– January 27, 2020 – Science
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- Betelgeuse, the star that could become a supernova, has a Twitter account that’s way too funny.
The possibility that the star Betelgeuse could become a supernova inspired the creation of a fun Twitter account. @IsBetelgeuseOK personifies the star: the star gives news and tells about its celestial adventures.
For several weeks now, the behaviour of a star in the sky has intrigued the scientific community. Could Betelgeuse, a big star, soon explode as a supernova in the sky? Although this is unlikely to happen, the interest in Betelgeuse was enough to create a parodic Twitter account.
Active since January 16, 2020, the @IsBetelgeuseOK account publishes in English news about the star, as if it could talk to us. The red supergiant is located in the constellation of Orion, whose shoulder it seems to represent. The account description mentions this and adds that Betelgeuse feels “dizzy” and that she has “a little peckish“. The star thus personified publishes a daily status to confirm that it is still a star and that, no, it has not yet exploded.
A massive star like Betelgeuse goes through several stages in its evolution: at an advanced stage, it explodes and becomes what is called a supernova. The luminosity of the star, which is weakening, can be interpreted as a sign that the star could explode. Nevertheless, other explanations are possible (the star could expel matter in large quantities, for example). The probability, however small, that Betelgeuse will explode is fascinating, because if it did, our view of the sky would probably change.
One of the first tweets on the account is, for example, “Hello! Greet each new day as if you were not about to collapse and explode“. Shortly afterwards, @IsBetelgeuseOK tweeted a very long “AAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHH”, presented as a “test of the supernova warning system“.
Account publications also feature stars close to Betelgeuse, such as Rigel in the constellation of Orion. “The only positive thing about becoming a supernova is that I’ll never have to play Uno with Rigel again,” it says. Rigel is a star that seems to form Orion’s foot in the sky and Betelgeuse is enjoying it: “Rigel sucks her thumb when she sleeps. Actually, it’s a foot so, his big toe, which is the thumb of the foot, so… his thumb toe? »
Aldebaran. // Source: NASA, ESA, and STScI. (photo cropped and annotated)
Betelgeuse also seems to have a weakness for Aldebaran, another star in the constellation of Taurus. @IsBetelgeuseOK is thinking of “sending hydrogen” to be noticed by Aldebaran. The star even composed a little song to declare his love for her: “Aldébaraaaaaan / You are the best / You shine so brightly / My love, I can’t fight“.
At the time of writing, the @IsBetelgeuseOK account has over 1,300 subscribers. While we wait to learn more about the fate that awaits the real star, the celestial adventures of its twin on Twitter should help to wait.