Outdoors blog


Will Betelgeuse Become a Black Hole or a Neutron Star?

The Betelgeuse star will likely become a Neutron Star after it goes supernova based on its mass. It is not massive enough to become a black hole.

The massive star named Betelgeuse, which it shares with the brilliantly scary movie character, indeed earns it name in several ways. Like the character’s personality, the star is one of the largest and brightest stars in the night sky — this red supergiant is about 11 to 15 times the mass of our own Sun.

Also like movie character in Beetlejuice, the star has been the source of quite a number of fear now that its approaching the end of its life. With its proximity to our solar system, and the fact that it is estimated that the star will go supernova anytime within the next 100,000 years, the star certainly warrants the close attention it gets from astronomers. It is the second-brightest in the constellation of Orion.


Another speculation that has both scientists and the general public debating left to right is what the fate of the star will be after its exploded. Will it be a white dwarf? A neutron star? Or, does Betelgeuse have what it takes to collapse into a Black Hole?


What Are Black Holes?

There’s still a lot we don’t really know about black holes. Scientists are still at a loss as to understanding why the exist, how they come to be, and what actually happens to the things pulled into them. To put it simply, a black hole is essentially a place where gravity pulls so strongly that not even light can escape, hence they appear like black disks.


They can come in different sizes and are born in a number of ways. Stellar black holes, like the one Betelgeuse might become, are born when massive stars collapses in on itself during a supernova.


Can There Be a Betelgeuse Black Hole?

For a star like Betelgeuse, one of two outcomes after it dies are possible: its either it becomes a neutron star, or a black hole. Whether its one or the other depends on the amount of masses left over after the supernova event. If the remaining material in its central region is anything less than 3 solar masses, then in all likelihood Betelgeuse will rest in peace as a neutron star, and can be seen as a pulsar in our night sky. If the remains of Betelgeuse exceed 3 solar masses, than there is a possibility of a black hole of forming.


What Do Scientists Think?

The amount of remaining material left after the supernova depends on the size of the star’s core. Though scientists can’t rule out the possibility of a Betelgeuse black hole, they say it is quite unlikely because the star’s core simply isn’t big enough. Instead, most astronomers believe agree that the star is likely to end it its life becoming a neutron star – a collapsed core that has a mass equivalent to 10 to 25 solar masses and are some of the most dense objects in space.

This is how to say Betelgeuse. It is interesting that it is different depending on where you are.


With all that being said, the study of the heavenly bodies isn’t exactly an easy and straight forward matter. There is no way of exactly saying what will happen to the massive red supergiant after it ceases to be. It will probably become a neutron star.