The bright star is temporarily invisible tonight

The bright star is temporarily invisible tonight

Sciences11 Dec 23 10:15Autor: Doner packer

Betelgeuse, one of the brightest stars in the sky, will disappear almost completely today. According to scientists, an asteroid called 319 Leona will block the view of Betelgeuse from Earth for up to five seconds. “A once-in-a-lifetime event,” says space journalist Patrica van Liemt.

“The red supergiant has kept scientists busy for decades.”

Credits: Unsplash

The occultation will take place tonight. Then one object slides in front of another object. In this case, the asteroid 319 Leona will cover the star Betelgeuse. “We learn a lot about stars by studying their brightness. So scientists will be busy tonight. In addition, the surface area and diameter of the star will be studied,” says van Liemt.

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According to Van Liemt, the “red supergiant” has preoccupied scientists for decades. “In 2019, the star suddenly dimmed. This is often a harbinger of the end of the star. But not long after, the star lit up again. Despite this, astronomers believe that this star will die soon. “Soon” is a broad term, because in the language Astronomical means more than ten thousand years.

The diameter of Betelgeuse is 1,180 times the diameter of our Sun. If the star actually disappears, we will notice it. “So it will also be darker on this side of the universe,” says van Liemt.

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