The terrible secret of Betelgeuse, the giant star has swallowed its neighbor

Giant star with an incredibly beautiful name Betelgeuse, which translates from Arabic as the house of Gemini or in another version of Gemini, located at a distance of 520 light-years from Earth. And that space standards relatively close. Betelgeuse has for many years attracted the attention of scientists from all over the world, and recently some astronomers have speculated that Betelgeuse in the near future may explode and become a supernova. However, this is not the only feature bright Betelgeuse. According to the results of a new study to be published in The Astrophysical Journal, a star has quite a dark past.

Dark past bright stars

Betelgeuse is one of the largest known to astronomers stars. This red supergiant in the constellation of Orion is also a variable star — this means that its brightness changes as a result of what is happening around her physical processes. Strictly speaking, the brightness of any star changes over time, however, due to the fact that Betelgeuse is the famous and much beloved star, researchers are not much bothered by its variability. But only until recently.

Since Betelgeuse is located quite close to the Ground, this means that with the help of telescopes, astronomers it is perfectly visible, so that the researchers can study in detail the red supergiant and her mysterious past. Thus, obtained during the observation data allowed scientists to create a computer simulation of the evolution of Betelgeuse. According to the publication Live Science, as a result, scientists have found evidence that Betelgeuse has swallowed its closest stellar neighbour, which was far inferior to her in size.

As we already mentioned, the researchers drew attention to the fact that the recent intense star loses gas from the atmosphere, making it less bright. Astronomer Manos Catapult from Louisiana state University in Baton Rouge and his colleagues came to this conclusion after running computer models of stellar evolution. According to the researchers, when Betelgeuse entered the red giant phase, the speed of its rotation should have been reduced. However, this did not happen and the star is still rotating at a speed of 108 km/h.