Betelgeuse is located on the shoulder of the Orion constellation and is one of the brightest stars in the sky. It is classified as a supernova and is predicted to explode within the next million years. Because it is 640 light years away, Betelgeuse is too far for its eventual explosion to cause any damage to Earth.Continue Reading
The size of Betelgeuse fluctuates from 700 to 1,000 times the size of the sun. It has a surface temperature of 6,000 degrees Fahrenheit and is classified as a red giant. Red giants have used up all the hydrogen in their cores, turning it into helium. The helium makes the star larger, brighter and cooler. The red color is due to its lower temperature compared to other stars.
The red giant is the last phase before a star becomes a supernova. Becoming a supernova signals the end of a star's life. Stars progress through their life cycles at different rates, with heavier stars reaching the red giant phase more quickly than lighter stars. Betelgeuse reached the red giant phase at the age of 7 million years. The Earth's sun will not reach this phase until it is 10 billion years old. Larger stars become black holes after the explosion of the supernova.Learn more about Astronomy
Although a shooting star looks like a star shooting across the sky, it's actually a meteor, or small rock that hits Earth's atmosphere. Because of the speed at which the meteor, or meteoroid, is traveling it burns and releases a glow.Full Answer >
A group of stars in the sky that can be viewed from the Earth is known as a constellation. There are 88 known constellations that exist in the sky.Full Answer >
A circumpolar star is so close to one of Earth's two poles that instead of rising and setting like other stars, it seems only to revolve around one point in the sky. This effect is caused by Earth's rotation on its axis and can be seen at high latitudes.Full Answer >
Arcturus is one of the brightest and most easily recognized stars in the northwestern sky. Located in the constellation of Boötes, this orange giant is at its most prominent during springtime in the Northern Hemisphere.Full Answer >