Back at the end of 2019, , the red supergiant that makes up the shoulder of the constellation Orion, began to suddenly darken. Initially, some astronomers thought the star was dying and about to explode into a supernova, but that never happened. Instead, Betelgeuse returned to its normal brightness.
In a new article published in , scientists claim that Betelgeuse’s “Grand Dimming” was caused in part by a gas bubble ejected by the star. Using the (VLT) in Chile, Miguel Montargès from the Paris Observatory, France and his team analyzed images of a red supergiant.
“Our general idea is that there was a cold spot on the star which, due to the local drop in temperature, then caused the previously ejected gas to condense into dust,” said Emily Cannon, one of the co-authors of the study. . “So the cold spot on the surface would initially make the star appear darker. But then that dust condensation would add to the star’s rapid drop in brightness.”
Unfortunately for those who hope to see a supernova in their lifetime, the incident does not appear to be an indication that Betelgeuse is near the end of its lifespan. When we speak in cosmic terms, it is something that could be tens, if not hundreds, thousands of years away,
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