Betelgeuse, a red giant, is in the constellation Orion, one of the brightest stars in the night sky. A recent Daily Galaxy article reports the Red Super Giant, shrunk by 15 per cent over the last 15 years. “Red giant stars are thought to have short, complicated and violent lifespans. Lasting at most a few million years, they quickly burn out their hydrogen fuel and then switch to helium, carbon and other elements in a series of partial collapses, refuelings and restarts. Betelgeuse, which is thought to be reaching the end of its lifespan, may be experiencing one of those collapses as it switches from one element to another as nuclear-fusion fuel,” explains article. The above image was obtained by “…using different state-of-the-art techniques on ESO’s Very Large Telescope, two independent teams of astronomers obtained the sharpest ever views of the supergiant star Betelgeuse. They show that the star has a vast plume of gas almost as large as our Solar System and a gigantic bubble boiling on its surface. These discoveries provide important clues to help explain how these mammoths shed material at such a tremendous rate.”
A core collapse is thought to precede a star burst into Supernova and according to article, “Betelgeuse… could burst into its supernova phase and become as bright as a full moon – and last for as long as a year.” Betelgeuse is 600 light years from zarth. We’ll just have to wait and see, but don’t stay up too long, it may not happen for 100,000 years!