Looks like this red giant, Betelgeuse, may be nearing Nova?
#1
Looks like this red giant, Betelgeuse, may be nearing Nova, 'course, if it does, it already has, since is quite a few light-years away. Scientists are becoming more inclined to believe it will nova and signs are increasingly pointing to that outcome. January has seen even more significant changes in brightness than in months past.

Here's the latest:


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SpaceWeather.com Article Wrote:Link to sharable article below...

HE FAINTING OF BETELGEUSE: One day, perhaps in our lifetimes, perhaps a million years from now, the red giant Betelgeuse will dim a little–and then explode. The resulting supernova will rival the full Moon and cast shadows after dark, completely transforming the night skies of Earth. No wonder astronomers are closely tracking the current "fainting of Betelgeuse."

"Fainting" is an actual astronomical term. It means dimming, the opposite of brightening. And right now, Betelgeuse is definitely fainting.

[Image: Brian-Ottum-Betelgeuse_Fainting_4x4_date..._strip.gif]
Above: Betelgeuse photographed by Brian Ottum of Animas, New Mexico, 4 years apart: more.
Edward Guinan of Villanova University and colleagues caused a sensation among astronomers last month when they reported "[Betelgeuse] has been declining in brightness since October 2019, now reaching a modern all-time low of V = +1.12 mag on 07 December 2019 UT. Currently this is the faintest the star has been during our 25+ years of continuous monitoring."

Little did they know when they issued their telegram in December that Betelgeuse was about to become even fainter. “On 06 January 2020 UT, the magnitude of Betelgeuse was V = +1.37,” reports Guinan. That’s ~20% dimmer than the "modern all-time low" registered the month before.

This 3-year plot of the Villanova team’s data shows Betelgeuse’s rapid decline:
[Image: magnitudes_strip.png]
The horizontal axis is Heliospheric Julian Date (HJD). For reference, Jan. 6, 2020, the date of the most recent measurement, has an HJD of 2458855.

The fainting is easy to see with the naked eye. Not long ago, Betelgeuse was the 10th brightest star in the sky. Now it is the 21st. Observers of Orion rising in the east after sunset can’t help but notice that the Hunter’s shoulder is dimmer than it used to be.

Astronomers have long known that Betelgeuse is on the precipice of an energy crisis. It's about to run out of fuel in its core. When that happens, the star will collapse and rebound explosively, producing the first bright supernova in the Milky Way since 1604. Experts in stellar evolution believe Betelgeuse could die at any time during the next million years–a blink of an eye on time scales of astronomy.

Does the current dimming herald that final blast? Probably not. Betelgeuse is a slowly variable star, and this is probably no more than an episode of deeper-than-usual dimming. Of course, one day astronomers will think the same thing … and then the night sky will change forever.

A sharable version of this story is available here.
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#2
This could be an amazing site if it in fact is going super nova! The star has definitely been much dimmer through my telescope.
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#3
Update: Now there are reports of "Gravity Waves" coming from the direction of this star.

Looks like this subject is gettin' some legs:


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Article Wrote:Link to Original Article Page

It’s probably nothing: Gravitational wave burst detected near Betelgeuse | EarthSky.org



Betelgeuse has dimmed recently, prompting some to wonder if it’s about to explode. An explosion might trigger a gravitational wave burst. Betelgeuse is still there. The nearby gravitational wave burst probably means nothing for this star. Still …

[Image: gravitational-waves-LIGO-artist.jpg]

Gravitational waves are “ripples” in space-time caused by some of the most violent and energetic processes in the universe. Image via LIGO.


The Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) and Virgo detectors recorded a “burst” of gravitational waves this week, from an area of sky near the red supergiant Betelgeuse. This unanticipated burst has been dubbed, for now, S200114f. It’s prompting some interesting chatter on Twitter because Betelgeuse has undergone an unusual dimming in recent weeks, and some astronomy enthusiasts have wondered if it were about to explode. Betelgeuse has not exploded. It’s still there. Still, a supernova explosion of Betelgeuse might be linked with a gravitational wave burst.

As Jackson Ryan explained on CNET last night (January 14, 2020):
Quote:The gravitational waves we’ve detected so far usually relate to extreme cosmic events, like two black holes colliding or neutron stars finally merging after being caught in a death spiral. Burst gravitational waves have not been detected before and scientists hypothesize they may be linked to phenomena such as supernova or gamma ray bursts, producing a tiny ‘pop’ when detected by the observatories.

Astronomer Andy Howell at Las Cumbres Observatory leads a group that studies supernovae and dark energy. He posted some especially informative tweets about Betelgeuse last night.

As Andy said in one of the tweets above, gravitational wave detectors do sometimes detect false positives, about once every 25 years. So that is something to keep in mind.
The most important thing to keep in mind is that Betelgeuse has not exploded. Estimates suggest it won’t explode in our lifetimes … probably.

What’s so great here is the way that astronomers – some of Earth’s most curious people – have reacted, turning their attention and their telescopes toward Betelgeuse and toward the region of the sky from which the gravitational waves apparently originated. What is going on? The verdict isn’t in yet. Probably nothing. Still, many on Twitter last night spoke of going outside to look at Betelgeuse. Their enthusiasm and excitement are contagious!

[Image: betelgeuse-comparison-2016-12-31-2019-Br...02807.jpeg]
View at EarthSky Community Photos. | Brian Ottum kindly provided this direct comparison of Betelgeuse a few years ago, and Betelgeuse in recent weeks.

You can see that the star has dimmed noticeably. Brian wrote: “Left is February, 2016. Right is December 31, 2019. Note that the brightness/appearance of all background stars are identical left versus right, but Betelgeuse is definitely fainter on the right.” Thank you, Brian!

Bottom line: The LIGO and Virgo detectors this week recorded a “burst” of gravitational waves, from an area of sky near the red supergiant Betelgeuse, which has recently undergone a mysteriously dimming. Hmmmmmm.

[Image: 96.jpg]
Deborah Byrd created the EarthSky radio series in 1991 and founded EarthSky.org in 1994. Today, she serves as Editor-in-Chief of this website. She has won a galaxy of awards from the broadcasting and science communities, including having an asteroid named 3505 Byrd in her honor. A science communicator and educator since 1976, Byrd believes in science as a force for good in the world and a vital tool for the 21st century. "Being an EarthSky editor is like hosting a big global party for cool nature-lovers," she says.
One should have an open mind; open enough that things get in, but not so open that everything falls out
Art Bell
  
I don't need a good memory, because I always tell the truth.
Jessie Ventura

Its no wonder truth is stranger than fiction.
Fiction has to make sense
Mark Twain

If history doesn't repeat itself, it sure does rhyme.
Mark Twain

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C.S. Lewis

Political Correctness is Fascism pretending to be manners.
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#4
Latest Update From:

Article Wrote:https://spaceweather.com/

THE CONTINUING MYSTERY OF BETELGEUSE: For months, astronomers have been keeping a wary eye on Betelgeuse, the bright red star in Orion's shoulder. What's attracting their attention? All of a sudden, Betelgeuse isn't bright anymore. Its visible luminosity has "fallen off a cliff"--a sign that the star could be on the verge of going supernova.

"The most recent measurements put the visual magnitude of Betelgeuse at about +1.66, the dimmest its been in our 25 years of photometry," says Edward Guinan of Villanova University. 
[Image: lightcurve_strip.png]
Above: The horizontal axis is Heliospheric Julian Date (HJD). For reference, Jan. 30, 2020, the date of the most recent measurement, has an HJD of 2458879.
Betelgeuse is a highly evolved red supergiant--the type of star that could collapse and explode at any moment. Indeed, the dimming of Betelgeuse could be explained if the star has suddenly contracted to about 92% of its previous radius. But that's not the only possibility. Betelgeuse might be dimmed by a giant starspot--or maybe it is shrouded by an outburst of stardust from its own cool outer layers--or something else entirely. No one knows.

Answers might be forthcoming on Feb. 21st. Astronomers have long known that Betelgeuse is a variable star. It pulsates with many periods, as shown in this Fourier analysis of Betelgeuse's light curve:
[Image: fourier_strip.png]
Above: A period analysis of 23 years (1995-2018) of Betelgeuse photometry. Credit: Peranso.
"This shows a dominant (probable pulsation) period of P = 430 days," note Guinan and colleague Richard Wasatonic in a recent Astronomical Telegram. Given this result, "the minimum brightness is expected on 21 (+/-7d) February 2020."

If Betelegeuse starts to bounce back on Feb. 21st, this whole episode might just be a deeper-than-average pulsation, and perhaps the supernova watch can be called off. However, notes Guinan, "even if the 430-day period is still working, this would indicate a minimum brightness near 0.9 mag--much brighter than the current value near 1.6 mag. So something very unusual is going on."

Stay tuned for updates as Feb. 21st approaches.
One should have an open mind; open enough that things get in, but not so open that everything falls out
Art Bell
  
I don't need a good memory, because I always tell the truth.
Jessie Ventura

Its no wonder truth is stranger than fiction.
Fiction has to make sense
Mark Twain

If history doesn't repeat itself, it sure does rhyme.
Mark Twain

You don't have a soul. You are a soul. You have a body.
C.S. Lewis

Political Correctness is Fascism pretending to be manners.
George Carlin

“In a time of deceit…truth is a revolutionary act”
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#5
Latest info on, a very much changing, star:


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Article Wrote:Space Weather.com for 2/14/2020

THE CHANGING SHAPE OF BETELGEUSE: Betelgeuse isn't just dimming, it's also changing shape. Today, the European Southern Observatory released new images of Betelgeuse from the Very Large Telescope (VLT) in Chile's Atacama desert. The unstable red supergiant is definitely lopsided:


A team led by Miguel Montargès of KU Leuven in Belgium took the picture in Dec. 2019, shortly after the star began its unprecedented dimming. They were able to compare it to a "normal" picture of Betelgeuse taken 11 months earlier. The change in shape is striking.
What's going on? The researchers aren't sure why Betelgeuse looks so different, but they suspect the involvement of dust. Red supergiants like Betelgeuse create and eject vast amounts of dusty material, losing mass even before they explode as supernovas. The lopsided shape and dimming of Betelgeuse might be explained if a cloud of dust is partially blocking its disk. Indeed, VLT infrared observations of Betelgeuse at the same time reveal lots of dust around the star.
Mystery solved? Not necessarily. "Our knowledge of red supergiants remains incomplete, and this is still a work in progress, so a surprise can still happen," notes Montargès. Other possibilities include magnetic activity on Betelgeuse's surface (such as a giant starspot) and, of course, the early stages of a supernova explosion.
The Very Large Telescope with its adaptive optics instruments is one of the few facilities in the world capable of imaging the surface of Betelgeuse, located more thann 600 light years away. More images from the Atacama desert may yet reveal what's happening--if Betelgeuse doesn't tell us first!
One should have an open mind; open enough that things get in, but not so open that everything falls out
Art Bell
  
I don't need a good memory, because I always tell the truth.
Jessie Ventura

Its no wonder truth is stranger than fiction.
Fiction has to make sense
Mark Twain

If history doesn't repeat itself, it sure does rhyme.
Mark Twain

You don't have a soul. You are a soul. You have a body.
C.S. Lewis

Political Correctness is Fascism pretending to be manners.
George Carlin

“In a time of deceit…truth is a revolutionary act”
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#6
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#7
Betelgeuse: the red star of Orion's shoulder is dimming, perhaps soon to explode.

Christ's most grievous wound, His shoulder wound.

Gives one pause.
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#8
Interesting development this.  It appears there was a kind of 'burb' of energy that came off the star as a blob of darker than the star gas and this obstructed the light of that star from getting to the earth.

Curious:

Article Wrote:spacedaily.com

Hubble finds that Betelgeuse's mysterious dimming is due to a traumatic outburst



[Image: white.gif]
[url=https://www.spacedaily.com/Stellar_Chemistry.html][Image: stellar-chemistry-100-12.jpg]

Hubble finds that Betelgeuse's mysterious dimming is due to a traumatic outburst
by Agency Writers
Baltimore MD (SPX) Aug 14, 2020

[Image: betelgeuse-mysterious-dimming-traumatic-outburst-hg.jpg]
This four-panel graphic illustrates how the southern region of the rapidly evolving, bright, red supergiant star Betelgeuse may have suddenly become fainter for several months during late 2019 and early 2020. In the first two panels, as seen in ultraviolet light with the Hubble Space Telescope, a bright, hot blob of plasma is ejected from the emergence of a huge convection cell on the star's surface. In panel three, the outflowing, expelled gas rapidly expands outward. It cools to form an enormous cloud of obscuring dust grains. The final panel reveals the huge dust cloud blocking the light (as seen from Earth) from a quarter of the star's surface.

Observations by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope are showing that the unexpected dimming of the supergiant star Betelgeuse was most likely caused by an immense amount of hot material ejected into space, forming a dust cloud that blocked starlight coming from Betelgeuse's surface.

Hubble researchers suggest that the dust cloud formed when superhot plasma unleashed from an upwelling of a large convection cell on the star's surface passed through the hot atmosphere to the colder outer layers, where it cooled and formed dust grains. The resulting dust cloud blocked light from about a quarter of the star's surface, beginning in late 2019. By April 2020, the star returned to normal brightness.

Betelgeuse is an aging, red supergiant star that has swelled in size due to complex, evolving changes in its nuclear fusion furnace at the core. The star is so huge now that if it replaced the Sun at the center of our solar system, its outer surface would extend past the orbit of Jupiter.

The unprecedented phenomenon for Betelgeuse's great dimming, eventually noticeable to even the naked eye, started in October 2019. By mid-February 2020, the monster star had lost more than two-thirds of its brilliance.

This sudden dimming has mystified astronomers, who scrambled to develop several theories for the abrupt change. One idea was that a huge, cool, dark "star spot" covered a wide patch of the visible surface. But the Hubble observations, led by Andrea Dupree, associate director of the Center for Astrophysics | Harvard and Smithsonian (CfA), Cambridge, Massachusetts, suggest a dust cloud covering a portion of the star.

Several months of Hubble's ultraviolet-light spectroscopic observations of Betelgeuse, beginning in January 2019, yield a timeline leading up to the darkening. These observations provide important new clues to the mechanism behind the dimming.

Hubble captured signs of dense, heated material moving through the star's atmosphere in September, October, and November 2019. Then, in December, several ground-based telescopes observed the star decreasing in brightness in its southern hemisphere.

"With Hubble, we see the material as it left the star's visible surface and moved out through the atmosphere, before the dust formed that caused the star to appear to dim," Dupree said. "We could see the effect of a dense, hot region in the southeast part of the star moving outward.

"This material was two to four times more luminous than the star's normal brightness," she continued. "And then, about a month later, the south part of Betelgeuse dimmed conspicuously as the star grew fainter. We think it is possible that a dark cloud resulted from the outflow that Hubble detected. Only Hubble gives us this evidence that led up to the dimming."

Massive supergiant stars like Betelgeuse are important because they expel heavy elements such as carbon into space that become the building blocks of new generations of stars. Carbon is also a basic ingredient for life as we know it.

Tracing a Traumatic Outburst
Dupree's team began using Hubble early last year to analyze the behemoth star. Their observations are part of a three-year Hubble study to monitor variations in the star's outer atmosphere. Betelgeuse is a variable star that expands and contracts, brightening and dimming, on a 420-day cycle.

Hubble's ultraviolet-light sensitivity allowed researchers to probe the layers above the star's surface, which are so hot - more than 20,000 degrees Fahrenheit - they cannot be detected at visible wavelengths. These layers are heated partly by the star's turbulent convection cells bubbling up to the surface.

Hubble spectra, taken in early and late 2019, and in 2020, probed the star's outer atmosphere by measuring magnesium II (singly ionized magnesium) lines. In September through November 2019, the researchers measured material moving about 200,000 miles per hour passing from the star's surface into its outer atmosphere.

This hot, dense material continued to travel beyond Betelgeuse's visible surface, reaching millions of miles from the seething star. At that distance, the material cooled down enough to form dust, the researchers said.

This interpretation is consistent with Hubble ultraviolet-light observations in February 2020, which showed that the behavior of the star's outer atmosphere returned to normal, even though visible-light images showed that it was still dimming.

Although Dupree does not know the outburst's cause, she thinks it was aided by the star's pulsation cycle, which continued normally though the event, as recorded by visible-light observations. The paper's co-author, Klaus Strassmeier, of the Leibniz Institute for Astrophysics Potsdam, used the institute's automated telescope called STELLar Activity (STELLA), to measure changes in the velocity of the gas on the star's surface as it rose and fell during the pulsation cycle. The star was expanding in its cycle at the same time as the upwelling of the convective cell. The pulsation rippling outward from Betelgeuse may have helped propel the outflowing plasma through the atmosphere.

Dupree estimates that about two times the normal amount of material from the southern hemisphere was lost over the three months of the outburst. Betelgeuse, like all stars, is losing mass all the time, in this case at a rate 30 million times higher than the Sun.

Betelgeuse is so close to Earth, and so large, that Hubble has been able to resolve surface features - making it the only such star, except for our Sun, where surface detail can be seen.
Hubble images taken by Dupree in 1995 first revealed a mottled surface containing massive convection cells that shrink and swell, which cause them to darken and brighten.


A Supernova Precursor?
The red supergiant is destined to end its life in a supernova blast. Some astronomers think the sudden dimming may be a pre-supernova event. The star is relatively nearby, about 725 light-years away, which means the dimming would have happened around the year 1300. But its light is just reaching Earth now.

"No one knows what a star does right before it goes supernova, because it's never been observed," Dupree explained. "Astronomers have sampled stars maybe a year ahead of them going supernova, but not within days or weeks before it happened. But the chance of the star going supernova anytime soon is pretty small."

Dupree will get another chance to observe the star with Hubble in late August or early September. Right now, Betelgeuse is in the daytime sky, too close to the Sun for Hubble observations. But NASA's Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory (STEREO) has taken images of the monster star from its location in space. Those observations show that Betelgeuse dimmed again from mid-May to mid-July, although not as dramatically as earlier in the year.

Dupree hopes to use STEREO for more follow-up observations to monitor Betelgeuse's brightness. Her plan is to observe Betelgeuse again next year with STEREO when the star has expanded outward again in its cycle to see if it unleashes another petulant outburst.

Research paper

Related Links
Hubble Site
Stellar Chemistry, The Universe And All Within It
One should have an open mind; open enough that things get in, but not so open that everything falls out
Art Bell
  
I don't need a good memory, because I always tell the truth.
Jessie Ventura

Its no wonder truth is stranger than fiction.
Fiction has to make sense
Mark Twain

If history doesn't repeat itself, it sure does rhyme.
Mark Twain

You don't have a soul. You are a soul. You have a body.
C.S. Lewis

Political Correctness is Fascism pretending to be manners.
George Carlin

“In a time of deceit…truth is a revolutionary act”
George Orwell
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#9
Hollywood will reboot it.
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