© ESO / M. Montargès et al.
The mystery about the giant flickering star Betelgeuse must finally be solved. The star in the Orion system in the Milky Way has baffled science by its fluctuating luminosity. The newly published images document how its brightness initially decreased and then increased again between January 2019 and March 2020. From April 2020 it shone again as before the event.
Evidence for the creation of stardust
During speculation about a supernova It was soon discardedA reasonable explanation for the observed phenomenon soon crystallized. The researchers hypothesized that the Hubble telescope may have imaged Betelgeuse in a flying cloud of dust that subsided in the following months. The images published now support the theory.
The research team now goes so far in a statement that the mystery of Betelgeuse It’s finally resolved. They attribute this phenomenon to the emission of gas from the star, which turned into dust after the temperature on the surface decreased and thus the radiation was reduced. This stellar dust, thrown into space, could become the basis for new Earth-like planets and life, the letter states.
Betelgeuse is counted up among the so-called red giant. The star is about twenty times the mass of our sun and about a thousand times larger. Because of its expansion, the effect of gravity on the surface of the star is less than on a star of the same mass but smaller radius.
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