UW/Lowell: Dimming Betelgeuse Likely Isn't Cold, Just Dusty

Find out the latest thinking about our universe.
User avatar
bystander
Apathetic Retiree
Posts: 19910
Joined: Mon Aug 28, 2006 2:06 pm
Location: Oklahoma

UW/Lowell: Dimming Betelgeuse Likely Isn't Cold, Just Dusty

Post by bystander » Fri Mar 06, 2020 5:26 pm

Dimming Betelgeuse Likely Isn't Cold, Just Dusty
University of Washington | Lowell Observatory | 2020 Mar 06
Late last year, news broke that the star Betelgeuse was fading significantly, ultimately dropping to around 40% of its usual brightness. The activity fueled popular speculation that the red supergiant would soon explode as a massive supernova.

But astronomers have more benign theories to explain the star’s dimming behavior. And scientists at the University of Washington and Lowell Observatory believe they have support for one of them: Betelgeuse isn’t dimming because it’s about to explode — it’s just dusty.

In a paper accepted to Astrophysical Journal Letters and published on the preprint site arXiv, Emily Levesque, a UW associate professor of astronomy, and Phillip Massey, an astronomer with Lowell Observatory, report that observations of Betelgeuse taken Feb. 14 at the Flagstaff, Arizona, observatory allowed them to calculate the average surface temperature of the star. They discovered that star is significantly warmer than expected if the recent dimming were caused by a cooling of the star’s surface.

The new calculations lend support to the theory that Betelgeuse — as many red supergiant stars are prone to do — has likely sloughed off some material from its outer layers. ...

Betelgeuse Just Isn't That Cool: Effective Temperature Alone Cannot
Explain the Recent Dimming of Betelgeuse
~ Emily M. Levesque, Philip Massey
viewtopic.php?p=300001#p300001

viewtopic.php?t=40325
viewtopic.php?t=40279

viewtopic.php?t=40283
viewtopic.php?t=40139
viewtopic.php?t=40136
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
neufer
Vacationer at Tralfamadore
Posts: 17135
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2008 1:57 pm
Location: Alexandria, Virginia

Re: UW/Lowell: Dimming Betelgeuse Likely Isn't Cold, Just Dusty

Post by neufer » Fri Mar 06, 2020 5:43 pm

Click to play embedded YouTube video.
Art Neuendorffer