Description of color change
Betelgeuse doesn’t always glow red
Sky hunter Orion is the most famous winter constellation. Its two brightest stars are the reddish-blue and white Rigel Betelgeuse. But ancient astronomers described Betelgeuse as having a different color.
The giant red giant Betelgeuse yellow-orange appeared to observers on Earth 2,000 years ago. This is what astrophysicists from Friedrich Schiller University Jena have discovered with colleagues from other countries. The university announced that scientists have succeeded in chronological classification of color change. The scientists publish their results in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. Betelgeuse is one of the brightest stars that can be observed in the night sky.
Such as FSU . explainedAs nuclear fusion progresses inside a star, its brightness, size, and color change. Astrophysics can read information about the age or mass of a star from these properties. Stars with a mass much greater than the Sun appear blue and white or red – the transition to red through yellow and orange occurs relatively quickly by astronomical standards.
To determine that Betelgeuse from the constellation Orion has not appeared in red for 2,000 years, researchers used various historical sources. The star’s color was described as yellow around 100 BC, and after 100 years it was described as yellow-orange. In the 16th century, it was reported that Betelgeuse surpassed Aldebaran in redness, one of the brightest bright stars. Today, Betelgeuse has almost finally reached Antares in terms of brightness and color, which has been compared to Mars in terms of color for thousands of years.
On the way to the supernova
From both tradition and theoretical calculations, researchers can conclude that Betelgeuse “has a mass about 14 times greater than our Sun — and mass is the critical factor in the star’s evolution,” Foreign Policy researcher Ralph Neuhauser explained. It is 14 million years old and is in the final stage of its evolution. And the end is also expected: “In about 1.5 million years it will finally explode as a supernova.”
Sky hunter Orion is the most famous winter constellation. The two brightest stars there are the reddish Betelgeuse and the blue and white Rigel. In the winter of 2019/2020, an unusual astronomical phenomenon caused a stir: the brightness of Betelgeuse decreased by as much as two-thirds for several weeks. Many astronomers saw this as an indication that the star was about to explode. The researchers later explained that the “great dimming” was actually caused by a large cold spot. As a result, a veil of dust formed in front of the star.
In April 2020, Betelgeuse once again shone with its usual brightness. Spotting a supernova in our Milky Way would be a sensation for astronomers – the last chance to do so was in 1604, before the invention of the telescope. Therefore, sky researchers were electrified by the sudden decrease in the brightness of Betelgeuse, because theoretical models predict such a phenomenon just before the explosion.
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