According to NASA, millions of year-old star Betelgeuse is not yet dying, as astronomers fear the cosmic object's mysterious darkening in late 2019 and early 2020.
National Aeronautics Space Administration reported that the mysterious occurrence that many astronomers fear as the heavenly body 'diminishing' is just the star's traumatic outburst. Betelgeuse's traumatic outbreak caused the star to expel hot plasma that immediately cooled down in space. Hot plasma was transformed into darkened gassy clouds that then rose and covered Betelgeuse's surface, creating a silhouette-type image of the star.
The Hubble Space Telescope of NASA confirmed that this unexpected dimming of the supergiant star is just a result of dark "dust grains" that appeared in early 2019. April 2020's recent observation of the supergiant shown a normal surface.
Before NASA's confirmation, several astronomers quickly rose to form theories that surround the mysterious phenomenon that occurred on the star. NASA said that one theory regarded that "a huge, cool, dark "star spot" covered a wide patch of the visible surface."
A monstrous cloud of hot material exploding from its surface is most likely what caused the supergiant star Betelgeuse to dim last fall, @NASAHubble/@ESAScience observations suggest.
Our @NASASun spacecraft STEREO witnessed more odd behavior this summer: https://t.co/gvUxgTtOif pic.twitter.com/BmmxhLTVPf — NASA (@NASA) August 13, 2020
"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...We could see the effect of a dense, hot region in the southeast part of the star moving outward." Andrea Dupree, Associate director of the Center for Astrophysics of the Harvard & Smithsonian (CfA), said.
Discover Betelgeuse, the Workaholic
Betelgeuse is a massive star in the Solar System that scientists believe to be nearing the end of its lifespan. The star is exhibiting a bright reddish glow that is a result of nearing its life cycle. This supergiant is born several million years ago and is sitting amidst Orion, the Hunter's, constellation.
The Orion constellation is set in the celestial equator and is known to be one of the most famous and recognizable group of stars in the night's sky. Apart from being the most recognizable, Orion is home to two of the gigantic stars in the galaxy, namely: Rigel and Betelgeuse.
The supergiant is currently constructing heavy elements that stores into its core with the likes of hydrogen, helium, carbon, oxygen, and iron. Betelgeuse got the nickname "workaholic" and "overworked star" because of its non-stop storage of elements that would soon be given back to the galaxy.
Betelgeuse would need to undergo a supernova to give back the stored elements to the universe. Its initial work is believed to be helping the universe form rocky planets and build the next generations of stars. Scientists also believe that Betelgeuse's work could help in the creation of life forms like human beings.
The supernova that the supergiant will cause is a gift to humanity and the galaxy because of the potent raw materials it will release for future stellar generations.
"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 said.
Betelgeuse's explosive supernova is not calculated and accounted for because it lies 725 light-years away from the Earth. Scientists believe that the "dimming" phenomenon happened in the year 1300, but its light is only reaching the Earth's telescopes now.
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Written by Isaiah Alonzo