(ORDO NEWS) — Two months ago, scientists drew attention to the Betelgeuse star, the brightness of which changed dramatically. Astronomers built various theories and, it seems, recent studies have nevertheless uncovered the causes of the strange behavior of a space object.
Initially, experts assumed that the luminary was dying, and as a result, it threw out a portion of the gas that blocked the star. Scientists from the Institute of Astronomy named after Max Planck, located in Germany.
When the life of a star expires, it enters the phase of the red giant. Stocks of elements that support reactions within the body are running out. The energy produced becomes unstable, and as a result, changes in brightness are possible.
Betelgeuse is a red supergiant that is 1000 times larger than our luminary and 20 times more massive. Larger sizes became the reason that the gravitational attraction of the body is much smaller than that of a star with the same mass but smaller dimensions. Ripples on the star may well push out the outer layers of gas. Released elements immediately cool and become dust. These particles are the basis for the construction of planets.
Astronomers compared Betelgeuse images in the submillimeter range, which is used to analyze interstellar dust. As it turned out, the star darkened by 20%, and this is not due to dust. Brightness also depends on the temperature on the surface of the body. It was found that it decreased by 200 ° C in different areas of Betelgeuse. In spots up to about 70% of the visible surface of the body. The reason for the strange behavior of the star was revealed. Subsequent studies will make it clear whether the changes are the result of an 11-year cycle.
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