Red Star
Image from Wikimedia Commons.

Reports are emerging that the planet Earth may have two suns in 2012. A nearby star, Betelgeuse, is in the process of dying and it is likely to go supernova when it collapses. The Earth will not be in the line of fire, but it may get a spectacular light show.

Possibility of Earth having two suns

There is a rumor that the planet Earth will have two suns and it will cause 24 hours of daylight for a period of two weeks, according to the Daily Mail. A star in the constellation of Orion is showing signs of going supernova. The star, called Betelgeuse (pronounced beetle juice) is a red supergiant and is one of the brightest stars in the night sky. Australian astrophysicist Brad Carter, of the University of Southern Queensland, said in a recent interview that it could go supernova sometime in the near future, and the year 2012 got involved somehow.

Betelgeuse, Betelgeuse, Betelgeuse

If our sun were replaced with Betelgeuse, it would take up so much room that Jupiter would be close to its surface. Similar stars have too much mass and energy to simply blink out of existence and typically become supernova. The core of a star in supernova collapses into itself, triggering a perpetual state of collapse due to the enormous mass and gravity involved, and becomes a black hole. However, because Betelguese is about 600 light years away, according to CBS, there is minimal chance much of its light will be seen from Earth when it goes supernova.

Where 2012 comes in

The Mayan Calendar ends in the year 2012, which has sparked discussion for some time now. No serious Mayan scholars give it any credence. A supernova 600 light years away can’t do any harm to the Earth, so 2012 theorists might as well put the Betelgeuse baby to bed.

Sources

Daily Mail on twin suns: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1349383/Earth-second-sun-year-supernova-turns-night-day.html?ITO=1490

CBS article debunking the idea of twin suns: http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2011/01/21/tech/main7269888.shtml

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