Wild Surface of Betelgeuse Baffles Telescopes – ScienceAlert

Wild Surface of Betelgeuse Baffles Telescopes – ScienceAlert

In a groundbreaking study published in The Astrophysical Journal Letters, researchers have shed new light on the mysterious behavior of the dying star Betelgeuse. Scientists have long been puzzled by the star’s fast rotation speeds, which seem to defy theoretical limits.

Led by astrophysicist Jing-Ze Ma, the research team has proposed a new theory that could explain this phenomenon. They suggest that Betelgeuse’s boiling surface may be creating an illusion of rapid rotation. As a red supergiant star, Betelgeuse undergoes violent convection processes that create large convective cells. These cells, the team believes, could be misinterpreted as rotation in telescope observations.

Using cutting-edge 3D simulations, Ma and his colleagues demonstrated that observations from telescopes like ALMA may mistakenly appear as rotation when they are actually reflecting convective activity. This groundbreaking discovery raises questions about the current data on Betelgeuse’s rotation speed, prompting further high-resolution observations to clarify the star’s true behavior.

The implications of this research are significant for astrophysicists seeking to understand the processes at work in massive stars like Betelgeuse. By unraveling the mysteries of these celestial bodies, scientists hope to gain valuable insights into the nature of our universe.

The study underscores the importance of continued observation and analysis of Betelgeuse and similar stars. With further research, scientists may uncover the true nature of these enigmatic cosmic entities, deepening our understanding of the universe at large.

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