Relaxing Universe Sandbox ² gameplay | Journey to Betelgeuse

Hi there, today I’m doing a gameplay
video and I’m going to be playing the game Universe Sandbox. I’ve done a few
videos like this on my channel in the past but it has been a little while
since I’ve done it. The vibe of the video is going to hopefully be quite relaxing
we’re going to have a little tour of the universe and have a look at some stars,
things like that, and hopefully you will learn some things along the way because
I’ll give you some commentary on the science that we’re talking about and so
maybe it’ll be a bit of a relaxing learning session for you. So to start off
with I want to open up a simulation of the nearest and brightest stars. We start
off with our Sun in the middle here but as we zoom out or rotate around we
can see all of these nearest and brightest stars and they’ve got their
labels on them, you can see some of them around here. So we’re just swimming
around in the stars at the moment. Now there’s one star in particular that I
want to try and find and let’s see if we can get there. The star that I’m trying
to find is one of the brightest in the night sky or at least it usually is. It’s
usually I think the tenth brightest in the night sky but you might have heard
at the moment it’s been in the news that our good friend over, there I can see him
in the background, Betelgeuse or as some say “Beetle Juice” and perhaps I’ll say
“Beetle Juice” for the rest of this video. He has been dimming lately so let’s go
and visit shall we, let’s fly over to the system here.
So Betelgeuse is like I said one of the brightest stars in the sky usually and
it’s in the constellation Orion if you ever see Orion you can see it
with your naked eye at night you might know sort of the shape of the body of
Orion and Betelgeuse is right on the shoulder or actually maybe the armpit as
the name Betelgeuse comes from an Arabic word for the armpit of Orion. You can
even see here on this little simulation that the star is fairly red, it’s got
this kind of rusty sort of color compared to you know even the stars in
the background, they’re a bit more blue or white even. So yeah a very kind of
reddish star and that is something that you can also kind of observe with your
naked eye and a lot of scientists throughout history have noted that this
is a very red star. However back 2,000 years ago Chinese astronomers in their
records they spoke about Betelgeuse as well the same star, they commented on it
being a bit of a yellow color and it seemed to not match up to what we see
today. And it actually could make sense that maybe two thousand years ago this
star was in a yellow supergiant phase and perhaps it has actually gone more
red since then. Betelgeuse was created in one of the stellar nurseries in Orion although
it has now been ejected it’s kind of a runaway star off doing its own thing and
it is actually traveling really fast so I think I read this traveling at 30
kilometers per second and it’s ejecting a lot of stellar material gas and that’s
creating a bow shock around it. It would have been formed
in a place where there was a lot of interstellar medium, necessary gas and
dust and things like that that you need to create stars and a lot of the other
famous stars of Orion would have probably been created in the same place.
So let’s get a feel for how big the star actually is. I’ll load up our solar
system here we are happily orbiting around the Sun, Earth there he goes.
So what we’re going to do is take the Sun and we’re just going to replace it
with Betelgeuse I believe that what I’ll need to do is to first delete our
Sun. So Sun delete and while the simulation is paused I
will go and find Betelgeuse and put it in the Suns place. We’ve got the center
lined up there we’ll place the star and I think it’s rather evident that we’re
going to have a problem here. As you see Betelgeuse is so large that
the giant that it is it’s completely encompassing the orbits of Venus, Mercury,
Mars, Earth, they’re all now within the star. Looks like Jupiter survived though
Jupiter’s out here now orbiting around Betelgeuse. Everything else inside of
Jupiter has already been completely swamped by the star and this would be
our new solar system if Betelgeuse was our star. So we’ve got Neptune out here,
Uranus, Saturn, oh Saturn survived too. So let’s run the simulation and see how
the orbits of these planets that remain would be affected. I can see some little
dots in there I guess that is the asteroid belt.
There goes Saturn flying in I can see some little flare-ups as planets and
things hit the star. Alright so Saturn’s gone
and Uranus, Neptune all starting to now change their orbits as we’ve got this
huge new mass in the solar system. So there we go that gives us a bit of an
idea of the size of the star it is about 10 to 20 times the mass of the Sun so
that gives you an understanding of why it’s affecting the orbits the way
that it is. Let’s go and look at some more stars though not just Betelgeuse,
we’ll come back to talking about Betelgeuse in a minute but first let’s
remind ourselves of you know just stellar evolution in general and the
life cycles of stars. To do that I’m going to load up a simulation of the
nearest 400 stars so here we are these are our neighbors. This is our stellar
neighborhood it’s quite beautiful when you move around and just see that we’re
really part of this lattice, really it looks like when you see it
like this, of stars and yeah these are only the nearest ones so there are much
more out there that the simulation just hasn’t been able to add. Let’s zoom out and
see as many as we can. There we go there’s our neighborhood so what I
really want to do is create a chart out of all these stars so let’s have a look
at our options. I think they are currently about to arrange themselves by
radius and create something that’s a bit nonsensical but what I really want is a
chart. Oh we can do an HR diagram so this is something you see when you’re
studying astronomy. The HR diagram or the Hertzsprung-Russell diagram is in every
astronomy textbook but we’ve just created one here out of our nearest
neighborhood of stars and we can explore it a little bit. This
diagram is essentially a plot between the absolute magnitude of a star, so if
we imagine an axis on the y axis which is increasing in brightness as we get
towards the top of the screen and along the bottom of the screen the axis would
be color or effectively the temperature of the star. If we have blue colors more
towards the left those are the hotter stars higher temperature and more
towards the right of the screen we will have the orange or red stars which are
actually a cooler temperature. So see if we can zoom in a little here we can see
that a lot of the stars are along this kind of central line here going up
through the middle on a bit of a diagonal. Now that is the main sequence
so there’s all of our stars and there our Sun will be somewhere in there as
well probably about midway up I would say. That’s the main sequence and it’s
kind of just a tool in astronomy to be able to classify stars by plotting them
on something like this but to also understand where a star might be in its
evolution or in its life cycle. So most stars would be on the main sequence and
stars spend most of their lives on the main sequence. This is the stage where
they are burning fuel they’re fusing hydrogen into helium. Once the star has
used up all of its hydrogen fuel it would exit the main sequence and perhaps
come up here like these stars. These would be our red giants and red
supergiants, these stars would be of reasonably low temperature but very high
luminosity so they’re very bright stars and they’re nearing the end of their
lives. Over here off the main sequence we have, if we can click on them, some blue
giant stars these are young and very hot stars. There’s a bit of a saying in
stellar astronomy relating to the lives of stars essentially it is “live fast and
die young” that kind of refers to these stars here
these big stars with a lot of fuel to burn they will burn that fuel very
quickly because they need to because of their size they need to be burning a lot
of fuel to kind of fight against this gravitational force that’s kind of
wanting them to collapse in on themselves so to fight that they need to
burn their fuel really quickly. So in a kind of way that might go against what
you’d expect, stars with more mass might actually live shorter lives and burn
that mass up more quickly. The general life cycle of stars is be born in a
stellar nursery, come on to the main sequence and burn up your fuel then
depending on your size perhaps one of two things will happen to you.
If you’re an average-sized star you might burn up all your fuel and then
become a red giant expanding in size a lot and also expelling a lot of your
material in a planetary nebula which will go on to I guess be the material to
form new stars. After that your remains would be a white dwarf maybe a star that
would probably be down here on our HR diagram something that’s not very bright
but still quite hot. If you are a very massive star however you might become a
red supergiant and instead of just becoming a white dwarf you might explode
into a supernova then becoming either a black hole or a very dense neutron
star. So that’s kind of our stellar evolution we covered there and the
reason that I just wanted to talk about it is because the star of this episode
Betelgeuse he’s been dimming recently and we think that might be something to do
with him coming towards the end of his life so we want to understand
what the life cycles of stars even are. I’m back here with our friend Betelgeuse
and it’s interesting because in October last year (2019) astronomers noticed that
the star was dimming and the dimming went on for quite a while it’s still
dimmed now and there’s been observations that it has dimmed by a factor of two
and a half times which is I guess quite a lot for a star although Betelgeuse is
a known variable star which means that it’s brightness does fluctuate a bit so a
little bit of dimming is actually not that abnormal although this amount of
dimming was quite out of the ordinary so people were getting excited and thinking
does this mean that something you know big is about to happen maybe
Betelgeuse is about to go supernova maybe this
the end of its life. Well why would dimming indicate that it’s about to go
supernova anyway? Wouldn’t you expect it to be a lot brighter? Well actually the
reason I found for that was that just before going supernova
you know when the star is at the end of its life it would be ejecting a lot of
material and this material might be getting in between the star and us and
absorbing a lot of its light I guess through extinction of the light and so
it’s actually appearing dimmer because of the material that it is throwing off.
Of course when it would go supernova that would be an extremely bright and I
don’t know spectacular sight for us in the night sky. It would be as bright as
the moon. Everyone has been quite excited for a while about this because
Betelgeuse is expected to go supernova sometime although the scientific
estimates don’t say that that will happen for at least a hundred thousand
more years so if it really was about to happen soon it would be a little early
but you know it seems plausible that it could happen. But a study that was
published quite recently February 24th said that the most likely explanation
for the dimming was a large I guess amount of dust in the way of
circumstellar dust which was absorbing some of the light. So let’s see if we can
simulate what would happen if Betelgeuse was to go supernova and I think one of
the ways I can do that is open up its properties and just change our solar
mass in here to be 20 times that of the Sun. oom out a little in anticipation and see what we get.
I toggled the calculated radius on and off and that has caused us to indeed
make this star go supernova. So we can see this front here expanding out from
the remnant it says the Betelgeuse Nova remnant and yeah that is quite a pretty
sight there just watching it expanding out. So this is what would be a really
magnificent sight in our night sky if we got to see this that’s why some
astronomers were kind of hopeful in a way that it would go supernova it would
be an amazing thing to be able to study with the technology that we have now
it’s not something that we’ve ever been able to see that well before or
definitely be able to study and in the kind of ways we would be able to if it
happened today. We’ve got this red
glow really large all the way out here. Like I said this would be as bright as
the moon in our night sky I believe and would last for a couple of months as it
slowly fades away. Betelgeuse although it is a huge star doesn’t have enough mass
to become a black hole after this so we would be left with probably a neutron
star at the core there and that would be I think quite dim so it would disappear
from our night sky. I probably wouldn’t hold your breath waiting for this to
happen by this stage I think a lot of astronomers have accepted that maybe we
do have to wait the closer to the expected hundred thousand years for this
to happen and maybe some dust just did get in our way and make it look a bit dimmer
and maybe it was also part of it’s just variable life cycle but there’s always a
chance and if anything the idea that this could happen or the speculation
around it means that you know when you go outside you might want to just have a
little look up at Orion and see if you can see Orion’s shoulder. See if you can
see Betelgeuse then see if you think it’s dimming. If you can notice that, that
would be a pretty cool thing to see. If you’ve got a telescope you might be a
bit better placed but even just with your naked eye as well it might be a really
fun way to just engage with astronomy. So thank you for coming on this little
journey through the stars with me today and I’ll see you next time.

Jerry Heath


  1. Tibees, 3blue1brown did a great video on exponential growth and epidemics a couple of days ago, would you consider doing an epidemic related maths video? A speed of spread VS temperature of country could make an interesting video.

  2. Fantastic use of this 'game'. 🙂 And, if I'm not mistaken, Betelgeuse is so exciting because it's very close, but still far enough away that it won't hurt us when it goes supernova. It being close means we'd get to study it in detail.

  3. Yeah, so you just keep talking, I will keep on enjoying that wonderful voice. Howdy from Texas partner 😉

  4. Amazing voice, amazing game and amazing soundtrack. This is the perfect ASMR

  5. You should do one where you turn the earth into a black hole and see if it continues in orbit or if it throws everything off kilter.

  6. The Absolute Magnitude of Tibees smile would score the highest on the HR diagram. 😁

  7. I'm extremely curious to watch you play Dreams on ps4 to see what your mind can create 😀

  8. Great work with the sandbox! I've always wondered about the local stars, and how they fit into the HR diagram.
    By the way, here's a link regarding Betelgeuse from Nature:

  9. I'm curious about bow shocks. How extreme or typical is the one for our solar system? What happens as the star travels faster through the galactic medium?

  10. This is very informative, relaxing and a great lesson. I want to play this game. Our Universe is a beautiful and interesting place.

  11. I read up on an asteroid as large as Mount Everest (which is the same size as one that vanquished the dinosaurs) has been discovered heading towards Earth, but will pass us. It is so intriguing and scary to me that thanks to Astrophysics we may know when all life on Earth will be wiped out. I would like to die that way.

  12. I love Universe Sandbox ² as well and have a unique use case. On my new ultrawide monitor with VA panel (very high contrast) the blackness of space and the white tiny dots of stars really look like the night sky and in a dark room I get very tired after a few minutes. It's perfect if you want to fall asleep.

  13. Amazing,, I have seen this type video on your channel for the first time…. Great for me like astronomy lovers..😊😊

  14. Fell asleep in my chair three times, finally got to watch all of it on the fourth try.

  15. Where was this game when I was a kid and so curious of star stuff, and those imaginary lines are simply lovely.

  16. I might have a question.. It got me when I saw Tibees deleting the Sun.. What would actually happen if You kind of "delete" massive object in the universe.. Let's say some other planets orbit around it.. How long would it take for the gravity to stop affecting them.. The curviture of spacetime would change.. in other words.. what's the "speed" of gravity.. ?

  17. An interesting thing I recently found is that Betelgeuse does not look like a neat glowing sphere as it does in this video. It looks more like https://www.astro.uu.se/~bf/movie/dst35gm04n26/st35gm04n26_I1blm.mpg <- This.

    Also, when looking up why the dimming was likely not an indication its about to go off: Its apparently because it has dimmed in visible light spectrum, but preliminary results suggest it has remained stable in infrared. So the dust explanation makes more sense, or an alternative is one of its very large spots.

  18. Omg this is getting scary. Delete our sun you say ? 4:22 😶😶😶

  19. I can imagine the great juxtaposition of someone as relaxing and calming as Toby playing Doom 😅

  20. Orion has guarded me on long walks home after late night hockey for 48 years. Nice the attention it has gotten lately as i actually care about it.

  21. I wish we could see it go supernova Tibees. Blown to smithereens. 💥Whatever a smithereen is. Lol Love your videos and your voice. Beautiful hair too. 😍

  22. 9:55 "these are young and very hot stars" she is describing youtubers like her.

  23. Hey Toby, there is an open source universe simulator called "Celestia" and it is awesome. Say you take the observations of Galileo from his writings and you select the date in the simulator that he made the observation, you will notice how close he was. With this being said, thank you for the interesting video!

  24. This is awesome! If u could do these vids w/ an ASMR voice/vibe, u could probably tap into a whole new audience!

  25. That was indeed very relaxing, and also informative. Very enjoyable.

  26. everyone: beetle juice
    Tibees: battle geese

  27. I stumbled upon your channel several months ago and I think your videos are really relaxing. Thank you for your great work.

  28. ⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻

    This is so nice. With all the stress and anxiety going around, here you can just relax, enjoy physics, a calming voice and nice music.. Thank you! 🙂

  29. Without seeing your this video I give a like as I know your all videos
    are intresting and curiosity increasing . When I see it I really glad to know about new this by this video .

    Thanks for making this video and keep it up .
    You make video and I like it .

  30. Tibees crumbles my mind with amazing facts and a clear gentle vocal delivery.

  31. This is probably a really stupid question so apologies if it is but….

    Planets in our solar systems that have moons have all been named but our moon is just “the moon” the same applies to our sun it’s just “the sun”
    Why haven’t they got names like all the other stars and moons?

  32. If my life was narrated (maybe it is for some), i would like you to do it.

  33. Oh is Soo relaxing it get far the equations and let me think on the weird and beautiful universe where we live🌟⭐✨

  34. I was really hoping 14:38 would go something like "Open up its properties … and just click on the Go Supernova button …"

  35. Was wondering Toby? If you become infinitesimally smaller all the way thru subatomic quantum then became infinitely larger back towards a classical size, would you be able to see Betelgeuse in the future?
    Rather than looking up to space to see the emitted EM radiation from the star which is traveling towards us from back in time, that method might offer us an alternative perspective.
    Guess it would be like the FRB signals which are currently been studied and standing at the bottom of a tree looking up towards the lights and mapping the signal and then the alternate method been traveling up towards the signals by traveling up thru the roots of the tree, not by climbing up the tree by using the branches which would be the classical method of travel.
    Maybe those FRB signals are us in the future mapping the full convergence of space-time and trying to find the actual zero point of time, which thinking in the way I'm suggesting even as a thought experiment is theoretically possible.
    Be interested in hearing what you think mate!

  36. See universe sandbox 2 gameplay by graystillplays! Its damn funny😂😂

  37. Hi Toby! Loved the video! Could you please talk about the topic of coronavirus? Thanks!

  38. Old Betelgeuse is enveloped by the Corona. He's not going to make it. We need to keep our distance.

  39. Thanks for another awesome video Tibees.. Makes me want to visit my local planetarium again!

  40. I AM SO CONFUSED. Up until seeing this video, I was under the impression that stars are only people with an above average intelligence quotient who play make believe on camera and expertly pontificate on all subjects from physics, psychology, sociology, etc., although the vast majority did not even finish high school.

  41. This is a nice relaxing video to watch and listen to. You could be to Astrology what David Attenborough is to wildlife. Keep doing these. You should do a review video of SpaceEngine2 Pro?

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