Why is Betelgeuse 730 million times bigger than the sun? Scientist: maybe it swallowed up its “brother”

According to the book of heavenly palace in historical records:

As a white tiger, three stars straight, is for Hengshi, under the three stars, for, about punishment, to cut AI things, outside the four stars, about. Shoulder also, small three-star corner set, said the mouth, for the first tiger.


This passage means that there are three stars arranged horizontally in the sky, almost exactly on the equator. It is called Hengshi, that is, a stone for balance. Therefore, the meaning of Hengshi is the middle waist of the equator and the middle waist of the white tiger. These three stars are the symbol stars of Shensu, from which the name of Shensu comes.

Although 80% of the stars in the galaxy are much smaller than our sun, our sun is still pitifully small compared with some of the larger stars. In the winter night sky, we can see a very bright star on the shoulder of the famous Orion, that is Betelgeuse.

Here’s a simple way to popularize science. The word “Shen” is pronounced at the beginning, which means Samsung. The word in oracle bone inscriptions means that a person has three stars on his head. Later, in order to emphasize the appearance of Samsung, we added a three-point mark below. Three characters are made on the basis of the reference. The pronunciation of can comes from the meaning of participation.


Betelgeuse, also known as alpha Orion, is the 12th brightest star in the night sky besides the sun. It is a red giant with a diameter about 900 times that of the sun. In other words, 1.1 billion kilometers, 730 million suns can be placed in the body.

If it is located in the center of the solar system, its surface will go beyond the asteroid belt, and may reach and go beyond the orbit of Jupiter, completely sweeping away mercury, Venus, earth and Mars. But like all the other stars outside the sun, Betelgeuse is so far away that it looks like a single point of light.


Even at large telescopes, scientists tell us that Betelgeuse is a pulsing variable.

The surface area of stars also increases and decreases periodically, that is to say, the volume of Betelgeuse will change greatly, and it may even reach 1170 times of that of the sun.

Compared with the sun, Betelgeuse’s rotation speed is very fast, reaching 5.5km/s at the equator, while the sun’s speed is only 2km / s.


We know that there is a very important law in physics called the law of conservation of angular momentum. As the volume of a rotating object increases, its rotation speed will slow down.

In theory, the rotation speed of red giant stars should be relatively slow, but Betelgeuse is not only faster than the sun, but also its rotation speed is almost three times that of the sun. It’s incredible. In fact, it’s not just Betelgeuse. Scientists have found that some other red giants also have higher autobiographical speeds than theoretical.


Manos chazopoulos of Louisiana State University has always been very interested in this problem. He said that recent observations on massive main sequence stars show that a large part of them have relatively large rotation speed. The biggest one is 405km / s.

Using Guo Shoujing telescope, Chinese astronomers even found stars with rotation speed of 540km / s.

The star is located in the outer spiral arm of the Milky Way galaxy, about 30000 light-years away from the sun. The star is leaving its current location at a speed of about 120 kilometers per second, indicating that the star may have originated from binary interaction.


Due to the expansion of the host star’s body in the later stage of evolution, the star began to accumulate the host star’s material, thus speeding up its rotation. Finally, because the host star exploded as a supernova, the star was thrown out. NASA’s Kepler space telescope also found a large number of massive stars with rotation speed 18 times faster than the sun, or even more.

These stars are challenging the laws of human physics, and have been bothering many scientists. After long-term analysis and research, chazopoulos put forward his conjecture and published a paper. In the paper, he pointed out that the reason why Betelgeuse has such a high rotation speed is probably because it is formed by the combination of two stars.


Similarly, chazopoulos holds a similar view. In his paper, he said:

A binary system was ejected by its host cluster millions of years ago, and then merged. He pointed out that the merging of binary systems played a far more important role in the universe than scientists had ever known.

The current observation data show that 60% of the massive stars are members of the dual new system, and in these systems, most of the massive stars have interacted with their companions, and even one third of them have experienced the merging process of stars.


These findings tell us that star merging plays an important role in the long-term evolution of the rotation characteristics of massive stars.

For shensu4, his conjecture is:


About a few million years ago, Betelgeuse and its companion stars were in the OB 1 constellation Orion, with the main star about 16 times the mass of the sun. The mass of the companion star is about 2-3 times that of the sun. Later, for unknown reasons, the binary system was ejected. Chazopoulos believed that Betelgeuse was ejected from here, traveling between galaxies at a speed of 30km per second, forming a bow shock wave with a length of 40000 light-years.

As we have said, the bigger the star, the shorter its life span. The main star in the binary system first enters the end of evolution, expands into a red giant, expands to 200 to 300 times of the sun, and finally devours its companion star.

In this process, the new stars combined into one gain more angular momentum, and eventually form the phenomenon of high-speed rotation of today’s Betelgeuse.


Chazopoulos’s team pointed out that this explanation can not only explain why Betelgeuse has such amazing rotation speed, but also apply to other massive stars with high rotation speed.

In addition, they also put forward another conjecture, that is, the angular momentum of Betelgeuse was obtained when the two stars existed independently. It evolved later. But that’s not likely.


All in all, for these possibilities, at least one thing is right, that is, the merger of two stars may play an extremely important role in the universe, but it is a pity that we human beings are not satisfied with such a phenomenon. The understanding is not thorough enough. We can only understand this process through more observation and experimental simulation, but we can be sure that a lot of secrets can be found in this process, waiting for scientists to explore and solve.

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