It is a young and bright star but it is acting weird from some time. According to the scientist, Betelgeuse has started losing its brightness in a sudden manner. They think that the star would explode shortly. They also said that there was another possibility of the star going through a phase.
A paper, The Fainting of the Nearby Supergiant Betelgeuse, has been published on December 8 by Ed Guinan. Guinan is a professor of Astronomy at Villanova University. He told the media that Betelgeuse started losing its brightness sharply since October. The giant start is 2.5 times less bright as compared to its usual brightness. The red supergiant star was once ranked ninth on the list of brightest stars in the sky. It has now come down to 23rd place.
The star has not behaved in this manner in the last half-century. The current behavior of Betelgeuse is leading us towards something unusual and extraordinary. Guinan said, “What causes the supernova is deep inside the star”. Due to the giant body of the star, it is impossible to tell what is going on inside it. The red supergiant is located at the shoulder of Orion. The shape of the star is like a hunter wielding a bow in the night sky.
It is closer to the earth as compared to other stars. According to scientists, Betelgeuse is at least 700 light-years away from the earth. Guinan said, “What is special about this is how close it is.” According to Guinan, Betelgeuse is more likely a candidate for a nearby supernova.
The scientists revealed that Betelgeuse is nine million years old. Most of the stars closer to the hugeness of Betelgeuse live 10 million years. Guinan said about the explosion of the giant star, “It will probably happen in the next 200000 to 300000 years”. The brightness and dimness of the star are variable and it happens in cycles. From the past few months, the dimness of the star accelerated dramatically. Guinan said, “I personally think it’s going to bounce back”.