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:


Keyboard Warrior


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
 
The individual is handicapped by coming face to face with a conspiracy so monstrous that he cannot believe it exists.
J Edgar Hoover

 
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.
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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
 
The individual is handicapped by coming face to face with a conspiracy so monstrous that he cannot believe it exists.
J Edgar Hoover

 
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.
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#5
Latest info on, a very much changing, star:


Keyboard Warrior


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
 
The individual is handicapped by coming face to face with a conspiracy so monstrous that he cannot believe it exists.
J Edgar Hoover

 
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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