Currently, Dupree explains, Betelgeuse is apparently having difficulty healing from this wound.
The fragmented photosphere, which was roughly several times as heavy as our Moon, flew off into space, cooled, and formed a dust cloud that obscured the star from Earth-based observers. Even backyard watchers who watched the star’s brightness change were able to easily detect the fading, which started in late 2019 and continued for a few months. Betelgeuse, one of the brightest stars in the sky, may be easily located on Orion’s right shoulder.
The supergiant’s 400-day pulsation rate has disappeared, which is even more amazing. Astronomers have been measuring this rhythm for about 200 years, observing changes in Betelgeuse’s brightness variations and surface motions. Its disruption demonstrates the blowout’s intensity.
Dupree hypothesizes that the convection cells inside the star, which are responsible for the regular pulsation, may be sloshing around like an unbalanced washing machine tub. The surface is still bouncing like a dish of gelatin dessert as the photosphere rebuilds itself, according to TRES and Hubble spectra, even if the outer layers appear to be returning to normal.
Astronomers have never seen such a significant portion of a star’s visible surface get blown into space, despite the fact that our Sun occasionally experiences coronal mass ejections that blast off small chunks of its outer atmosphere. As a result, coronal mass ejections and surface mass ejections can occur at separate times.
Betelgeuse has grown to such a size that if it were to take the place of the Sun as the primary star of our solar system, its surface would stretch beyond Jupiter’s orbit. In 1996, Dupree utilized Hubble to distinguish between hot patches on the star’s surface. It was the first time a star other than the Sun had been directly imaged.