1 year ago
NASA: Strange Betelgeuse Explosion Just Took Place
Orion's red supergiant Betelgeuse erupted. This is astronomers' most magnificent occurrence.
Betelgeuse, a supergiant star in Orion, garnered attention in 2019 for its peculiar appearance. It continued to dim in 2020.
The star was previously thought to explode as a supernova. Studying the event has revealed what happened to Betelgeuse since it happened.
Astronomers saw that the star released a large amount of material, causing it to lose a section of its surface.
They have never seen anything like this and are unsure what caused the star to release so much material.
According to Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics astrophysicist Andrea Dupre, astronomers' data reveals an unexplained mystery.
They say it's a new technique to examine star evolution. The James Webb telescope revealed the star's surface features.
Corona flares are stellar mass ejections. These eruptions change the Sun's outer atmosphere.
This could affect power grids and satellite communications if it hits Earth.
Betelgeuse's flare ejected four times more material than the Sun's corona flare.
Astronomers have monitored star rhythms for 50 years. They've seen its dimming and brightening cycle start, stop, and repeat.
Monitoring Betelgeuse's pulse revealed the eruption's power.
Dupre believes the star's convection cells are still amplifying the blast's effects, comparing it to an imbalanced washing machine tub.
The star's outer layer has returned to normal, Hubble data shows. The photosphere slowly rebuilds its springy surface.
Dupre noted the star's unusual behavior. For instance, it’s causing its interior to bounce.
This suggests that the mass ejections that caused the star's surface to lose mass were two separate processes.
Researchers hope to better understand star mass ejection with the James Webb Space Telescope.