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 Post subject: The Betelgeuse Supernova?
PostPosted: Sat Jan 08, 2011 11:59 am 
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Following Len's talk this week, I found this "prediction" of the expected luminosity of our "local" red-giant when it eventually goes bang:
http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20090610125346AAjYFhO

But surely this is a gross over-estimate?


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 Post subject: Re: The Betelgeuse Supernova?
PostPosted: Sun Jan 09, 2011 4:08 pm 
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I've just been in discussion with our resident Supernova Guru (Len), and he confirms that aType II (collapsing massive star) SN would have an Absolute Magnitude between -18 and -15.5.

So let's assume -16.5 for Betelgeuse...
Now this is referred to a distance of 32.6 light-years, but Betelgeuse is thought to be 640 ly distant - around 19 times further, so it would appear around 385 times (6.5 magnitudes) fainter.
Therefore its expected apparent magnitude would be around -10.

This would be not as bright as the Full Moon, but as a point-source (rather than an extended disc), it would look much more intense.
Perhaps a better comparison would be around 5.2 magnitudes (120 times) brighter than Venus?


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 Post subject: Re: The Betelgeuse Supernova?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2011 7:51 am 
interesting bit of info regarding this star ..... We had a visit to joderal bank last week and one of the main astronomers there was giving a presentation and was open to questions after. I asked if he thought that in our lifetimes, in his opinion, would we witness the explosion of Betelgeuse. His opinion, although he stressed not to take it as gospel as it is hard to predict these things due to the vast amounts of time involved whithin the life of a star, was that it is definatley at the end of its life and that yes, due to its recent activity, there is a very good chance we will witness this event in all its glory .......We live in hope.


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