WEDNESDAY, JUNE 16, 2021 7:48 PM – The mystery surrounding the loss of brightness of one of the largest known stars has been resolved. Betelgeuse is 100,000 times brighter than our Sun, but it has lost its intensity since the end of 2019.
Betelgeuse is one of the brightest stars that can be seen with the naked eye. Humankind has known it since the dawn of history, as it shines 100,000 times more than our sun. Located about 640 light-years from Earth, this red giant is certainly the most visible in the Milky Way, after Rigel. If it were in the position of the sun, it would swallow Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, and Jupiter.
Since the end of 2019, Betelgeuse has mysteriously darkened. Scientists believe that the red giant could explode at any moment into a supernova. Since it is a very massive star, its lifetime becomes much shorter than that of a star like the Sun. In fact, Betelgeuse should only live millions of years, compared to a few billion years for our star.
According to a recent study published in natureRather, it will be a veil of dust ejected by the star that will be responsible for this change in luminosity. However, scientists do not exclude the transformation of Betelgeuse into a supernova within a hundred thousand years.
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