Betelgeuse Keeps Dimming : Reason

Rodiano Bonacci
Agosto 16, 2020

Betelgeuse is a nearby, aging red supergiant star in the Orion constellation about 725 light-years away. The crew shortened the instrument's publicity time to account for Betelgeuse's relative brightness in comparison to the image voltaic wind. During this observation gap in 2020, NASA's STEREO spacecraft - with measurements shown in red - stepped in to observe Betelgeuse from its unique vantage point, revealing unexpected dimming by the star.

Betelgeuse keeps getting dimmer, and everyone is wondering what exactly that means.

In a supernova, huge stars like Betelgeuse expel large amounts of heavy elements, including carbon, oxygen, calcium and iron, into space that become building blocks of new generations of stars. Some astronomers feel the unpredicted dimming might perfectly be a pre-supernova event. Luckily, the darkening occasion happened similarly as Hubble researchers were hoping to watch Betelgeuse with the telescope, giving an opportunity to comprehend why the star had started to go boring.

New images created by the Hubble Space Telescope show that Betelgeuse - one of the brightest stars visible from Earth - wasn't dimming because it was about to explode, but because there was a dust cloud in the way.

"We know that other hotter luminous stars lose material and it quickly turns to dust making the star appear much fainter". The final panel reveals the huge dust cloud blocking the light (as seen from Earth) from a quarter of the star's surface. By mid-February 2020, the star had reached a historic minimum.

"With Hubble, we view the substance because it abandoned the star's visible surface and proceeded out through the air until the dust shaped which caused the star to seem to dim", explained Andrea Dupree, associate director of the Center for Astrophysics.

'We could see the effect of a dense, hot region in the southeast part of the star moving outward'.

A purple supergiant star regarded as Betelgeuse has intrigued researchers globally as it inexplicably commenced to dim significantly in the sky.

'We think it is possible that a dark cloud resulted from the outflow that Hubble detected. "Just Hubble provides us this proof that led up into the dimming".

Hubble has been used to analyse Betelgeuse as part of a three-year study using the telescope to study how the star's outer atmosphere varies. That raised lots of questions about what was going on with the giant, with some experts speculating that, because of Betelgeuse's size and advanced age, the unusual behavior was a sign of a supernova in the making.

When one of the brightest stars in the night sky began dimming in 2019, astronomers scrambled to figure out if this giant sun was about to explode or not. The researched was published in The Astrophysical Journal.

What is more attention-grabbing is that experts now think that Betelgeuse may perhaps be dimming once more and may well be completely ready to go supernova.

Hubble's ultraviolet-light sensitivity allowed researchers to probe the layers above the star's surface, which are so hot - more than 20,000 degrees Fahrenheit - they can not be detected at visible wavelengths. This material then continued moving until it was millions of miles away from Betelgeuse's surface, where it became cool enough to form dust.

The Hubble Space Telescope observed Betelgeuse in ultraviolet light beginning in January 2019, so it was able to contribute information for the star's timeline leading up to its dimming event.

Dupree estimates that about two times the normal amount of material from the southern hemisphere was lost over the three months of the outburst.

Even though the mysterious dimming of Betelgeuse is due to the dust cloud, space scientists admit that Betelgeuse is now nearing its death, and it will go supernova anytime.

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