Betelgeuse’s Mysterious ‘Great Dimming’ May Have Been Triggered by a Wandering Black Hole

At the end of 2019, the star Betelgeuse dimmed by 60%. While it’s impossible to say for sure exactly what caused it, new research suggests a wandering partner may have played a role. By bobbing close to the giant star, the interloper may have kicked up a tidal bulge, causing Betelgeuse’s surface to darken. While this scenario can’t explain the full amount of dimming observed, it may have triggered other effects in the star that made the problem worse, the researchers propose in a new paper.

Betelgeuse is one of the most easily recognizable stars in the sky. You can see it as the bright red shoulder of Orion and it is usually the 10th brightest star in the sky. If I were to place the red supergiant in our Solar systemI would swallow everything inside rocky planets and extend from the sun to the asteroid belt between Mars Y Jupiter.

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