I have just read a quick article regarding the star Betelgeuse, which can be seen in the Orion constellation. Or it may not be seen there for much longer.
Apparently, it is only ten million years old, but already it is in a late stage of stellar evolution. Scientists are expecting it to go Supernova as early as 2012. Well, either then or sometime in the next million years…
If it does explode in 2012, we will all see the explosion on Earth, but it will be apparently harmless. The night sky will be lit up brighter than the daytime is now, so that also means that the daytime will be considerably brighter.
This will have an effect on energy prices as consumers will not be using much electricity for their lighting, so firms will need to recoup their loss of revenue by increasing their tariffs considerably.
Black out curtains may become rare, so more and more houses will start to have wooden shutters placed on their windows, to enable the residents a normal night’s sleep.
24 hour daylight won’t last too long, as the star will start to fade, and normal light and darkness will return. However, I don’t think the energy prices or black out curtain prices will return to their pre-explosion prices.
So, remember, if you wake up at 2 o’clock one day in 2012 (or some time in the next million years) and it is light outside, you may not have overslept. Don’t panic. Reach for your sunglasses before you go outside. And don’t look directly into the star. You probably won’t miss it, but don’t look at it. Just keep calm and carry on. And wish Betelgeuse a good night.