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Sensational Betelgeuse

Betelgeuse is a current topic for sensational news stories warning us about its imminent catastrophic supernova explosion.

Based on its observed behaviors, such an outcome is very unlikely. There is a big difference between a variable star in a rhythm of variability and an abrupt explosion.

excerpt from Wikipedia:

Betelgeuse is a distinctly reddish semiregular variable star whose apparent magnitude, varying between +0.0 and +1.3, has the widest range displayed by any first-magnitude star. At near-infrared wavelengths, Betelgeuse is the brightest star in the night sky.

Spectral type: M1-M2

Absolute magnitude: -5.85

(excerpt end)

Belelgeuse is known to be variable. Variable stars are found in a region of the H-R diagram called the instability strip.

These giant stars have a periodic change in brightness and range from spectral types F+1 to K-7.
If Betelgeuse were K not M (they are adjacent) then Betelgeuse is in this strip. As an M type, it is slightly out of the strip in the Wikipedia figure.

I expect this strip is a rough estimate without explicit limits on its criteria.

Betelgeuse is just a variable star like others of similar giant star types.

A supernova is the result of a double layer collapse near the surface of the star.
That event has nothing to do with this variability.

I posted about a supernova vs a variable star on January 24, titled: Significant Stellar Variations in Brightness.

A supernova appears to be random.
That Betelgeuse is a variable star does not increase its likelihood of a supernova.

These supernova stories are just silly sensational attempts for attention.

Our Sun varies slightly but that is not newsworthy.
Betelgeuse is much closer than distant black holes threatening us.
Betelgeuse became our new threat for the less informed public.

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