Sunday, January 30, 2011

Will Planet Earth Have ‘Two Suns’ By 2012?

The scientific community is divided whether the possibility of having two suns–the second being the star Betelgeuse–in 2012 is indeed possible. Located 640 light years away, Betelgeuse is a dying star as it lose mass very rapidly. Once it dies and go supernova, it would produce a light so blinding it would be visible in our sky as a second sun, much like the planet Tatooine in the movie “Star Wars.” If the “apparition of a second sun” indeed would happen in 2012, the supernova would have happened about 640 years ago.

The speculation was first printed on an Australian news site, as stated by Dr. Brad Carter, a senior lecturer of physics in University of Southern Queensland. The story has since picked up by various prominent websites such as Huffington Post, CNN, and Time.

Other astronomers such as Phil Plait of Discover magazine contend that we will never know when Betelgeuse blows up. It could happen in a hundred thousand years from now or perhaps even not at all. And if it will indeed become a supernova, its distance from Earth makes it unlikely to produce a light as bright as our sun.
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