Saturday, March 19, 2011

Betelgeuse Explosion - Is It the End of the World?

The star Betelgeuse that is found in Orion's nebula has been thought by many end of the world supporters to be the means by which the world will end. The reason? The giant red star is pretty well guaranteed to explode at some point in time. That much is agreed upon by most experts in the field.

What is not mentioned by this end of the world folks is that the star is too far away to do us any harm when it does explode. Betelgeuse is actually located hundreds of light years away. If Betelgeuse was the method by which the world would end, it would need to be much closer according to the experts. Twenty five light years away or closer seems to be the distance that could be dangerous to us. Betelgeuse is not even close to being in that range.

What is known is that Betelgeuse will explode, and when it does it will be seen from all parts of the earth. Surely it will be seen and talked about on a regular basis, and the added brightness that would come about has been likened to a full moon. Some have said it would seem to be like a second sun, but that is an exaggeration. The star exploding would be seen, but not felt or heard.

Most end of the world folks feel that the world will cease to exist in the year 2012. This is based around the ending of the Mayan calendar, as well as religions that profess the end times are near. There is no scientific reasons for the date of 2012 being the time that Betelgeuse will explode. That is simply a prediction based upon the calendar.

Betelgeuse is huge, and certainly when it explodes it will be an event. Everyone in the world will see it and certainly there will be some that will fear it. The facts though say that Betelgeuse will not affect us in any way other than the fact that we will see it. End times are certainly coming, but the star Betelgeuse exploding will not be the end of the Earth as we know it.

This conjecture that has been perpetuated by end of the world followers has not picked up the full amount of steam that will likely be seen in the end. The truth is Betelgeuse could explode at any time. It could be today, or 100,000 years from today. That is beyond our understanding at the current time. Supernovas are not dangerous unless they are within a certain distance, and Betelgeuse is not so close that an explosion would cause that type of problem on Earth. This is not the first time that we have "faced the end of the earth" and it will certainly not be the last. The end of the earth is talked about in the Bible, and many think that we are approaching Christ's return. While this is certainly a possibility, the star Betelgeuse is likely not going to be involved in that event.

Rodney Southern is an article writer contributing articles to Hungry Scholar, with focus on science and technology related topics.

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