‘It’s new territory’: why is Betelgeuse glowing so brightly and behaving so strangely?

After the ‘great dimming’, the closest red giant star to Earth is pulsating twice as fast as usual and lighting up the southern hemisphere’s early evening sky

One of the brightest stars in the sky is behaving strangely, pulsating from bright to dim twice as fast as usual and giving scientists an unprecedented insight into how stars die.

Betelgeuse, the closest red giant to Earth, has long been understood to move between brighter and dimmer in 400-day cycles. But from late 2019 to early 2020, it underwent what astrophysicists called “the great dimming”, as a dust cloud obscured our view of the star.

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