Betelgeuse has been an object of interest for researchers in recent times. With the help of the Very Large Telescope, ESO had managed to record images that allow researchers to compare the state of the star before and after it began to dim during 2019.
The red supergiant can be found in the Orion constellation, and it used to shine brightly. However, at this point in time, the brightness level is at around 36% of the regular one, and the change can be observed with the naked eye.
Researchers are interested in the phenomena that led to the dimming process, and a team of astronomers harnessed the features of the Very Large Telescope to observe the star.
A series of images were recorded with the help of the advanced Sphere instrument, with one of the images showing Betelgeuse before it started to dim and offering a clears benchmark.
ESO records impressive images of Betelgeuse
Select voices argue that the star may be on the path of becoming a supernova since all red supergiant stars will reach the supernova state at some point in their existence. By analyzing the images, the astronomers have concluded that the shape of the star has started to be a little different in the recent months, a discovery that led to two potential theories.
One of them involves intense solar activity while the other mentions that the view towards the star could be blocked by an intense dust ejection.
Others are already hard at work on calculations related to the date on which the supernova explosion will take place. Data obtained with the help of several simulations suggest that the event could take place in the next 100,000 years.
The exact way in which the supernova event will take place cannot be predicted, but the distance between us and the star is so great that there will be no consequences for life on Earth.