Earth ‘to get a second sun’

January 23rd, 2011 - 5:29 pm ICT by IANS  

London, Jan 23 (IANS) The Earth could soon have a second sun, at least for a week or two.The cosmic phenomenon will happen when one of the brightest stars in the night sky explodes into a supernova.

And, according to a report, the most stunning light show in the planet’s history could happen as soon as this year.

Earth will undoubtedly have a front row seat when the dying red super-giant star Betelgeuse finally blows itself into oblivion, the Daily Mail quoting the Australian website reports.

The explosion will be so bright that even though the star in the Orion constellation is 640 light years away, it will still turn night into day and appear like there are two suns in the sky for a few weeks. The only real debate is over exactly when it will happen.

In stellar terms, Betelgeuse is predicted to crash and burn in the near future. But that doesn’t necessarily mean you have to rush out and buy sunglasses.

Brad Carter, Senior Lecturer of Physics at the University of Southern Queensland in Australia, claimed Saturday that the galactic blast could happen before 2012 or any time over the next million years.

“This old star is running out of fuel in its centre,” Carter told

“This fuel keeps Betelgeuse shining and supported. When this fuel runs out, the star will literally collapse in upon itself and it will do so very quickly.

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