Betelgeuse covered in giant spots

Betelgeuse, a red super-giant star that acts as Orion’s shoulder in his constellation, intrigued astronomers – usually a bright star showed signs of unprecedented blackout in December. Astrophysicists suggest that this could be a blackout from a cloud of dust or a signal for a coming supernova explosion over the next 100 thousand years.

A new study showed that large stellar spots now cover the Betelgeuse surface and cause blackout. Experts say their analysis excludes the dust cloud scenario around the star.

Betelgeuse is located about 700 light-years from us. A name that means “supergiant” is not a joke: a star in size has a diameter equal to the orbit of Mars or even Jupiter. It is estimated that Betelgeuse is 11-12 times the mass of our sun. Betelgeuse fell to 40% of its normal luminosity from October 2019 to April 2020, which astronomers surprised.

The study was published Monday in the Astrophysical Journal Letters.