Call off the supernova watch. The red supergiant star known as Betelgeuse isn’t going to explode in a supernova after all. (Though it will at sometime in the future up to 100,000 years from now.)
A couple of weeks ago we reported:
For months, astronomers have been keeping a wary eye on Betelgeuse, the bright red star in Orion’s shoulder. What’s attracting their attention? All of a sudden, Betelgeuse isn’t bright anymore. Its visible luminosity has “fallen off a cliff”–a sign that the star could be on the verge of going supernova.
If Betelegeuse starts to bounce back on Feb. 21st, this whole episode might just be a deeper-than-average pulsation, and perhaps the supernova watch can be called off.
New readings indicate that Betelgeuse is in fact, brightening again.
The turnaround was actually predicted, and suggests the recent dimming was an unusually deep excursion of the star’s natural 430-day periodicity.