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Betelgeuse May Never Explode

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#1 ILikePluto

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Posted 22 January 2020 - 09:20 AM

More evidence is emerging that not all red supergiants go supernova, which raises the possibility that Betelgeuse may fail to blow up:

 

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences:  url=https://www.pnas.org/content/117/3/1240?cct=1971


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#2 Astroman007

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Posted 22 January 2020 - 09:42 AM

Can't say I'd be happy to see the Hunter lose his shoulder, however extraordinary the display in death may be.

 

T Coronae Borealis, though, is another matter. Another outburst should be coming up in the next few years, I believe.


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#3 llanitedave

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Posted 22 January 2020 - 09:50 AM

The idea that Betelgeuse is actually a merged double with two cores is fascinating, especially if each core is below the threshold for a supernova.  I'm not sure about the mechanics of that arrangement, though.  If they've come close enough for the cores to merge inside the atmospheric envelope, what's to stop them from coming closer and combining into a single core that does have the mass required for a supernova?

 

--Edit:  Teach me to read the link before posting a response!  I was thinking of another article I recently read, which posits that Betelgeuse may be a combination of two stellar cores wrapped up in a single outer envelope.

 

The failed supernova idea is also pretty intriguing, but from reading this article, applying it to Betelgeuse may be a bit of a stretch.


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#4 Jim_V

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Posted 22 January 2020 - 06:51 PM

Time will give the answer. 


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#5 llanitedave

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Posted 22 January 2020 - 06:58 PM

Time will give the answer. 

And take it away!



#6 rockethead26

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Posted 23 January 2020 - 12:06 AM

Interesting that a star could be too big to supernova. Collapsing directly to a black hole is a wild concept, but it actually makes a little sense,. It would literally wink out of existence.



#7 CygnuS

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Posted 23 January 2020 - 12:00 PM

What'll they think of next?! 

The good news is that we wouldn't have to worry about X-rays and gamma rays here on Earth....if that was even a possibility or not. As I recall, scientists were all over the board trying to figure out if Betelgeuse could hurt us when it went SN. 



#8 ILikePluto

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Posted 01 March 2020 - 01:06 PM

The latest on Betelgeuse (interview starts around 1:00 mark)



#9 KiwiObserver

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Posted 05 March 2020 - 07:06 PM

Interesting that a star could be too big to supernova. Collapsing directly to a black hole is a wild concept, but it actually makes a little sense,. It would literally wink out of existence.

 

There was an interesting new paper on the arxiv yesterday about the apparent disappearance of a massive blue variable star in a nearby dwarf galaxy. The star was around 10^6 times more luminous than the sun, and in the latest observations of the galaxy the star's spectral signature has vanished. One possibility is that it was in an eruptive phase and has quietened down, the other is that it has collapsed directly into a black hole.  

 

incredible that something so massive and powerful could just vanish with no more impact than the loss of a point of light, or in this case not even that.  

 

https://arxiv.org/pdf/2003.02242.pdf



#10 FloridaFocus

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Posted 06 March 2020 - 10:48 AM

Would this collapse generate a gravitational wave, or any other phenomena that could be observed? My (uneducated) guess would be: possibly, but too small for us to detect with current technologies.



#11 DaveC2042

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Posted 06 March 2020 - 07:11 PM

Would this collapse generate a gravitational wave, or any other phenomena that could be observed? My (uneducated) guess would be: possibly, but too small for us to detect with current technologies.


Good question.

You'd think so, but it turns out that the answer is no. A spherically symmetric disturbance cannot generate gravitational waves - this is Birkhoff's theorem. So, a star simply collapsing won't produce any.

You need something like a pair of objects rotating around each other.

(I'm making the assumption a star collapses in a spherically symmetric fashion. Of course this won't be exactly the case, but it should be near enough as makes no difference given how weak gravitational waves are.)

#12 llanitedave

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Posted 07 March 2020 - 11:58 AM

Maybe we should be watching Eta Carina first.



#13 Inkswitch

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Posted 17 March 2020 - 09:54 AM

Interesting that a star could be too big to supernova. Collapsing directly to a black hole is a wild concept, but it actually makes a little sense,. It would literally wink out of existence.

I'm embarrassed to say I do not remember the speaker's name.  There is a group in Columbus Ohio called Columbus Science Pub.  They meet at different bars that serve food and have a speaker give a presentation, it is open to the public.  My first visit to the Science Pub was about two months ago when they had an astrophysicist from Ohio State University give a talk about birth/death of stars.  He showed a series of pictures captured by the research team he leads.  It showed a star disappear, not in real time but the star was in an older image and not in a newer image, it was a Milky Way star.  He said they feel confident that it is the first recorded incident of a star going directly to a black hole.  His confidence has passed through my bias, he may have said "first visual", it is very possible that we have detected this via some other method (LIGO, radio, etc).


Edited by Inkswitch, 17 March 2020 - 09:57 AM.


#14 llanitedave

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Posted 17 March 2020 - 04:36 PM

Well, I'm getting tired of waiting!  I might just have to look at something else for just a minute...




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