When you wish upon a star

… better hope it doesn’t go kaboom.

I find this interesting, and suspect that many, if not most, people alive today may actually get to see this happen … as Betelgeuse shrinks, gravity effects will force the shrinkage to occur more rapidly. How exciting to be an astronomer when this occurs! Normally, we don’t know of nova before they explode; this time it appears that we’ll get to watch it on 600-year “tape delay.”

At that distance, I’d expect that we’d be ok, as long as it doesn’t send a death beam in our direction.

Update: You know, most 14-year-olds don’t get to discover their own supernova, let alone one that’s a new type of stellar phenomenon.

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