Star-crossed lovers can gaze upon this heart-red star for Valentine's Day

Written on 02/13/2021
Ciarán Mather

Romantics and astronomers alike will be treated to a beautiful red star glowing bright in the night sky this Valentine's Day.

According to the Nehru Planetarium in Mumbai, India, the red star known as Betelgeuse, which is usually hard to spot, will be visible in the sky at around 8:30pm.

Betelgeuse is a whopping 700 times bigger than our Sun and is located around 500 to 600 light-years away from Earth. 

The aforementioned Planetarium also generously included directions to view the red giant: 'Face south and look well above the horizon towards the Orion constellation made up of seven stars, including three stars in a row and four stars forming a rectangle surrounding it.' 

It added that Betelgeuse should be located in the upper left corner of the and has a distinctive red colour hue, similar to that of rose.

Some scientists believe that Betelgeuse's light is usually blocked because it threw some of its outer material into space. 

In 2019, the red giant appeared to be dimming, which prompted many scientists to wonder if Betelgeuse was on the verge of exploding as it became noticeably dimmer (at least, it was noticeable from an advanced telescope).

The good news is that this supernova will stay alive and kicking for another 1 million years, and even when it does explode, it wouldn't be able to harm anyone or anything on Earth, but it would be visible, even during the daytime.

Even if many couples can't meet up this Valentine's Day because of the pandemic, maybe they could gaze simultaneously at this beautiful star and know that they are still connected in some form.

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