ESO: VLT Sees Surface of Dim Betelgeuse

Find out the latest thinking about our universe.
User avatar
bystander
Apathetic Retiree
Posts: 19510
Joined: Mon Aug 28, 2006 2:06 pm
Location: Oklahoma

ESO: VLT Sees Surface of Dim Betelgeuse

Post by bystander » Fri Feb 14, 2020 8:06 pm

ESO Telescope Sees Surface of Dim Betelgeuse
ESO Photo Release | VLT | SPHERE | VISIR | 2020 Feb 14
Using ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT), astronomers have captured the unprecedented dimming of Betelgeuse, a red supergiant star in the constellation of Orion. The stunning new images of the star’s surface show not only the fading red supergiant but also how its apparent shape is changing.

Betelgeuse has been a beacon in the night sky for stellar observers but it began to dim late last year. At the time of writing Betelgeuse is at about 36% of its normal brightness, a change noticeable even to the naked eye. Astronomy enthusiasts and scientists alike were excitedly hoping to find out more about this unprecedented dimming.

A team led by Miguel Montargès, an astronomer at KU Leuven in Belgium, has been observing the star with ESO's Very Large Telescope since December, aiming to understand why it’s becoming fainter. Among the first observations to come out of their campaign is a stunning new image of Betelgeuse’s surface, taken late last year with the SPHERE instrument.

The team also happened to observe the star with SPHERE in January 2019, before it began to dim, giving us a before-and-after picture of Betelgeuse. Taken in visible light, the images highlight the changes occurring to the star both in brightness and in apparent shape. ...

viewtopic.php?t=40136
viewtopic.php?t=40139
Know the quiet place within your heart and touch the rainbow of possibility; be
alive to the gentle breeze of communication, and please stop being such a jerk.
— Garrison Keillor

User avatar
Ann
4725 Å
Posts: 10245
Joined: Sat May 29, 2010 5:33 am

Re: ESO: VLT Sees Surface of Dim Betelgeuse

Post by Ann » Fri Feb 14, 2020 9:36 pm

Wow, that's absolutely fascinating! :shock: :shock: :shock:

Ann
Color Commentator

User avatar
neufer
Vacationer at Tralfamadore
Posts: 16877
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2008 1:57 pm
Location: Alexandria, Virginia

Re: ESO: VLT Sees Surface of Dim Betelgeuse

Post by neufer » Sat Feb 15, 2020 5:06 am

...A mysterious dark spot appears on Betelgeuse and begins to grow. VLT's telescope observations reveal that the "Great Black Spot" is, in fact, a vast population of monoliths, increasing at an exponential rate, which appear to be eating the star. By acting as self-replicating machines, these monoliths increase Betelgeuse's density until the star goes supernova. This obliterates the primitive life forms inhabiting Betelgeuse's solar system, which the Monoliths' controllers had deemed highly unlikely to ever achieve intelligence.
Art Neuendorffer

User avatar
Ann
4725 Å
Posts: 10245
Joined: Sat May 29, 2010 5:33 am

Re: ESO: VLT Sees Surface of Dim Betelgeuse

Post by Ann » Sat Feb 15, 2020 8:33 am

neufer wrote:
Sat Feb 15, 2020 5:06 am
...A mysterious dark spot appears on Betelgeuse and begins to grow. VLT's telescope observations reveal that the "Great Black Spot" is, in fact, a vast population of monoliths, increasing at an exponential rate, which appear to be eating the star. By acting as self-replicating machines, these monoliths increase Betelgeuse's density until the star goes supernova. This obliterates the primitive life forms inhabiting Betelgeuse's solar system, which the Monoliths' controllers had deemed highly unlikely to ever achieve intelligence.
Art, your quote is rather sensational. Don't you think you should tell us where your quote came from? Is it some kind of garbled quote of something being said about "2001- A Space Odyssey" or its written Arthur C. Clarke sequels?

Ann
Color Commentator

User avatar
neufer
Vacationer at Tralfamadore
Posts: 16877
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2008 1:57 pm
Location: Alexandria, Virginia

Re: ESO: VLT Sees Surface of Dim Betelgeuse

Post by neufer » Sat Feb 15, 2020 2:20 pm

Ann wrote:
Sat Feb 15, 2020 8:33 am
neufer wrote:
Sat Feb 15, 2020 5:06 am
...A mysterious dark spot appears on Betelgeuse and begins to grow. VLT's telescope observations reveal that the "Great Black Spot" is, in fact, a vast population of monoliths, increasing at an exponential rate, which appear to be eating the star. By acting as self-replicating machines, these monoliths increase Betelgeuse's density until the star goes supernova. This obliterates the primitive life forms inhabiting Betelgeuse's solar system, which the Monoliths' controllers had deemed highly unlikely to ever achieve intelligence.
Art, your quote is rather sensational. Don't you think you should tell us where your quote came from? Is it some kind of garbled quote of something being said about "2001- A Space Odyssey" or its written Arthur C. Clarke sequels?
Is it some kind of garbled quote from an Arthur C. Neuendorffer prequel.
Art Neuendorffer