Will the “supernova explosion” of Betelgeuse, 640 light-years away, really threaten the earth?

Death is a necessary experience for all things in the universe. Where there is life, there will be death, and human beings are no exception. For the extinction of human beings, the most likely saying is that asteroid impact on the earth and serious greenhouse effect. Recently, however, scientists have discovered that there is a third possibility of human extinction, namely “supernova explosion”.


So what is a supernova explosion?

“Supernova explosion” means that when a star whose mass is more than eight times that of the Sun runs out of fuel, it will collapse at high speed under the pressure of gravity, causing a violent explosion, and the explosion of this giant star will become a supernova.


It has been found that the flash of a supernova explosion will be brighter than that of the galaxy in which it is located. That is to say, if a star explodes, then the whole galaxy can be seen.


After the explosion, the ejected material will form nebular fragments, which will not emit light. But because there will be a flash when the explosion occurs, the flash and the fragments will float together in the universe, which can maintain tens of thousands of years of light.

In fact, in the universe, there are very few galaxies like our solar system with only one star, mainly with two or more stars. In other words, there are two stars in a galaxy circling around each other. If one star in this galaxy dies out and becomes a white dwarf, then the star will continue to absorb the material of another star.


Although the white dwarf is small, it has a large mass. It will absorb all the hydrogen and other substances from another star. At this time, its mass will be larger and larger. When its mass reaches 1.4 times the mass of the sun, it will explode. Because it has the same mass when it explodes, so the light produced by the explosion is the same, and based on this light, scientists can calculate the distance between the galaxy and the earth.


Recently, however, some astronomers can’t sit still because they found that a very large star close to us is about to explode.

When we look up into the night sky, we can see this star, Betelgeuse in Orion. This star is very large, its radius is as far from the sun to Jupiter, and its mass is about 20 times more than that of the sun.


We all know that the larger the mass of a star, the shorter its lifetime. So Betelgeuse’s lifetime is very short, only about 10 million years.


This year is just 10 million years old, so it will explode soon, and the scientific community will also “explode”. Recently, it has been found that the brightness of this star suddenly darkens, so scientists speculate that it may expand first and then contract. When it contracts to the extreme, it will explode.

When it shrinks in the middle, the atoms in the center are flattened, the electrons are pushed into the nucleus, and then the protons become neutrons, so the whole center has nothing but neutrons. In the end, a small star with a diameter of only about 20 kilometers was formed, and then it exploded. Everything in the outer layer was ejected to form a nebula.


Then there is a pure neutron left in the middle, which is called “neutron star”. It is different from any other planet. Our planet has sand and stones, and it is full of “neutrons”, and these neutrons are next to each other. Each cubic centimeter of material in this planet weighs several billion tons.


But because Betelgeuse is too close to us, only 640 light-years or so, if it explodes, the brightness of the supernova explosion we will see will be higher than that of the whole galaxy, so we can see two suns in the sky. The new “little sun” is not as bright as the sun, but much brighter than the moon. Its color is bluish white, and it will continue to shine for three months, so even the sky at night will be bright.

Astronomers pay special attention to this matter, because when it explodes, it will release a lot of nuclear radiation, that is, gamma rays. If gamma rays irradiate the earth, then the earth’s ozone layer will be destroyed in an instant, and ultraviolet rays will directly irradiate the earth, and organisms will be extinct.


And if this happens, human beings can’t hide underground or live on other planets, then they may be extinct here.

What do you think of this? Welcome to comment area.

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