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Death of a Star




In a recent news a couple of weeks ago, National Geographic reported that one of the brightest star in the sky "Betelgeuse" is becoming a red star, a possible step of becoming a supernova to oblivion in the life cycle of star. It is one of the brightest star in the Constellation of Orion (A hunter in Greek Mythology) or in Bengali the constellation is known as "Kalpurush". This is a very conspicuous constellation and could be observed all around the world and has brought a lot of old memories of my father who taught me the planets, stars and their constellations in summer nights in Puri, India where we slept under the open sky to avoid the heat. I learnt about stars, planets, Big dipper, Small dipper and how to find the North star, etc. and Kalpurush or the Orion. In the first photo, I show the constellation and in the second how the astronomers visualize the "Kalpurush" or the Greek hunter in the constellation.

It is the star Betelgeuse which was one of the brightest star in the sky is becoming red and possibly dying. This star is a huge star many times the size of our Sun. National Geographic says that the star would swallow the Sun with Mercury, Venus, Earth and the asteroid belt. This star is still far away in the neighborhood of 600 light years and scientists say in an explosion we will not feel anything but we will be able to see the event. Like this star will become like a full moon before disappearing and one astronomer commented that it would be a "cool" sight. Now the question is will we be able to witness that ? A big question? It may happen in future or it may happen as we speak or it might have already happened and we are now seeing what happened 600 years ago !! Think about this. It could have started in 1420 AD and that was the Medieval age in Europe. That was the time when Babur invaded India and the beginning of the Mogul Empire. The Americas were yet to be discovered by Columbus. This leaves me a wonderful feeling that we must appreciate how big and expansive is OUR Universe.😮😮😮

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