Nearby star is getting darker, and researchers think they know why


Mike Wehner

  • Astronomers have observed the nearby supergiant star Betelgeuse dimming in recent months.
  • Some have theorized that the star is about to go supernova, exploding violently as it dies.
  • A new theory suggests the star's instability is creating massive dark spots on its surface, making it darker.

Betelgeuse is a massive star that is clearly visible in the night sky. It's part of the Orion constellation and astronomers have observed it for centuries. Lately, it's been acting a bit odd, growing much dimmer than usual, and there is no shortage of theories as to why it's doing so.

Now, researchers from Max Planck Institute for Astronomy have come up with what they think is the most plausible of all scenarios. Put simply, the red supergiant star is doing what our own Sun does on a regular basis, and it's probably not a hint that it's about to blow its top.

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Nearby star is getting darker, and researchers think they know why originally appeared on on Tue, 30 Jun 2020 at 00:10:01 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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