Betelgeuse continues to get dimmer, and scientists are looking for some reason. The space object will reach the supernova status at the end of its course. Such a thing, however, is not forecasted to occur for tens of thousands of years.
So, what could be the most genuine factor of the Betelgeuse dimming issue? The first to report the space object’s condition was Richard Wasatonic and Edward Guinan from the Villanova University. They also detailed that even if the star is fading, its range of dimming is also slowing.
Betelgeuse has been observed for a long time now. Visual evaluations of it date back to almost 180 years, and since the 1920s, AAVSO has decided to undergo more precise analyses. Villanova University, for example, began its accurate photometric examinations back in the 1980s.
Scientists Are Puzzle Because Betelgeuse Is Dimming
The photometric information from the last 25 years, however, is the most precise, and according to it, Betelgeuse is as feeble as it’s ever been. Also, back in September 2019, the star’s temperature has dropped by 100 Kelvin, and its brightness by almost 25 %. The radius has increased by approximately 9 %.
Like the rest of the studied stars, Betelgeuse provides warmness in its center through fusion. The radiation is moved to its ground via convection. Also, the currents that transport the warmness are dubbed convection cells, which can be observable on the ground as some dark spots. As the star twists, those cells turn in and out of sight, which adds to Betelgeuse’s noticed variability.
A few years ago, researchers displayed some proof of convection cells on the Sun surface that persisted for months. Such a thing wasn’t sure, but could something similar occur on Betelgeuse, contributing to the fading? Scientists are not sure yet, but soon developments should shed some light on this mysterious case.