Could Star Betelgeuse Be Dying?

The star Betelgeuse, as seen by the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array. (ALMA)

A Giant Star Is Dimming, Which Could Be a Sign It Is About to Explode

by Katherine J. Wu/

A long time ago in a constellation not that far away, a bright star rapidly dimmed—and 600 years later, astronomers detected the change on Earth.

The star Betelgeuse comprises the shoulder of the constellation Orion, and its abrupt change in brightness hints that it may be on the brink of death. If this star is indeed at the end of its life, it will not go gently into that good night. Before Betelgeuse blips out for good, it will explode in a supernova—a violent stellar cataclysm that could outshine the moon and make it visible even in daylight, reports Deborah Byrd for EarthSky.

The chances of this stellar explosion happening anytime soon are pretty low, says Jackie Faherty, an astrophysicist at the American Museum of Natural History, on Twitter. But the star’s recent spate of symptoms has prompted some speculation. Once among the ten brightest stars in the sky, Betelgeuse has grown progressively dimmer since October, dropping out of even the top 20, reports Nadia Drake for National Geographic. A supernova, some say, could be nigh.

The star’s brightness has flickered before. Betelgeuse is a red supergiant about 700 times as wide as the sun, positioned about about 600 light-years from Earth.

Read More:


We See The World From All Sides and Want YOU To Be Fully Informed
In fact, intentional disinformation is a disgraceful scourge in media today. So to assuage any possible errant incorrect information posted herein, we strongly encourage you to seek corroboration from other non-VT sources before forming an educated opinion.

About VT - Policies & Disclosures - Comment Policy
Due to the nature of uncensored content posted by VT's fully independent international writers, VT cannot guarantee absolute validity. All content is owned by the author exclusively. Expressed opinions are NOT necessarily the views of VT, other authors, affiliates, advertisers, sponsors, partners, or technicians. Some content may be satirical in nature. All images are the full responsibility of the article author and NOT VT.


  1. It would be a fallacy to think in terms of “any time soon” as the astrophysicist, Faherty states. If a Betelgeuse supernova is seen here on Earth anytime in the next 600 years, it will have meant the event already happened; it’s just taken that amount of time for the visible light to reach us. The “dimming” they’re witnessing happened six centuries ago.

Comments are closed.