Betelgeuse Supernova

1999. Acrylic on canvas panel. 22"x28".

Publication History

When a massive star nears the end of its life, it swells to a size many times that of our sun and finally explodes. This giant phase is brief compared to the entire lifespan of the star, yet it may last for many thousands of years.

The bright star Betelgeuse in Orion is a swollen, aged star which will eventually undergo a supernova explosion. Some astronomers believe that it could explode within our lifetime. If that happens, it may rival the brilliance of the full moon in the night sky. This scene depicts how the Betelgeuse Supernova might appear if it happens in the near future (the view is framed by our earth and moon, and includes the stars of Orion, the Hyades and others).



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