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.