NASA Hubble telescope was able to find the reason why this super-red hypergiant star suddenly dimmed. What makes this scenario unusual is that this space body is 300,000 times brighter and has more violent radioactivity compared to the solar system's Sun.

NASA Hubble Identifies Why Red Hypergiant Star, 300,000 Brighter Than Sun, Suddenly Fades
(Photo : Courtesy of NASA)
Billions of old stars cause the diffuse glow of the extended central bulge in the Sombrero Galaxy, in this photo taken February 22, 2000. Even with a small telescope pointed toward the constellation of Virgo, light that is 50 million years old can be seen emanating from the distant galaxy. The very center of the Sombrero glows across the electromagnetic spectrum, and is thought to house a large black hole.

According to NASA's latest report, the star that NASA is currently focusing on is called VY Canis Majoris, which is one of the colossal stars in the universe. It is also enshrouded in huge clouds of dust.

The VY Canis Majoris is also larger, more aggressive, and has a higher density compared to the Betelgeuse star, which also puzzled the international space agency way back in 2020.

NASA explains why VY Canis Majoris faded

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration said that this hypergiant space body experiences longer, dimmer periods compared to Betelguese. But now, NASA was able to find the reason behind the mysterious space event, thanks to its Hubble Telescope, which also helped solve other space mysteries.

NASA Hubble Identifies Why Red Hypergiant Star, 300,000 Brighter Than Sun, Suddenly Fades
(Photo : (Photo by NASA via Getty Images)
This NASA image shows ladder-like structures within a dying star. This new image, taken with NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, reveals startling new details of one of the most unusual nebulae known in our Milky Way. Cataloged as HD 44179, this nebula is more commonly called the "Red Rectangle" because of its unique shape and color as seen with ground-based telescopes.

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"VY Canis Majoris is behaving a lot like Betelgeuse on steroids," explained Roberta Humphreys, an astrophysicist of the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, via NASA Gov's official website.

Previously, NASA Hubble Telescope suggested that Betelguese sudden dimming was caused by its gaseous outflow that may have formed dust. The space agency's scientists and researchers claimed that VY Canis Majoris also has the same activity.

"In VY Canis Majoris we see something similar, but on a much larger scale. Massive ejections of material which correspond to its very deep fading, which is probably due to dust that temporarily blocks light from the star," added Humphreys.

The astrophysicist said that NASA wants to find out why it suddenly dimmed because it is one of the largest stars that the space agency has ever recorded.

Other reasons why it fades

VY Canis Majoris sheds 100 times as much as Betelguese. This means that it is losing more mass compared to the other supergiant star. On the other hand, this massive heavenly body's mass is sometimes twice the size of Jupiter, which is quite small compared to the Sun and other stars. You can click here of you want to know more details.

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Written by: Giuliano de Leon.

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