Saturday, April 02, 2016

Betelgeuse, the big red star.

Orion constellation

Betelgeuse, also pronounced and spelled Beetlejuice, is the second brightest star in the Orion constellation. It's not a very happy star and is expected to expire within the next million years or so. According to current scientific thinking this will result in it first collapsing in on itself because of a fuel shortage in one form or other then bouncing back in a Supernova.
Betelgeuse isn't too close to Earth with estimates ranging between 430 light years and ending within the 650 light year range. In other words it takes light, traveling at 186 000 miles per second, up to 650 years to reach us from there, that's quite far actually. But Betelgeuse is a rather large star, about 200 million times the volume of our sun, the thing about such a large star is that it is burning fuel at an enormous rate so, while our sun is billions of years old, Betelgeuse is only about ten million years old. It is also huge; if it were to replace our sun at the center of our solar system the edge would be somewhere between the asteroid belt and Jupiter. It's what is known as a red supergiant star (very appropriate description in my view) with a somber orange-red color. You can see it in the Orion constellation and is the right shoulder star, easy to identify as it is the second brightest star in Orion.
I couldn't find the name Betelgeuse in the Bible but Orion is there in the book of Job 9:9 and Job 38:31 also in the book of Amos 5:8.
This star has fascinated astronomers since time immemorial and I highly recommend having a look at the following web sites; Earthsky.org  and Space.com
I have thoroughly enjoyed researching this post and even though I know it's for a short post on my part, researching it has been immensely educational.
Blessings from Geoff.

2 comments:

  1. Geoff, if God created the sun, the moon, and the stars at the same time ("God made the two great lights, the greater light to govern the day, and the lesser light to govern the night; He made the stars also." Genesis 1:16), how can the sun be billions of years old and Betelgeuse be only about 10 million years old? Did the sun shine at day and the moon at night, but no stars?

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  2. That is an intriguing question Joy. I must admit that I do not have an answer for you at this stage but will do some serious thinking about this question. I've been thinking about it for two days now and haven't yet come up with any explanation other than that God hasn't ever stopped working. John 5 verse 17: Jesus replied, "My father is always at his work to this day and so am I."

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