Is this worth pondering as another worry on our plate? A year or so ago astronomers were saying “Don’t worry (much) about Betelgeuse going supernova any time soon,” despite the earlier nerves set off by the Great Dimming Episode. Now? A new paper says “Never mind that nevermind!”
This is from the conclusion: “We conclude that Betelgeuse should currently be in a late phase (or near the end) of the core carbon burning. After carbon is exhausted in the core, a core-collapse leading to a supernova explosion is expected in a few tens years.”
Yipe, do bear in mind there are many sage astronomers who disagree. Anyway, we’re told that 150 pc seems a reasonably safe distance. It’d need to be within 50pc (160 light years) to have appreciable effects, except maybe to astronauts. Uh, one hopes. Still here’s an interesting question! Ron Paludan on my FB feed asked “Do we know of any other stars with probable exoplanets that would be closer to Betelgeuse?”
Good one! I’d give it high priority! In fact I am making this an open call for anyone out there to check which known exoplanets might be closest to Betelgeuse! It should be easy to start by eliminating any that aren’t in the upper half of Orion!
If we do find a life world in the danger zone, then it suddenly becomes among our top reasons to forge ahead to interstellar flight! What better job for our g-g-grandkids than as protectors!
Don’t stop here! There’s more at: CONTRARY BRIN: Space updates – mostly great science… and a bit of UFOs