Betelgeuse Probably Won’t Explode

~ January 24, 2011 ~

4 notes

by Kate

Sorry to be the bearer of unsensationalized news…

I’m beginning to notice a trend with these crazy space/science headlines that get everyone talking about the fate of the Earth and the end of the world. Though they usually start with a grain of truth, the stories end up being some quacky bullshit about the end of the world and the impending death of the human race.

I’ll be the first to admit that it would be awesome to have a Tatooine sky with two lovely suns, but this story about Betelgeuse exploding and the Earth having two suns isn’t news. It’s one of those “duh” science stories where reporters present something that’s been a scientific fact for decades as though we just discovered it.

Yes, Betelgeuse is in the late stage of stellar evolution. Scientists do expect the star to explode into a Type II supernova within the next million years. That means it might explode tomorrow or long after we’ve destroyed the planet and our species has died out.

So do me a favor, in the future. Don’t believe anything the Huffington Post says about science. There’s a reason they don’t have a Science tab on their home page. When Fox News is printing more truth than you, it’s definitely time to fire someone.

I do have a small consolation prize concerning dark matter.

Astronomer Sukanya Chakrabarti has worked out a method for detecting dark matter galaxies, and believes she has located the first one inside the Milky Way.

Deemed Galaxy X, this satellite dwarf galaxy is probably not composed entirely of dark matter, if it actually exists. Chakrabarti predicts the galaxy should contain a few stars, so astronmers should be able to look for that light to locate the galaxy.

Chakrabarti is continuing to test her method on galaxies with known sattelite galaxies.

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