Betelgeuse regained its brightness

The brightness of Betelgeuse Sergeant recovered to normal values, indicating the completion period of tarnishing. This is evidenced by curve, built according to the American Association of observers of variable stars (AAVSO). It is expected that the strong decrease of star Shine responsibly expanding cloud of gas and dust, formed as a result of potential emissions from the star.

Red supergiant Betelgeuse is considered to be ninth on the brightness of a star in the sky located in the constellation of Orion, at a distance of about 600-700 light-years from Earth. It is a star much more massive than the Sun, if it is placed in the center of the Solar system it would fill the orbit of Mars or even Jupiter. The age of the star is about eight million years, in its interior already concluded nuclear reaction “burning” of hydrogen and helium and are reactions involving heavier elements such as carbon. As soon as the kernel starts the reaction with the formation of iron balance in the star is broken, will collapse the core and Betelgeuse will explode as a supernova.

Significant fluctuations in the brilliance of Betelgeuse was seen in the 19th century and is still going on. In September 2019, the star has started to fade, and in December its brightness reached a minimum in the entire history of observations by electronic receivers: the apparent magnitude of Betelgeuse has decreased to a value of 1,125. In addition, changed the shape of a star. This could mean that the star or periodically pulsing, or is in the final stage of its evolution and is preparing to explode. However, in February 2020, the brightness of Betelgeuse began to increase, which is consistent with the already known period of fluctuations magnitude of the star, which is about 420 days.

As of 21 April 2020 according to the American Association of observers of variable stars brightness of Betelgeuse is 91 percent of its normal brightness, its magnitude is 0.6. Fluctuations in brightness over the last week ranged from 93 to 101 percent of the normal brightness. Astronomers have considered two scenarios happened: the sudden cooling of the stellar surface due to strong pulsations and convective processes, and extensive dust emissions in the direction of the earth observer.

A comparison of spectroscopic observations of the star in 2004 and 2020 showed a small drop in the temperature of its outer layers, which is bad due to the influence of convective processes. Most likely, for the fall of the Shine responsibly expanding cloud of gas and dust, formed as a result of potential emissions from the star, this idea is consistent with the event of the fall brilliance in 2009, when could also cause discharge of gas.

Read more about why Betelgeuse dim and soon it will explode, you can learn from our material “Clock is ticking”.

Alexander Voytyuk

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