As many nighttime sky watchers are aware, Betelgeuse, which is one of the best star names in space (It's pronounced like Beetle Juice.), dimmed considerably in 2019 and 2020, prompting speculation that the red giant star might be about to go supernova. A supernova is a dramatic and massive explosion that happens when a very large star dies. For a supernova to happen to a star already close enough to be visible in the night sky on Earth, it would become brighter than anything else in the sky except the sun and moon for a few months before fading away.

Ancient records tell of past supernovas, one as recently as 1604. Unfortunately, a recent report in Nature Magazine reveals the recent dimming was due to a large cloud of dust released by the somewhat unstable star, suggesting Betelgeuse is unlikely to go supernova during our lifetimes.

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