The Mystery of Betelgeuse's Dimming Has Finally Been Solved

Astronomers say a cold patch and a stellar burp are behind the star’s strange dip in brightness.

In December 2019, astronomers noticed a strange, dramatic dimming in the light from Betelgeuse, a bright red star in the Orion constellation. They puzzled over the phenomenon and wondered whether it was a sign that the star was about to go supernova. Several months later, they had narrowed the most likely explanations to two: a short-lived cold patch on the star’s southern surface (akin to a sun spot), or a clump of dust making the star seem dimmer to observers on Earth. We now have our answer, according to a new paper published

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