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571: Extreme Binaries
Beetlejuice able juice could use. Try Our weekly facts based journey through the cosby help. You understand not only what we know but how we know what we know. I'm Fraser. Cain publisher of University with me as always Pamela. Gay a senior scientist for the Planetary Science Institute and the Director of Cosmic West. Hey Pamela I'm doing well. How are you doing fraser? I'm doing great and I mentioned this in the preamble but I just wanted to say this again. Which is a huge congratulations to our good friend. Dr E-e-e-e-no Neil who just announced that he's going to be working at NASA jet propulsion lab in their media department in is terrific science journalist. One of the best in the business and it's a pretty good fit that he's now working over at NASA he was the editor for the Astronomical Society of the Pacific's Mercury He has been a columnist for discovery and seeker. He did work with us at Universe today. And and this is great. Congratulations Ian Android. GonNa take the next two weeks off. I'M GONNA call it spring break. I'm not going anywhere. I'm just going to be writing software but you sir are going on a grand adventure. Yeah I'm going to Japan with my son and there is. This is not work. This is literally just him. I said where do you WanNa go and he goes? I want to go to Japan and then I waited for cheap tickets to come around and he did and so we're off to Japan of course rough Japan when there's a corona virus of but you know we'll take precautions and it doesn't look like it's that bad they're currently so And I can't wait to see this place. I've wanted to go to Japan all my life and to be able to do. This is going to be a lot of fun. Definitely take pictures. Might Visit a few spacey. Things like the Japanese space agency but this is about. This is about his trip. Not You know now. My trip are able see. You might be surprised to hear that we've never done episode of astronomy cast featuring beetlejuice. Were good news. This is that episode. Let's talk about the Star. Why it might be dimming. And what could happen if it explodes as Super Noah I? I've had to do a search for I actually You know wrote on my intro and I think we suggest that wanted to pursue put on the calendar and like all of this time. We've talked about a Ryan. We've talked about the way stars die and we've obviously mentioned bill many times as a candidate for new supernova but had never actually spent a whole episode on this one specific star. Well obviously good timing on our part because it's so interesting right now So what does beetlejuice? It is a red supergiant star that is visible to both the northern and Southern Hemisphere. We have no hemispheric bias. In choosing this star it has evolved off the main sequence which means it is no longer burning hydrogen in its very core and it probably did this only about a million years ago and now it is systematically burning through heavier and heavier shells of elements deep in its well. Many many solar mass self as it hangs out shining bright in the northern winter and the southern summer and it is. It is a Ryan's right shoulder. I mean when you look at it. Looks like it's on the left but if you were a Ryan and you were facing towards us than it would be his right shoulder and there's some fascinating history on its name and I have to admit I went down a little bit of a rabbit hole. Prepping for this episode. It's it's name is Arabic and yes over. The years has probably been missed. Transcribed so that there are those who believe that it translates as a Ryan's armpit right and this can be caused by dropping a little dot under one of the characters at wrong moment in time It probably has a much better name than a Ryan's armpit. This is still up for a fair amount of discussion. We'll actually one of our one of our viewers Rami amid who speaks Arabic. He's saying that it is the name comes from the Arabic Abbott L. Josiah which literally means the armpit of the mighty hunter so that sounds better than Orion armpit. It's of the mighty hunter it's true. It's yeah true and we. We're going to mispronounce it and of course. The hilarious thing is is how people give us such a hard time. Because they're expecting that it should be beetlejuice. Yes but and we tend to say bail juice and that is. That's a little bit of a holdover from. I think the way they used to describe it before the movie came out. Seattle has has shifted it to Beatlemania. Even that isn't correct so so maybe we can after. The fact may be get Susie to get maybe Romney or someone to do the proper Arabic pronunciation in the show and then you know then that conserve as the as sort of the standby and I've heard a lot of people like even the German say people are say that well. Actually it's a German word but it's not no near Bec- yes it comes from. Yeah it's has an Arabic root so anyway. Yeah so we're going to say bill. And maybe even shifted beetlejuice every now and then Please just just bear with us and however you choose to pronounce it. This isn't an object that was strictly noted and observed by a people living around the Mediterranean Ocean. This is an object that it's variable in its brightness as all of us can currently go out and see and this variability appears to have. I been noted by the aborigines of Australia. It it is a star crops up in the Lore of society after sisters after society but the science the awesome saw. Science is why we're here today because when you ask which objects in the sky are most likely to go boom. This is one of the two ADA crane has the other it is strictly southern hemisphere. Cirilli beetlejuice is the one we want so that all of us can enjoy the experience. And the problem is we don't know when this is going to occur but scientifically reproduced sure. It's not now right but you can hope to be wrong. Yes yes so. It's it's a random event. We'll talk about this a little bit about what's going on and how we might know but So I wanNA talk a bit about just what stage it is kind of star. It is compared to say a star like our Sun. So so how does this star compare to to our son? I radically different. Our our son is because it is ours. It is used as the measuring stick by which we well measure everything outright. It weighs one the Sun. Exactly yeah exactly one. The Sun Beetlejuice is estimated that when it was in the same of illusionary stages that our son when it was on the main sequence burning hydrogen in its core. It's estimated to have been just under twenty solar masses if we had seen it during that stage it would've been one of those bright blue o type stars like we love to enjoy in the Orion Nebula Orion is a massive star forming region. That entire swath of the sky is rich in all the things needed to make stars and there's lots of young stars in that direction well beetlejuice isn't necessarily young. It finished burning all of that hydrogen. But because it's so massive as it evolved off of the main sequence as it expanded out it didn't go through this massive flash that we see in smaller stars where it suddenly was like boom. I'M GONNA burn helium in my core instead because it was so massive it was able to gradually transition into doing this and as it did it just basically migrated sideways across the color magnitude diagram. That hurts been Russel Diagram ending up in the top center of that diagram being cool red and kind of unable to hold onto all of its atmosphere.