New reason for the mysterious blackout of Betelgeuse

(ORDO NEWS) — The star Betelgeuse differs from many in its incredibly high brightness. This reddish object is located in the “shoulder” of the constellation Orion. It is very easy to spot it in the night sky, even without special equipment.

At the end of 2019 and up to March 2020, experts began to record some strange decrease in the brightness of this star.

These changes have attracted the attention of many experts around the world. It is worth noting that Betelgeuse is one of the variable stars that can change their brightness from time to time. But what happened then became the most striking episode in the last half century.

The brightness of the space object has been reduced by about 2.5 times. Astronomers have proposed many different versions. Some believed that Betelgeuse was covered by a cloud of dust, others suggested a possible supernova explosion. There was also talk that some serious changes had taken place in the photosphere.

A new study by Zhao Ganga and his team has spawned yet another version of Betelgeuse’s temporary brightness decline.

Experts found that during the blackout, the star’s temperature dropped to almost a minimum, and then began to recover to its usual level. It is the change in the temperature of the star that is now considered the main reason for the decrease in the brightness level.

In turn, the temperature could drop due to the fact that a huge dark star spot appeared on the surface of the object. The presence of such spots on the surface of red supergiants is considered quite normal. They arise due to the appearance of convective flows or very cold cells of a convective nature.

The results of the study were published in the scientific journal Nature Communications.


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