• Mark Alan Lovewell

Betelgeuse Fades

One of the bright stars in our winter sky has faded plenty in the last couple of weeks. Betelgeuse, the single bright red star in the constellation Orion the hunter, has dropped more than one magnitude.

Betelgeuse marks the shoulder of the constellation. The color red has earned the attention of stargazers for centuries, but there is no record of it dropping this much in brightness.

Take a look tonight or in any night ahead. Seasoned stargazers will notice that it fails to glow as brilliantly. For those who’ve never seen the star before, it looks about as bright as Aldebaran, the principal star in the nearby zodiacal constellation Taurus.

While Betelgeuse might become a nova sometime in the next million years, astronomers aren’t predicting that to happen now.

Betelgeuse is a giant star, much bigger than our own sun. If we were to swap our sun for Betelgeuse, the star’s size would extend out beyond the orbit of Mars, and even reach out to the distant planet Jupiter. Earth would become toast inside the star.

Sunrise and Sunset
Day Sunrise Sunset
Fri., Jan. 3 7:08 4:23
Sat., Jan. 4 7:08 4:24
Sun., Jan. 5 7:08 4:25
Mon., Jan. 6 7:08 4:26
Tues., Jan. 7 7:08 4:27
Wed., Jan. 8 7:08 4:28
Thurs., Jan. 9 7:08 4:29
Fri., Jan. 10 7:08 4:30

Temperatures and Precipitations
Day Max (Fº) Min (Fº) Inches
Dec. 27 46 33 0.00
Dec. 28 50 36 0.00
Dec. 29 48 28 0.00
Dec. 30 44 37 1.11
Dec. 31 49 37 1.33
Jan. 1 0 0 0.00
Jan. 2 42 32 0.00

 

Water temperature in Edgartown harbor: 41º F

Comments (1)

Dw, Canada
Dust cloud absorbing photons
January 2, 2020 - 3:28pm

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