Universe Today Podcast

Episode 606: Betelgeuse Is Dimmer Than We've Ever Seen It

December 27th, 2019  •  10 mins 11 secs  •  Download (9.33 MB)  •  Link with Timestamp

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Over the last weekend, astronomy Twitter started noting that the red giant Betelgeuse, the prominent shoulder of Orion was looking visibly dimmer in the sky, and I had a few people reach out to me and ask me if it was really happening and if I knew what was going on.

This is exciting, of course, because Betelgeuse is living on borrowed time, and it could explode as a supernova any day now. Or, it might not detonate for another 100,000 years. We just don’t know.

What’s Betelgeuse up to? Is this a sign that it’s about to explode? And what would it mean if it did?