An asteroid will make Betelgeuse disappear! – Future

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[EN VIDÉO] Why does the star Betelgeuse change its brightness? This is Betelgeuse, normally a very bright star in the constellation Orion. Why wasn’t its brightness…

In 2019, the one that usually lights up our winter sky had lost its shine. Betelgeuse’s luminosity had fallen, and astronomers had been trying to understand why.

The darkening of Betelgeuse in high resolution like you’ve never seen before!

They even once thought that the red supergiant would explode in a supernova. That ultimately wasn’t the case. But it’s just a shift. Because the fate of Betelgeuse is sealed. It remains to be seen when the explosion will take place. And an event planned for mid-December could well provide researchers with clues on this topic.

An extraordinary astronomical event

An asteroid is currently heading directly towards the famous red supergiant in the constellation Orion. So no, he won’t clash with Betelgeuse. In fact, the star is located about 650 light years away from Earth. The asteroid asteroid, known as (319) Leona, hovers somewhere between Mars and Jupiter. So much closer to us.

What astronomers are waiting for is a rare passage of the asteroid between Betelgeuse and our planet. With two stars that will be almost the same size. The occultation will reportedly take place this Tuesday, December 12, 2023. It will be visible from Central Asia, then Turkey, Greece, southern Italy, Sardinia, Spain and southern Portugal. It will end in Florida (USA).

An encounter between an asteroid and a star to reveal some secrets

Astronomers, including amateurs, are ready to record as much photometric and spectroscopic data as possible from the event. They hope to obtain information about the distribution of convective cells on the star’s surface. And that in visible light. Valuable data – since there is no visible light interferometer – which they can then compare with that obtained with the Very Large Telescope InterferometerVery Large Telescope Interferometer (VLTI). All of this could ultimately help astronomers predict when Betelgeuse will explode as a supernova.