This week we find out the distance between Betelgeuse and Bellatrex, how astronomers measure distance between objects, the possibility that an object could mess up the orbit of Earth, and the reason for different sizes of stars. If you’ve got a question for the Astronomy Cast team, please email it in to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll try to tackle it for a future show. Please include your location and a way to pronounce your name.
Distance between Betelgeuse and Bellatrex
- Betelgeuse is 640 lightyears from Earth (see bottom of linked article to see updated distance)
- Bellatrex is 240 lightyears from Earth
- Parallax: brightness and distance — UIUC
- Measuring angular distances — Vanderbilt U
- How Can We Measure Distances to Stars? — Cornell U
- Hipparcos Space Astrometry Mission
- Recent article on Belegeuse’s bow shock — Universe Today
- AC Episode 22: Variable Stars
Could an object coming through our solar system change Earth’s orbit?
- Discussion of changing Earth’s orbit — Physics Forums
- Moving the Earth: A Planetary Survival Guide — New Scientist
- Planet X is Not Nibiru — Universe Today
- No Planet X — Universe Today
Why are there different sizes of stars?
- Dr. Marc Rayman of JPL answers the question on The Space Place (transcript)
- Space Place podcast of Rayman’s answer
What are Pamela and Fraser most excited about in outstanding questions in astronomy?
Is is possible there isn’t dark energy?
- What is dark energy? — NASA
- Chandra observations confirm dark energy — Universe Today
- The Expanding Universe — SDSS
What are the surface of gas planets like?
- If Saturn and Jupiter are gas giants, could you fly through them? — NASA’s Space Place
- Gas Giants
How did Astronomy Cast get started?