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Waspie_Dwarf

Betelgeuse is brightening again

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Waspie_Dwarf

The Fall and Rise of Betelgeuse

With its recent uptick in brightness, Betelgeuse appears to be returning to normal. Astronomers urge us to keep watch.

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After an unprecedented decline to a record-breaking minimum Betelgeuse has finally turned the corner. Astronomer Edward Guinan of Villanova University reports in Astronomical Telegram #13512 that the star bottomed out  with a mean minimum magnitude of 1.614 +/- 0.008 from February 7-13. More recent observations acquired Feb. 18-22 at the school's Wasatonic Observatory show the star brightening from 1.585 to 1.522, a clear sign of a turnaround.

arrow3.gif Read More: Sky & Telescope

 

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Daughter of the Nine Moons

Pardon my lack of knowledge Waspie,  does this mean that Betelgeuse is stabilising or are the fluctuations in brightness further proof that it is getting ready to explode?

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Waspie_Dwarf
3 minutes ago, Daughter of the Nine Moons said:

Pardon my lack of knowledge Waspie,  does this mean that Betelgeuse is stabilising or are the fluctuations in brightness further proof that it is getting ready to explode?

Betelgeuse is a variable star at the best of times, it's brightness increases and decreases regularly. What was unusual about this was that it dimmed for longer and to a much higher degree than had been observed before. Predictions suggest that a red supergiant, like Betelgeuse, wlli show a large decrease in brightness before a supernova explosion, hence the excitement.

However most supernova experts believe that Betelgeuse is still tens of thousands of years away from going supernova. One expert on Betelgeuse itself, whose name slips my mind for the moment, actually predicted that this dimming was, although more intense than usual, part of Betelgeuse's normal behaviour and that it would start to brighten again on, or around, 21st February. This is precisely what happened.

So all the indications are that that we are still thousands of years away from a massive kaboom.

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Daughter of the Nine Moons
30 minutes ago, Waspie_Dwarf said:

So all the indications are that that we are still thousands of years away from a massive kaboom.

Thank you for the understandable reply, all the excitement generated last month had me thinking that the supernova was like months away at best

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bison

Looking at Orion last night, Betelgeuse appeared noticeably brighter than nearby Bellatrix, the other shoulder of the celestial hunter. Several days ago, the two stars appeared about equal in brilliance. 

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