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Betelgeuse is faint (for it)

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#101 Aquarellia

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Posted 24 January 2020 - 01:38 AM

Yesterday I had the impression Betelgeuse was even slightly fainter that three days ago, just barely brighter than Bellatrix. Maybe within 0.1 mag of Bellatrix. A pretty amazing sight, never thought we'd see something like this. Reminds me of the brightening of delta Scorpii years ago, but this is even more impressive.

 

Hi Jure, indeed.  Yesterday I estimate the magnitude just between +1.5 and +1.6.  So I send my first +1.55 to the AAVSO.

What's amazing too is that Betelgeuse which was the 9th most brillant star of the sky is now going down to the 25th place!

Michel


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#102 kdenny2

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Posted 30 January 2020 - 06:21 PM

Looks like the dimming has halted and a period of somewhat dramatic brightening began yesterday, followed by a leveling off today.

 

https://twitter.com/...650793121153024

 

Also may have dropped in intensity in the IR channel.

 

https://twitter.com/...969146784256003


Edited by kdenny2, 30 January 2020 - 06:24 PM.


#103 smithrrlyr

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Posted 30 January 2020 - 11:35 PM

Looks like the dimming has halted and a period of somewhat dramatic brightening began yesterday, followed by a leveling off today.

 

It wouldn't surprise me if the fading was ending, but we may not know for sure for awhile.  Good observations remain in demand!



#104 Jure Atanackov

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Posted 31 January 2020 - 05:56 AM

Interestingly enough, the brightening seems quite obvious with Betelgeuse being so close to Bellatrix in brightness. Indeed, being so close to Bellatrix both in brightness and in the sky, I think it allows more precise estimates than usually. On Jan 26th I found both stars seemed to have almost the same brightness, with Betelgeuse just very slightly brighter. Three days later it was again obviously brighter than Bellatrix. It never seemed to quite to fade to the brightness of Bellatrix, but I may have missed the minimum.

 

Jan 21.81UT: +1.5 (+1.48)
Jan 23.84UT: +1.5 (+1.52)
Jan 26.81UT: +1.6 (+1.56)
Jan 29.82UT: +1.5 (+1.48)

 

I know that I can't estimate the brightness to within 0.01 mag, just writing what the estimate worked out to be. I rounded my estimates to the nearest 0.1 mag.


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#105 robin_astro

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Posted 31 January 2020 - 06:40 AM

It wouldn't surprise me if the fading was ending, but we may not know for sure for awhile.  Good observations remain in demand!

If confirmed this would be precisely in line with the prediction made in ATel #13410 of minimum late Jan/early Feb based on the normal brightness cycles

 

Cheers

Robin


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#106 Aquarellia

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Posted 31 January 2020 - 06:52 AM

Interestingly enough, the brightening seems quite obvious with Betelgeuse being so close to Bellatrix in brightness. Indeed, being so close to Bellatrix both in brightness and in the sky, I think it allows more precise estimates than usually. On Jan 26th I found both stars seemed to have almost the same brightness, with Betelgeuse just very slightly brighter. Three days later it was again obviously brighter than Bellatrix. It never seemed to quite to fade to the brightness of Bellatrix, but I may have missed the minimum.

 

Jan 21.81UT: +1.5 (+1.48)
Jan 23.84UT: +1.5 (+1.52)
Jan 26.81UT: +1.6 (+1.56)
Jan 29.82UT: +1.5 (+1.48)

 

I know that I can't estimate the brightness to within 0.01 mag, just writing what the estimate worked out to be. I rounded my estimates to the nearest 0.1 mag.

I agree with your estimation, here are mine for the same period using Bellatrix (+1.64) as reference 

Jan 18.8: +1.50

Jan 23.7: +1.55

Jan 26.7: +1.65

Jan 28.7: +1.64

 

It's very subtle but the minimum seems to be reach as stated in ATel here under, and the AAVSO V and Visual curve confirms that as well 

 

If confirmed this would be precisely in line with the prediction made in ATel #13410 of minimum late Jan/early Feb based on the normal brightness cycles

 

Cheers

Robin

I'm happy because I wrote an article for a French scientific magazine, with the Atel prediction, this magazine will be available end February... so oufff

 

Michel


Edited by Aquarellia, 31 January 2020 - 06:54 AM.

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#107 Jure Atanackov

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Posted 31 January 2020 - 09:28 AM

I agree with your estimation, here are mine for the same period using Bellatrix (+1.64) as reference 

Jan 18.8: +1.50

Jan 23.7: +1.55

Jan 26.7: +1.65

Jan 28.7: +1.64

 

It's very subtle but the minimum seems to be reach as stated in ATel here under, and the AAVSO V and Visual curve confirms that as well 

 

I'm happy because I wrote an article for a French scientific magazine, with the Atel prediction, this magazine will be available end February... so oufff

 

Michel

Great stuff! Thanks for sharing your observations. Congrats on the artice! Now, if Betelgeuse could swing around to about magnitude -2 or -3, that would be nice :D


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#108 kdenny2

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Posted 02 February 2020 - 04:27 PM

Down to +1.66 mag.

 

https://twitter.com/...346143414845442


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#109 robin_astro

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Posted 03 February 2020 - 07:00 AM

Looking at the error bars that point is not statistically significantly different from the previous 4 points from that observer though. We will need a few more points yet to say if it is still declining or has levelled out


Edited by robin_astro, 03 February 2020 - 07:01 AM.

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#110 Jure Atanackov

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Posted 05 February 2020 - 12:38 PM

Tonight Betelgeuse seems (to my eyes) about the same brightness as Bellatrix :O Over the past few days it seems to have gotten still fainter. Will have numbers later.


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#111 Piggyback

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Posted 06 February 2020 - 10:42 AM

Evening shot of Betelgeuse on 05 Feb. 2020 at 6:24pm Wiesbaden-Germany. Canon Powershot G11, unguided, 5sec at ISO400. To my eyes Betelgeuse appeared the exact same brightness as Bellatrix. It seemed a tad bit fainter from my last observations two weeks ago. 

 

Beteigeuze 1.6mag 05.02.2020_04red.jpg


Edited by Piggyback, 06 February 2020 - 11:05 AM.

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#112 Piggyback

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Posted 12 February 2020 - 12:46 PM

Betelgeuse and Bellatrix on 11 Feb. 2020 at 8:08pm CET Wiesbaden-Germany. Canon Powershot G11, unguided, 6sec at ISO400. Betelgeuse a tad bit fainter than Bellatrix to my eyes.

 

 

Beteigeuze 11.02.2020_3red.jpg


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#113 B 26354

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Posted 12 February 2020 - 01:21 PM

Betelgeuse [was] a tad bit fainter than Bellatrix to my eyes.

Visually, that was my impression last night also, at about 8:15pm local time, under very clear skies.

 

I have to say that I've never really been terribly interested in variable-star observing, but I've been visually following this particular dimming process for several weeks now, and it's been quite fun. I've also gotten to point out the relative brightness between Betelgeuse and Bellatrix to a few neighbors... and they've actually become interested enough that they're hoping to see the eventual brightening of Betelgeuse, as it occurs.


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#114 Piggyback

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Posted 13 February 2020 - 02:30 AM

Betelgeuse sure can be addictive. My wife can't hear it any more and prays for this "thing" to go off so we can go on with our regular life.

 


Edited by Piggyback, 13 February 2020 - 02:50 AM.

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#115 Chopin

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Posted 16 February 2020 - 09:26 PM

I would also say that it appeared just slightly dimmer than Bellatrix to my eyes the other night. I just came upon this article from phys.org relaying a latest published photo from ESO's VLT, and suggests ejection material is obscuring the surface. Pretty interesting. Certainly seems plausible. 

 

https://phys.org/new...betelgeuse.html

 

Like many others, I have done little to no variable star observing before this particular event. Fascinating science for sure. 



#116 Dmitriusz Ejszakat

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Posted 17 February 2020 - 10:27 AM

This winter we have cloudy sky almost all the time – so I can made only few observations of Betelgeuze’s brightness. My recent visual estimations from severe polluted city skies are:

 

February 8, 19.00 UT        1.7 mag 

February 9, 19.00 UT        1.8 mag

 

Unfortunately, since that time all nights was cloudy... But due to this I am found something interesting. 

 

I'm stumble upon this article: "Comments on the Progenitor of NGC 6946-BH1" ( https://iopscience.i...515-5172/ab5191 ) about transient in NGC 6946 that could be a failed supernova due to the core-collapse of a yellow or red supergiant to a black hole. Description of its pre-outburst light curve is surprisingly resembles current behaviour of Betelgeuze:

 

    "A curious feature of the pre-collapse light curve is the decrease in brightness beginning in mid-2008 observed at all of the optical wavelengths during which the star also got significantly redder; indeed, with the colors of a true red supergiant before the brief outburst."

 

Outburst of "failed Supernova" NGC 6946-BH1 began in March 2009 when star's luminosity increased to at least a million solar luminosities, but by 2015 it had disappeared from optical view. So we can speculate that progenitor star either collapsed to a black hole, or was completely destroyed.

 

I am very skeptical about the possibility that fading of Betelgeuze may be a sign of its nearby explosion as Supernova. But this is interesting coincidence.


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#117 kdenny2

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Posted 19 February 2020 - 12:42 PM

Latest reports from AAVSO show Betelgeuse has stopped dimming and has gradually begun brightening again.


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#118 mwr

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Posted Yesterday, 06:02 AM

"Using ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT), astronomers have captured the unprecedented dimming of Betelgeuse, a red supergiant star in the constellation of Orion. The stunning new images of the star’s surface show not only the fading red supergiant but also how its apparent shape is changing."

 

https://www.eso.org/...s/eso2003/?lang


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#119 flt158

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Posted Today, 09:44 AM

I wonder if we should start a new forum called "Betelgeuse is getting brighter". 

 

Please ignore that advice if you think that way. 

 

Clear skies, 

 

Aubrey. 




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