Travel Inside a Double-Star System Brighter Than Our Sun
If I could choose one star to go supernova during my lifetime, it would be either Betelgeuse—the red giant marking Orion’s right shoulder—or Eta Carinae, one of the biggest, weirdest stars in the sky.
A blown-up Betelgeuse would be easier to see from my house on the U.S. West Coast, but Eta Carinae annihilating itself would be an incomparably spectacular sight: a super-duper nova that astronomers say could be visible from the Southern Hemisphere during daylight hours.
If we’re lucky, that’ll happen soon, but forecasts for Eta Carinae’s ultimate demise aren’t entirely reliable just yet. The star could blow today or 10,000 years from now, or maybe it already exploded a few thousand years ago and, thanks to its distance from