Monday, February 24, 2020

BETELGEUSE UPDATE

Hey Space Placers!

I've been keeping you up to date on Betelgeuse which has undergone a historic dimming - the greatest in recorded history. There was speculation as to the cause and what it could mean for the red supergiant star that is in the constellation of Orion the Hunter.

Astronomers are pretty sure that Betelgeuse's dimming has been the result of some type of dust event and not due to diminished output from the star.

The ESO photograph below shows how the appearance of the star changed in 2019. Most likely that Dec. 2019 photograph is dust dimming the light from the star.

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The Changing Surface of Fading Betelgeuse 
Image Credit: ESO, M. Montarg├Ęs et al.

Ongoing observations show that the power output of Betelgeuse has remained constant which means that the dimming is being caused by some other mechanism with dust being the number one possible culprit.

Observations by astronomers as of 2/22/20 confirm that Betelgeuse has stopped dimming and is starting to slowly brighten.

Stars make dust, and stars like Betelgeuse make lots to it.

Orion is well up in the sky for the next two months so take a look for yourself - will Betelgeuse get brighter?

Sky Guy in Durban, SA




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