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The wounded star Betelgeuse, long live healing

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The Hubble Space Telescope, owned by NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA), is witnessing the slow recovery of the red giant star. Betelgeuse: The wound that opened on its surface was caused by a catastrophic explosion in 2019, causing it to lose a large portion of its surface by scattering into space with a mass 400 billion times greater than that emitted in a typical solar flare. This is an unprecedented event, the study reports published in The Astrophysical Journal and administered by the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.

Andrea Dupree, the study’s lead, says it has also benefited from observations made by many other observers and telescopes. “It’s a completely new phenomenon that we can directly observe – adds Dupre – we watch the evolution of stars in real time.”

Variations in the brightness of Betelgeuse, after the explosion that caused the loss of much of its surface (Source: NASA, ESA, Elizabeth Wheatley/STScI)

.’s amazing behavior BetelgeuseThe star, which is approaching the final stage of its life, is no indication that the star is about to explode into a supernova soon, as the star appears to be struggling to recover from its injury. The explosive portion of the surface, weighing several times the weight of the Moon, drifted out into space and cooled to form a cloud of dust that blocked the star’s light, causing it to partially darken. Moreover, the typical pulse Betelgeusewhich has been studied by astronomers for nearly 200 years, has now disappeared (at least temporarily), indicative of disturbances caused by the explosion.

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