A team led by Narsireddy Anugu of the Mount Wilson Observatory in California has been able to detect twice the luminosity of the star RW Cephei in the constellation Cepheus, which is reminiscent of Betelgeuse’s well-known dimming in 2019 and 2020. In either case, dust from stars in a mass ejection appears to dim the light. . The results will appear in the “Astrological Journal” which is already on the preprint server arXiv available.
Since 2020, RW Cephei’s brightness has been steadily declining at visible wavelengths, reaching a historic low in late 2022. The star appears about 1.1 mag dimmer at this point. At the same time, the researchers noted an increased redness of the starlight because the brightness did not decrease as much at longer wavelengths. However, it seems that the bottom line has been crossed and RW Cephei is brighter again.
In the current study, researchers used the CHARA interferometer at Georgia State University in California to obtain images of RW Cephei at infrared wavelengths, which show the star as a disk and reveal regions of its surface of varying brightness. Dark areas could be associated with cold dust. The scientists used various algorithms to reconstruct the images from the data. This is to ensure that the observed differences in brightness really exist and are not generated by assumed model parameters.
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