Which will be brighter when it supernovas - Eta Carinae or Betelgeuse?

  • I
  • Thread starter swampwiz
  • Start date
In summary, Betelgeuse is closer to Earth than Eta Carinae and is expected to be much brighter due to its proximity and the inverse square law. Eta Carinae, even though it is more massive, would still be significantly less bright than Betelgeuse. The exact outcome of the supernova of these stars is uncertain, with potential for a sub-luminous supernova, a superluminous supernova, or a black hole remnant. It is possible that reading Wikipedia beforehand may influence one's answer, but it is not certain.
  • #1
swampwiz
571
83
It seems that Betelgeuse is a lot closer, but even with its gargantuan size, it's still a lot smaller than Eta Carinae.
 
Astronomy news on Phys.org
  • #2
swampwiz said:
It seems that Betelgeuse is a lot closer, but even with its gargantuan size, it's still a lot smaller than Eta Carinae.
I'm pretty sure Betelgeuse will be a lot brighter. It is more than 10 times closer than Eta Carina. Because of the inverse square law, if they were the same intrinsic brightness, Betelgeuse would be more than 100 times brighter. As you say, Eta Carina is perhaps as much as 10 times more massive, but even if it is intrinsically 10 times brighter, it would still be 1/10 as bright as Betelgeuse.
 
  • #3
Here is what Wikipedia says:

As a single star, a star originally around 150 times as massive as the Sun would typically reach core collapse as a Wolf–Rayet star within 3 million years. At low metallicity, many massive stars will collapse directly to a black hole with no visible explosion or a sub-luminous supernova, and a small fraction will produce a pair-instability supernova, but at solar metallicity and above there is expected to be sufficient mass loss before collapse to allow a visible supernova of type Ib or Ic. If there is still a large amount of expelled material close to the star, the shock formed by the supernova explosion impacting the circumstellar material can efficiently convert kinetic energy to radiation, resulting in a superluminous supernova (SLSN) or hypernova, several times more luminous than a typical core collapse supernova and much longer-lasting. Highly massive progenitors may also eject sufficient nickel to cause a SLSN simply from the radioactive decay. The resulting remnant would be a black hole since it is highly unlikely such a massive star could ever lose sufficient mass for its core not to exceed the limit for a neutron star.

So we don't know.

If you read Wikipedia first, why do you think our answer would be different?
If you didn't read Wikipedia first, why not?
 
  • Like
Likes Dragrath

What is a supernova?

A supernova is a powerful explosion that occurs when a massive star reaches the end of its life and collapses in on itself. This explosion releases an enormous amount of energy and can briefly outshine an entire galaxy.

What is Eta Carinae and Betelgeuse?

Eta Carinae and Betelgeuse are both massive stars that are nearing the end of their lives and are expected to go supernova in the relatively near future. Eta Carinae is located in the Carina constellation and Betelgeuse is located in the Orion constellation.

Which star will be brighter when it supernovas - Eta Carinae or Betelgeuse?

It is difficult to predict which star will be brighter when it goes supernova. Eta Carinae is currently brighter than Betelgeuse, but Betelgeuse is a larger star and may release more energy in its explosion. It is also possible that both stars will have different types of explosions, making it difficult to compare their brightness.

When will Eta Carinae and Betelgeuse go supernova?

It is impossible to accurately predict when a star will go supernova. Both Eta Carinae and Betelgeuse are expected to go supernova in the relatively near future, but it could be tomorrow or it could be thousands of years from now. We can only observe and monitor these stars for any changes that may indicate an imminent supernova.

Will the supernova of Eta Carinae or Betelgeuse affect Earth?

It is unlikely that the supernova of Eta Carinae or Betelgeuse will have any significant impact on Earth. These stars are located at a safe distance from our planet and their explosions are not expected to cause any harm. However, they may provide a spectacular show for astronomers and stargazers.

Similar threads

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
Replies
1
Views
960
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
Replies
8
Views
2K
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
Replies
22
Views
3K
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
2
Replies
35
Views
32K
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
Replies
2
Views
1K
Replies
3
Views
510
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
Replies
7
Views
2K
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
4
Replies
125
Views
4K
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
Replies
8
Views
2K
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
4
Replies
109
Views
4K
Back
Top