Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Betelgeuse Shedding Mass Like There's No Tomorrow

"Big Fat Star Sheds Pounds Like Crazy" (July 29, 2009)

"As a large star nears the end of its life it begins to shed mass at a tremendous rate.

"New observations of the supergiant star Betelgeuse may help scientists finally understand how this feat of weight loss is achieved.

"Views from the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope in Chile reveal a vast plume of gas spewing off of Betelgeuse, the shoulder star in the Orion constellation. This behemoth star has about 20 times the mass of our sun, but is losing about one sun's worth of mass every 10,000 to 100,000 years...."

Which is about a million times faster than our sun sheds mass.

Astronomers are learning more about how much and where Betelgeuse is shedding mass, but the don't know how. The article describes, very briefly, two ideas on what mechanism(s) may be at work.

Overall, this is a pretty good overview of what's known about Betelgeuse, and what's being studied.

If you think you've read about Betelgeuse in this blog before, you're quite right. All three posts on June 10 this year were about the red supergiant, with a fourth post explaining why I went Betelgeuse-happy.

I'm rather interested in astronomy, and Betelgeuse will probably become a supernova sometime between now, and about ten thousands years from now. We're at a nice, safe distance: but still close enough to give astronomers a really good look at the event.

Posts about Betelgeuse:

No comments:

Unique, innovative candles

Visit us online:
Spiral Light CandleFind a Retailer
Spiral Light Candle online store

Pinterest: From the Man Behind the Lemming

Top 10 Most-Viewed Posts

Today's News! Some of it, anyway

Actually, some of yesterday's news may be here. Or maybe last week's.
The software and science stuff might still be interesting, though. Or not.
The Lemming thinks it's interesting: Your experience may vary.
("Following" list moved here, after Blogger changed formats)

Who Follows the Lemming?


Family Blogs - Blog Catalog Blog Directory