Betelgeuse is usually the tenth-brightest star in the night sky and, after Rigel, the second-brightest in the constellation of Orion. It is a distinctly reddish semiregular variable star whose apparent magnitude, varying between +0.0 and +1.6, has the widest range displayed by any first-magnitude star. At near-infrared wavelengths, Betelgeuse is the brightest star in the night sky. Its Bayer designation is α Orionis, Latinised to Alpha Orionis and abbreviated Alpha Ori or α Ori.
At a mere 430 light-years away, Betelgeuse has a distinctively reddish glow and is one of three stars that make up the Winter Triangle asterism, and it marks the center of the Winter Hexagon.
Betelgeuse is a extremely brilliant, supergiant star. The star will ultimately have to pay a costly price for its brilliance. The star will become a Supernova. Supernovas are the dramatic death of giant stars.
So… Yes, an explosion is in Betelgeuse’s destiny.
What will happen to the Earth when Betelgeuse turns Supernova? A Betelgeuse supernova will have little or no adverse effects on Earth. Our planet is too far away for an exploding Betelgeuse to do us any harm. Experts say that we would have to be within 50 light-years of a supernova to harm us. There’s approximately 10 times that distance between the Earth and Betelgeuse.
Would a person be able to see it from Earth? A person of the planet would see an amazing sight in the night sky, an extremely bright star. It will possibly be as bright as a full moon for a few weeks or months, and would probably be visible in broad daylight.
Will Betelgeuse explode? There is a strong possibility.
When will this happen? Possibly tomorrow, or millions of years in the future. No one really knows.
Rod is a blogger, writer, filmmaker, photographer, daydreamer who likes to cook. Rod produces and directs the web series, CUPIC: Diary of an Investigator. He is also the editor, producer and administrator of TNC Network.