A bright star not far from Earth was clouded by cosmic dust

Bright star Betelgeuse, which began to fade in 2019, not die and not turn into a supernova, as originally thought by some scientists. It appeared this time it was clouded with dust. This is evidenced by the results of a new study, published on the Preprint server Arxiv. We already told you that last year, Betelgeuse quickly began to fade. The brightness of the red supergiant located in the constellation of Orion, is changing over time. But this attenuation was so intense that astronomers quickly noticed him and began to observe the star, trying to understand what is happening. The work will be published in the journal Astrophysical Journal Letters.

Will explode in the end, Betelgeuse?

One of the first speculations about the reason for the change in brightness of the red giant was the assumption that Betelgeuse is dying. Given the impressive size of the star, some scientists expect that its life cycle will end in a supernova – a phenomenon in which the star dramatically increases its brightness by 4-8 orders of magnitude followed by a slow decay. However, in the new work, the astronomers cite evidence supporting the theory that Betelgeuse is not going to explode. Scientists say that the brightness of the stars has changed, because it was obscured by the cloud of dust. We will remind, today the brightness of Betelgeuse back to normal.

As reported by the authors of the study in an official statement, the surface temperature of Betelgeuse is not changed, and therefore, lowering the temperature could not be the cause of the change of brightness. The next logical explanation was dust. Scientists explain that at a certain stage of its life cycle, the stars emit into space dust clouds. Such phenomena, scientists have observed often enough, however, in the case of Betelgeuse, the phenomenon has been hidden from the eyes of astronomers. From time to time the red supergiant dump material from the surface, which is then condenseries in a cloud of dust, surrounding the star. As soon as it cools and scatters grains of dust absorb part of light that blocked the view. The scientists added that sooner or later, Betelgeuse will still explode. Astronomers expect that the star will become a supernova within the next 100,000 years.