An explanation has been found for the sudden drop in brightness of the star Betelgeuse

Betelgeuse, entering the constellation Orion, has always been one of the brightest stars in the sky. But from the end of 2019

astronomers have twice observed a sudden drop in its brightness. It has been suggested that the star may soon explode.

However, the study by Dr.Meridith Joyce of the Australian National University (ANU), not only gives Betelgeuse new life, but also shows that she is closer to Earth than previously thought.

Betelgeuse's size has always been a mystery. According to previous estimates, its radius is approximately equal to the distance between the Sun and Jupiter. We found that it is about a third smaller - 750 solar radii. That is, Betelgeuse is only 530 light years from us.

Laszlo Molnar, one of the authors of the article and astrophysicist at the Konkoy Observatory in Hungary

Researchers were able to usehydrodynamic and seismic simulations to learn more about the physics that govern these pulsations and gain a clearer picture of where Betelgeuse is in his life.

According to study co-author Dr. Xin-ChiLuna of the University of Tokyo, "Analysis confirmed that pressure waves - essentially sound waves, were the cause of Betelgeuse's pulsations." The authors argue that helium continues to burn in the star's core, which means that it is far from exploding.

Betelgeuse's size has always been a mystery. The fact is that this star looks more like a pulsating droplet with blurred edges than a sphere with clear boundaries. Measurements in recent years have suggested that this supergiant star is located 724 light years away, is about 1,300 times the diameter of the Sun, and continues to expand.

Astronomers said that Betelgeuse is rapidly approaching the final stage of its life, when it collapses, and the supernova explosion from this event will be visible from Earth with the naked eye.

New calculations have shown that the star ismuch closer - 530 light years from us. Accordingly, its size is also smaller. In particular, the researchers estimated the radius of Betelgeuse at about 3.5 astronomical units. So scientists call the average distance between the Sun and the Earth. On the scale of the solar system, this is equivalent to the fact that the boundary of this star would not pass along the orbit of Jupiter, but through the main asteroid belt, which is located between Mars and Jupiter.

The authors note: despite the fact that Betelgeuse is closer to us than expected, she is still far enough away for her explosion to somehow affect the Earth. Therefore, even after 100 thousand years, it will not pose a danger to our planet.

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