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HomeUncategorizedBetelgeuse blew its top, making the inside jiggle like jelly

Betelgeuse blew its top, making the inside jiggle like jelly

One of the brightest stars in the sky, the nearby red supergiant Betelgeuse, has been a source of fascination over the past few years as it dimmed and then significantly brightened again. Now, new data from the Hubble Space Telescope shows that the star blew off most of its mass in 2019, creating a cloud of dust that blocked its light and caused a dimming effect.

An explosion of such a large chunk of matter is a rare event called a surface mass ejection, similar to the coronal mass ejection events seen in our sun and other stars, but much larger. Surface mass ejections blow away nearly 400 billion times more mass than standard coronal mass ejections, which is almost unimaginable, causing dramatic changes in the structure and behavior of stars.

An illustration showing changes in the brightness of the red supergiant star Betelgeuse.
This illustration depicts the red supergiant ginseng Changes in brightness of Algebra after large mass ejections from its visible surface. From Earth, the escaping material cools to form a cloud of dust that temporarily makes the star appear dimmer. This unprecedented stellar oscillation disrupted the giant’s 400-day oscillation period, which astronomers have measured for more than 200 years. The inside may now shake like a plate of gelatin desserts. NASA, ESA, Elizabeth Whitley (STScI)

Hubble data was used along with data from ground-based telescopes to create this illustration, showing the star’s brightness as it casts aside its mass and forms a huge cloud of dust What a huge change has happened. This event is a new insight into the life of a giant red star like Betelgeuse, which is about to enter the final stages of its life and will eventually become a supernova. “We’ve never seen a massive mass ejection from the surface of a star before,” lead investigator Andrea Dupri, of the Harvard and Smithsonian Institution Center for Astrophysics, said in a statement. “We’re left with a Something we don’t fully understand. It’s a completely new phenomenon that we can directly observe and resolve with Hubble for surface details. We’re watching stellar evolution in real time.” Dupree also said that the event at Betelgeuse’s Imprints were left on the structure, and the interior behaved particularly oddly, “a little bouncy”. The mass of matter blown out of the star is several times the mass of our moon, and its loss also changes the star’s brightness pulsation rate. Previously, Betelgeuse slowly brightened and dimmed in a 400-day cycle, but now that cycle has been disrupted, scientists aren’t sure how the star will develop in the future.

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