Supergiant red star Betelgeuse is becoming dimmer and dimmer
Astronomers say the star is behaving as it may turn into a supernova, but that probably won't happen.
VILLANOVA, PENNSYLVANIA — Astronomers from Villanova University recently published an article noting that Betelgeuse in the constellation Orion has been significantly dimmer in recent months, leading some to speculate it could go supernova.
According to CNet, one possible explanation for the dimming is that Betelgeuse is out of fuel and has begun to collapse on itself resulting in a supernova explosion. Once the star explodes, the explosion would be visible during daylight and could even be brighter than the moon at night for a few weeks or even months.
However, astronomers say this is unlikely.
The other likely explanation is that because Betelgeuse is a variable star that has been dimming and brightening for a millennia, the dimming could just be the most significant dip in the past 50 years or so, which is a very short amount of time in the star's lifespan.
NASA's website states that Betelgeuse is over 1,000 times larger than our sun.
The star's radius is also big enough to encompass Jupiter and all four planets in our inner solar system: Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars, CNet reports.
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