is a hunk of crap, methinks. You know that if I’m wrong about this theory, it doesn’t matter because we’re all dead.
A professor at the University of Southern Queensland talked about all of this in an article at News.Com.AU:
When that happens, we’ll get our second sun, according to Dr Brad Carter, Senior Lecturer of Physics at the University of Southern Queensland.
“This old star is running out of fuel in its centre”, Dr Carter said. “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.”
When this happens a giant explosion will occur, tens of millions of times brighter than the sun. The bad news is, it could also happen in a million years. But who’s counting? The important thing is, one day, night will become day for several weeks on Earth.
“This is the final hurrah for the star,” says Dr Carter. “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.”
The interwebs is being flooded with doomsday theories saying the impending supernova confirms the Mayan calendar’s prediction of the Armageddon in 2012.
Well, here’s a picture of two suns in the sky to relieve the fact that if I’m wrong in predicting that the Mayans are right about the whole end of the world thing, we’re toast: