Astrophysicist, Andrea Dupree, says the supergiant star Betelgeuse may be going supernova sooner than expected. Dupree is the associate director of the Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian. She is also the first woman and youngest person ever to hold that position.
Dr. Dupree leads a team of world-renowned experts who have been studying the strange dimming of the star Betelgeuse.
Dr. Dupree explained that the star is a thousand times more massive than the Earth’s sun, and astronomers have been watching it for over 150 years. Betelgeuse is 725 light-years from Earth. Any light or light dimming that we see from Betelgeuse today left the star in the year 1300.
In October and November 2019, the Hubble Space Telescope observed dense, ultra-hot material shooting out of the star’s extended atmosphere at 200,000 miles per hour. The following month, several ground-based telescopes noted that Betelgeuse’s southern hemisphere was dimmer.
By February 2020, two-thirds of the star’s brilliance was missing. The dimming was visible even to the naked eye.