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A lethal Christmas star

There was an ugly rumour that the giant red star, Betelgeuse, that is the right shoulder (on the left as you look at it) of the constellation Orion is "about to" go supernova. The rumours seemed to have started earlier in the year when observations suggested that Betelgeuse had changed shape, a sure sign of imminent explosion. Phil Plait apparently debunked the claims on his BadAstronomy blog.

But what difference would it make to us if the star whose name is derived from the Arabic phrase "armpit of the white-belted sheep" were to explode?

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Dec 24th, 2010 at 08:04:28 AM EST

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