(ORDO NEWS) — In Germany, scientists from the Max Planck Society’s Institute of Astronomy managed to uncover the mechanism of the mysterious loss of brightness of Betelgeuse (a star in the constellation Orion). It turned out that the cause of the phenomenon are giant spots.
This refutes the previous hypothesis of dust cloud emissions. The article was posted in The Astrophysical Journal.
In the USA, astronomers for 13 years observed the red supergiant in the submillimeter range (between the infrared and microwave ranges of the electromagnetic spectrum) using the James Clerk Maxwell telescope.
It turned out that during the apparent brightness drop by 40% from October last year to April 2020, the star at the same time decreased its brightness at submillimeter waves by 20%.
Researchers examined models of radiant transport. In their opinion, the probable cause was a change in temperature in the photosphere. Giant cold spots appeared on the surface of the star.
It was previously thought that dust was the cause of the brightness change.
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