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Star you've all seen, reddish Betelgeuse, has dimmed a lot...fun update

Discussion in 'Physical & Life Sciences' started by Halbhh, Jan 21, 2020.

  1. Halbhh

    Halbhh Everything You say is Life to me Supporter

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    More fun stuff lately around Betelgeuse, a bright reddish star everyone has seen and most have wondered at.

    Usually most dramatic astrophysical events aren't easily visible to the unaided eye, though of course some are. It's a lot of fun that one of the best known stars in the sky has been acting dramatically lately.

    Betelgeuse is that reddish looking bright star on the top left shoulder of one of the best known constellations, Orion.

    The 9th brightest star [whoops! was the 9th brightest....] of all if you count also the Southern Hemisphere, and don't count our own Sol.


    [​IMG]

    More than one thread here noted the dramatic dimming (atm the Astronomy News thread was closed for review, so I decided to just post this interesting tidbit separately). Now...there is a possible (and if real, also enigmatic) gravity wave burst from a nearby region.

    Gravitational waves are caused by calamitous events in the Universe. Neutron stars that finally merge after circling each other for a long time can create them, and so can two black holes that collide with each other. But sometimes there's a burst of gravitational waves that doesn't have a clear cause.
    One such burst was detected by LIGO/VIRGO on January 14, and it came from the same
    [a nearby] region of sky that hosts the star Betelgeuse. Yeah, Betelgeuse, aka Alpha Orionis. The star that has been exhibiting some dimming behaviour recently, and is expected to go supernova at some point in the future.
    ....
    Andy Howell from Las Cumbres Observatory studies supernova and dark energy. He had something to say on Twitter too, and appeared to be having fun with the whole thing. He even walked outside to check up on Betelgeuse after the detection of the burst gravitational waves.
    ....
    (tweet):
    Andy Howell
    ✔@d_a_howell
    ·
    13 Jan 2020
    Replying to @d_a_howell

    Betelgeuse is not in the localizatiion region, but it is right between two of them, as you can see at http://treasuremap.space .

    [​IMG]
    Andy Howell
    ✔@d_a_howell

    For the record, I do know that it can take hours for the shock to reach the surface. I didn't point that out initially because I didn't want people staying up all night to watch Betelgeuse. I was mostly joking (but I did walk outside because I couldn't resist).

    34
    00:13 - 14 Jan 2020

    Andy Howell
    ✔@d_a_howell
    Replying to @d_a_howell

    It isn't Betelgeuse blowing up because:
    - It is outside the GW localization region.
    - The burst might not even be real.
    - The burst was probably too short.
    - No neutrinos were detected
    - Betelgeuse's dimming is well explained.
    Me walking outside to check = buying a lottery ticket


    Astronomers Detect a Burst of Gravitational Waves From The Direction of Betelgeuse


    Well....:)....I think I'd do what he did: just go out and have a look anyway.

    It might be interesting for those that have looked at constellations stars routinely to see if they can notice Betelgeuse looking any different than before.

    At the moment Orion (the constellation with Betelgeuse) should be visible and might be worth a look around 10p. (south-southeast quadrant of the sky for most people)

    Can you see it as dimmer?

    [​IMG]
    Betelgeuse is Dimming . . . Why? - Sky & Telescope
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2020
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  2. Ricky M

    Ricky M Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Isn't the cosmos fascinating? Too bad we won't be here long enough to explore it all.

    Or at least I hope not ;)
     
  3. Ricky M

    Ricky M Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Actually, if God came up with this universe on His first try, I can't wait to see what He has for us in the second act!
     
  4. Halbhh

    Halbhh Everything You say is Life to me Supporter

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    :)
     
  5. Ricky M

    Ricky M Well-Known Member Supporter

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    The Bible says the new earth won't have a sun or moon... think it will have stars?
     
  6. Halbhh

    Halbhh Everything You say is Life to me Supporter

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    Not anyway of knowing, but sometimes I wonder if the new Earth might still be under a heavens that would be like what we've seen. That's only speculative.
     
  7. Halbhh

    Halbhh Everything You say is Life to me Supporter

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  8. Halbhh

    Halbhh Everything You say is Life to me Supporter

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    See for Yourself [if Betelgeuse looks dimmer to you]
    [​IMG]
    Use this photo to help you find and estimate Betelgeuse's magnitude using Aldebaran, Bellatrix and Rigel. Magnitudes are shown in parentheses.
    Bob King

    Thankfully, nearly everyone on the planet can do this. Whether you live in the Atacama Desert or downtown New York, Betelgeuse is easy to see. Once you've found it, use Bellatrix and Aldebaran to determine its brightness to an accuracy of one-tenth of a magnitude. For instance, if Betelgeuse appears midway in brightness between Bellatrix and Aldebaran its magnitude would be about 1.3. If a little fainter or brighter one way or the other add or subtract additional tenths of a magnitude.
    Betelgeuse is Dimming . . . Why? - Sky & Telescope
     
  9. SkyWriting

    SkyWriting The Librarian Supporter

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  10. Brightmoon

    Brightmoon Apes and humans are all in family Hominidae.

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    You can easily see Betelgeuse ( Orion) in January just go outside right after sunset, face south and look overhead . I can see it in NYC all winter. Venus is out also and is bright enough to be seen at twilight. Planets don’t twinkle.
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2020
  11. Aldebaran

    Aldebaran Star Power!

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    The star is dimmer because it injected its energy into the Earth, causing the earth to heat up. Of course, there's a "man-caused" element here as well. If not, it will be invented, just like my own theory.
     
  12. Halbhh

    Halbhh Everything You say is Life to me Supporter

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    I also found a useful picture in post #8, which will help people gauge what they are seeing.
     
  13. PencilStick

    PencilStick New Member

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    Starspots or sunspots can dim a star considerably. Then burst into a superflare which can brighten that star hundreds or thousands of times over. At least in my theory.
     
  14. Chesterton

    Chesterton Whats So Funny bout Peace Love and Understanding Supporter

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    Yes, I definitely notice it's dimmer. I saw it last night and thought "what's up with Betelgeuse?" and then I remembered I had seen this thread about it. :)
     
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  15. Astrophile

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    When I last looked, on Thursday the 6th of February, Betelgeuse was similar in brightness to Bellatrix (magnitude 1.64) and slightly brighter than epsilon Orionis (magnitude 1.70).
     
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  16. Halbhh

    Halbhh Everything You say is Life to me Supporter

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    Yes, getting interesting!

    I saw this update the other day:
    The Latest on Betelgeuse, Plus a Bright Supernova and New Comet Iwamoto - Sky & Telescope

    And noticed one estimate in a Feb 5th update that seems pretty interesting to me, or several actually, but this one too:

    (UPDATE Feb. 5: Minimum expected around Feb 21).

    Something to watch for in a reasonable time frame. :)
     
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