Betelguese’s Brightening Raises Hopes for a Supernova Spectacle
Betelgeuse, the red star at the shoulder of the constellation Orion, has been acting strange, raising hopes for the spectacle of a lifetime

In recent weeks, the star has at times shone more than 50 percent brighter than normal, drawing renewed attention from amateur sky watchers and professional astronomers alike. They hopefully await a historic celestial event. Someday, Betelgeuse will explosively end its life in a supernova—and from our planetary perch just 650 light-years away, we Earthlings will have front-row seats to this spectacular cosmic cataclysm.

Here’s an image that gives an idea of Betelguese’s size:


Any idea if the supernova would be visible from Earth? It would be amazing to experience something like this close enough for us to watch.

It would! It is speculated that the supernova would be at its brightest for several weeks to a few months. It would appear as a star with the brightness of the Moon concentrated into a single point. We would see it during the day for several months to a year afterwards and we’d see it at night for a few years afterwards until it faded.

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