The Universe is too fat

The Universe: getting fatter by the second

The Universe: getting fatter by the second

Is the Universe a big fat couch potato, expanding by the hour?  Maybe the Universe might learn something from Betelgeuse, who’s losing mass and gas thanks to Weightlessness Watchers.  A salad might help too!

Listen here [2:30m]:

What’s the facts:

Astronomers have recently estimated the effective diameter of the Universe to be at least 156 billion light-years across, but we also know the Universe is expanding over a time, at a rate measured by Hubble’s constant.  It’s even accelerating in its expansion thanks to the repulsive force of Dark Energy.  But not everything in the Universe is expanding.  Betelgeuse, a bright red star that’s in the shoulder of the constellation Orion, has shrunk by about 15% over the past 15 years.  Betelgeuse is still a huge star, almost 1000 times wider than our Sun; indeed, if it was in the place of our Sun it would engulf the planets Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars.   Astronomers classify Betelgeuse as a red supergiant, 135,000 times brighter and 20 times more massive than the Sun.

Original air date 18 June 2009.


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