/ftp/cats/J_other/Natur/594.365



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J/other/Nat/594.365   Betelgeuse during its Great Dimming    (Montarges+, 2021)
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Beginning of ReadMe : J/other/Nat/594.365 Betelgeuse during its Great Dimming (Montarges+, 2021) ================================================================================ A dusty veil shading Betelgeuse during its Great Dimming. Montarges M., Cannon E., Lagadec E., de Koter A., Kervella P., Sanchez-Bermudez J., Paladini C., Cantalloube F., Decin L., Scicluna P., Kravchenko K., Dupree A.K., Ridgway S., Wittkowski M., Anugu N., Norris R., Rau G., Perrin G., Chiavassa A., Kraus S., Monnier J.D., Millour F., Le Bouquin J.B., Haubois X., Lopez B., Stee P., Danchi W. <Nature, 594, 365-368 (2021)> =2021Natur.594..365M (SIMBAD/NED BibCode) ================================================================================ ADC_Keywords: Stars, supergiant ; Stars, M-type ; Stars, late-type Keywords: stars individual: Betelgeuse - stars: imaging - supergiants - stars: mass-loss - infrared: Stars - techniques: high angular resolution Abstract: Red supergiants represent the most common final stage of the evolution of stars with initial masses between 8 and 30-35 times the mass of the Sun. During this phase of lifetime  10^5 yrs, they experience substantial mass loss of unknown mechanism (Arroyo-Torres et al., 2015A&A...575A..50A). This mass loss can affect their evolutionary path, collapse, future supernova light curve, and ultimate fate as a neutron star or a black hole. From November 2019 to March 2020, the second closest red supergiant (RSG, 222^+48^_-34_pc) Betelgeuse experienced a historic dimming of its visible brightness, witnessed worldwide. Usually between 0.1 and 1.0mag, it went down to 1.614+/-0.008mag around 7-13 February 2020. Here we report high angular resolution observations showing that the southern hemisphere of the star was ten times darker than usual in the visible. Observations and modeling support the scenario of a dust clump recently formed in the vicinity of the star due to a local temperature decrease in a cool patch appearing on the photosphere. The directly imaged brightness variations of Betelgeuse evolved on a timescale of weeks. This event suggests that an inhomogeneous component of red supergiant mass loss is linked to a very contrasted and rapidly changing photosphere. Description: The resolved images were obtained using the spectropolarimetric high-contrast exoplanet research (SPHERE) instrument, mounted on the third unit telescope of the European Southern Observatory's (ESO's) Very Large Telescope (VLT). More precisely, we used one of its sub-systems, the Zurich imaging polarimeter (ZIMPOL). We observed Betelgeuse and a point-spread-function calibrator, Rigel, in the polarimetric P2 mode of ZIMPOL on 31 December 2018, 26 December 2019, 27 January 2020, and 18 and 20 March 2020. Objects: --------------------------------------------------- RA (2000) DE Designation(s) --------------------------------------------------- 05 55 10.30 +07 24 25.43 Betelgeuse = alpha Ori 05 14 32.27 -08 12 05.89 Rigel = beta Ori ---------------------------------------------------

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