A new study conducted by a research team led by Ed Guinan, an astronomy professor at Villanova University has found a young, bright red star that is acting in a very erratic manner. This star named 'Betelgeuse' has been noticed dimming suddenly, and it indicates that this star is about to explode. Another possibility is that the star might be just going through a different, yet mysterious phase in its life.
The ninth brightest star in the sky is now in the 23rd spot
Guinan revealed that the brightness of Betelgeuse has been declining since last October, and now it is 2.5 times fainter than usual. This star was once the ninth brightest star in the sky and as its brightness started declining, it has now fallen to the 23rd spot.
It should be noted that Guinan and his colleagues have been observing stars since the 1980s, and this is for the first time that they noted such an aggressive dimming. Some experts believe that sudden dimming could be an indication of something extraordinary which is going to happen.
What is causing this dimming?
Betelgeuse is a star that is located at the shoulder of the Orion constellation. This star is almost 700 light-years away from the earth and Guinan believes that this star is a potential supernova candidate.
Guinan revealed that the Betelgeuse star is already nine million years old while the average lifespan of such stars is ten years. As per Guinan, the lifespan of Betelguese will end soon and most probably in another 200,000 or 300,000 years.
Can humans see the star explosion?
Even though the star explosion will not take place in our lifetimes, such an event that may happen even after one or two million years ago will offer a spectacular cosmic show to human beings living on the earth in the future. As per experts, the explosion will create a vibrant blue for three or four months in the sky, and it will take almost a year to fade out.
Even though the star explosion will not cause any direct dangers to life on the earth, experts believe that the ultraviolet radiation will damage the ozone layer on the earth's atmosphere.