Discover and read the best of Twitter Threads about #betelgeuse

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Here are some news about #Betelgeuse! Robin Leadbeater, an amateur spectroscopist, has just posted the evolution of Betelgeuse's spectrum in the near-infrared. On this graph, we can see the spectra from the 4th of February and from the 28th of December, as well as the ratio

1/6
between the two (in pink). As we can see, for the past 2 months, the near-IR brightness of Betelgeuse remained mainly unchanged (ratio between 1 and 1.02) EXCEPT for the H-alpha absorption band.
Its luminosity was multiplied by 1.2 for the last two months! That is
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significantly higher than the rest of the far-IR spectrum.
But was is the H-alpha absorption band? It's the spectral line of a wavelength of 656 nm, indicating that a hydrogen electron jumped from an energy level to a higher energy level (2 -> 3).
Why does it jump? Because

3/6
Read 7 tweets
As you might have seen it, @LIGO has detected some weird gravitational waves. I took more than a day to take the time to read everything about it. So, is this new candidate related to #Betelgeuse?
Let's go for a little thread!
Contrarily to what some people said, Betelgeuse is NOT in the 90% zone for the GW. As you can see, it is next to it, probably in the 95% zone. So we cannot exclude that it comes from Betelgeuse, but it is unlikely.
Also, no unusual gamma-rays...
Read 10 tweets
1/10 All eyes on #Betelgeuse these days. What’s happening to this well-known star in the constellation of #Orion?
2/10 Normally one of the brightest stars in the sky, it’s now fainter than ever before in recorded history.
3/10 Astronomers think the star is preparing to blow, going #supernova. Think cosmic time scales though. This artist’s impression shows #Betelgeuse shedding its material. eso.org/public/images/…
Credit: @ESO /L. Calçada
Read 10 tweets
Why do we know #Betelgeuse may go #Supernova within the next few 100000 years, but most likely not soon? And why are we sure the Sun will be a safe star for Billions of years?

A brief primer #thread to Stellar Evolution. 1/

Sun: SDO. Betelgeuse: ESO/ALMA
#astronomy #Space
First thing to know is: stars are not all alike. They are big, small, bright, dim, have different colors and die different deaths. The quantity at the root of their diversity is their MASS. Stars have masses between roughly 0.1 & 100 times the Sun’s mass. Large ones are rare.2/
Here is the fundamental diagram of stellar evolution. It’s called the Hertzsprung-Russell Diagram (HRD). The further left you go, the hotter stars become. The further up you go, the brighter stars become. 3/
(Pic: ESO)
Read 20 tweets
#Betelgeuse is so huge that astronomers can map its surface! This sequence shows 5 years of bright & dark churning on the red giant star (+ more great info in the thread below).
For context, Betelgeuse is about 1,000 times as wide as the Sun, and 100,000 times as wide as the Earth. eso.org/public/images/…
@ESO The derived maps of #Betelgeuse look a lot like computer simulations of the surface of a red giant star by Bern Freytag. For now, this is the closest we can get to seeing a red giant up close. astro.uu.se/~bf/movie/dst3…
Read 3 tweets
You know what? Betelgeuse might not explore this time around, but you can try something else: astronomers have been recording its dimming for centuries, well before we had cameras or even the old plates used to record pictures.
People looked at the sky with their naked eye or with a telescope after the XVI century, and assessed stars' brightnesses like that.

There wasn't the light pollution there is today. They could just do it from any open space with a wide enough horizon.
Astronomers would have a table on which to draw and a very little candle - just enough to see what you're writing, but not bright enough that their eyes would get used to that instead of the darkness around them.

They would look up, and draw what they saw, and took notes.
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I cannot remain silent about #Betelgeuse. After all, it was the main subject of my PhD. I offer you below a recap of my favorite results on this star. (Image: apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap101117.…)
First, according to L. Z. Fang (1981) in the 1st century BC, Chinese astronomers identified Betelgeuse as yellow (while Antares was identified as red). Mistake ? Indicative of a young red supergiant ?
More recently, of course, I cannot not cite Michelson & Pease 1921 who first determined the angular diameter of a star other than the Sun. Which star ? Betelgeuse of course ! It was @MtWilsonObs and you can still see their instrument and the domes of the CHARA array there.
Read 23 tweets
Today, I saw that a lot of astronomers/astrophysicists were talking about #Betelgeuse . Indeed, according to many, Betelgeuse luminosity seems to be quite low. Some say it’s extraordinary, others say it happens quite often, but all (secretly or not) hope for a supernova. 1/7
Even if I don’t believe it is likely that a supernova will happen in the next weeks, I wanted to know if this dimming was actually extraordinary. I looked at the AAVSO data, like everyone. At first, I saw what I already saw on Twitter (see figure): it seemed like it already 2/7
happened 5 times during the last 50 years. But I dug a little deeper, and I saw that in November 1985, when the luminosity was very low, a group of astronomers (Rodrigues A., Paulo) had made many measurements. ALL were very low in brightness (most around 1.8), and quite far 3/7
Read 8 tweets
#SIRIUS the RED giant star #Betelgeuse. Matthew 24 says the Sign of the Son of man will appear in the skies to warn people to be ready for #Rapture & #SecondComing of Jesus. Jesus stood among 7 stars in Revelations to warn the 7 churches and mankind
#TheSecondComing
.@POTUS
Betelgeuse is a MASSIVE star that is RED color because it is nearing the end of its life span. The bright red color symbolizes a blood sacrifice of Yeshua for us! The right shoulder signifies strength or triumph. In Orion, the right shoulder and hand signify “The Coming Branch.”
Jesus in last days as #ORION CONSTELLATION star Betelgeuse is the Brightest Star in constellation Orion called Alpha Orionis. God the Alpha and Omega uses symbols, signs and wonders seen in Jesus Christ.
#SuperNova
#TheSecondComing
.@POTUS
Read 10 tweets

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