Friday, January 21, 2011
It looks like earth could be in for a once-in-a-lifetime visual treat.
According to Dr Brad Carter, Senior Lecturer of Physics at the University of Southern Queensland, Betelgeuse — the second biggest star in the universe, will go super-nova before 2012, and when the gravitation collapse occurs, we will see a second sun in the sky.
A second sun is the stuff of science fiction lore. In 2010 and in Star Wars, the stories conceived of second suns visual from earth. This time, science fiction will become science fact.
“This old star is running out of fuel in its center. This fuel keeps Betelgeuse shining and supported. When this fuel runs out the star will literally collapse in upon itself and it will do so very quickly. It goes bang, it explodes, it lights up – we’ll have incredible brightness for a brief period of time for a couple of weeks and then over the coming months it begins to fade and then eventually it will be very hard to see at all.”
As expected, the web is being flooded with doomsday theories saying the impending supernova confirms the Mayan calendar’s prediction of the Armageddon in 2012.
The conspiracies aren’t helped by the word “Betelgeuse” being associated with the devil. Some people have already started stocking up on canned food.