The red star Betelgeuse in the Orion constellation has been fading for months.


BetelgeuseBetelgeuse

Jan. 2019

Dec. 2019


A pair of images released on Valentine’s Day by the European Southern Observatory shows how the huge, diffuse star has dimmed and changed its apparent shape.






Jan. 2019

(before dimming)

Jan. 2019

(before dimming)

Jan. 2019

(before dimming)


The recent dimming is unprecedented in modern observations of Betelgeuse, and astronomers are watching to see if the star will brighten again or possibly explode in a supernova.


Below, a short video shows the location of Betelgeuse in the shoulder of Orion, and zooms in to the visible surface of the star.

ESO/Pierre Kervella/Miguel Montargès et al.

For more on Betelgeuse’s dimming, see:
Waiting for Betelgeuse to Explode.

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Images by European Southern Observatory/Miguel Montargès et al. Magnitude data from the American Association of Variable Star Observers.

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