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NASA’s telescope uncovers the cause of Betelgeuse’s mysterious fuzziness



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Betelgeuse will become a supernova and explode … in the end.

THAT

inside Before time, when Coronavirus With just the beginning of a grim global march, our troubles are far from over. In fact, some 640 light years farther. Astronomers observe Betelgeuse, a red supergiant, was confused by its mysterious opacity. Some believe the event stretching from November 2019 to February 2020, is a sign of doom heralds the coming outburst of the star. But then the blurring stopped.

Thanks to NASA’s Hubble telescope observations, we can know why.

A new study, published in the Journal of Astrophysics on Thursday (and accessible at arXiv), examined the ultraviolet light emitted by Betelgeuse during the “Great Dimming” event using The Hubble Space Telescope. Fortunately, the blurring event happened just as the Hubble scientists were trying to observe Betelgeuse with a telescope, providing an opportunity to understand why the star started to darken.

Betelgeuse is a giant star, about 700 times larger than our sun. If you drop it into our solar system, it will devour Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Different worlds of the asteroid belt Whole and Jupiter will also end up as a snack. And it’s going to end its life, about 100,000 years from now. When the supergiant began to fade last year, there were some who believed that the explosion may have begun.

A NASA image shows how a cloud of dust could obscure Betelgeuse’s view.

NASA / ESA / E. Wheatley (STScI)

Hubble’s observations suggest otherwise. By looking at Betelgeuse at UV wavelengths, the researchers can get a better view of the star’s surface and atmosphere. They discovered a mass of bright, hot material that moved outward from the star’s southern hemisphere at about 200,000 miles per hour and was eventually ejected into space.

“This material is two to four times brighter than a star’s normal brightness,” said Andrea Dupree, deputy director at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and lead author of the study. About a month after the explosion, the southern part of Betelgeuse clearly blurred, she said.

Dupree and her team believe the material may have started to cool as it moved through space, forming a dense cloud of dust that partially obscured Betelgeuse. What happens is that the Earth is in the perfect position to “see” the dust cloud ahead, as if Betelgeuse shot the cloud straight at us. If it happened on the opposite side of Betelgeuse, we probably never would have known.

Explosions are expected to emerge from the stars at the end of their lifecycle, and when they die or “go to a supernova,” they release a shock wave that spits particles into space. This activity is important for filling space with heavy elements like carbon, which could then become new stars elsewhere in the universe, so these stars are important for the Circle. The life of the universe.

However, Betelgeuse was still acting a bit odd. NASA’s Stereo spacecraft observations observed the supermassive mass from late June to early August and found Betelgeuse suddenly fading again. NASA notes that further observations will be made in late August, when the star returns to the night sky and can be seen with the telescope again.


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