25 January 2011
A new sun in the sky soon, maybe, perhaps.....
A few days ago the Telegraph carried a short item about a supernova that could provide the biggest light show since Earth was formed – so bright that night will become like day for one or two weeks.
The star Betelgeuse, 640 light years away from Earth, is a red supergiant, meaning that it is nearing the end of its life and is due to explode. When it does it will burn so brightly that the earth will appear to have two suns in the sky.
Well that sounds great. I can’t wait to see that display! Hold on there s one small turd in the swimming pool: astronomers are not quite sure when it will go supernova. Brad Carter, senior lecturer of physics at the University of southern Queensland in Australia, said the explosion could take place before the end of the year – or indeed at any point over the next million years.
A million years? I won’t wait up then.,,, (Sighs)