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Supergiant Betelgeuse had a never-before-seen massive eruption - CNN

Supergiant Betelgeuse had a never-before-seen massive eruption - CNN

Supergiant Betelgeuse had a never-before-seen massive eruption - CNN
Aug 12, 2022 57 secs

But the surface mass ejection Betelgeuse experienced released more than 400 billion times as much mass as a typical coronal mass ejection from the sun.

The lifetime of a star

Observing Betelgeuse and its unusual behavior has allowed astronomers to watch what happens late in the lifetime of a star.

As Betelgeuse burns through fuel in its core, it has swollen to massive proportions, becoming a red supergiant.

The massive star is 1 billion miles (1.6 billion kilometers) in diameter.

Ultimately, the star will explode in a supernova, an event that could be briefly visible during the daytime on Earth.

Meanwhile, the star is experiencing some fiery temper tantrums.

The amount of mass that stars lose late in their lives as they burn through nuclear fusion can affect their survival, but even losing a significant amount of its surface mass isn't a sign that Betelgeuse is ready to blow, according to astronomers.

Astronomers such as Dupree have studied how the star behaved before, during and after the eruption in an effort to understand what happened.

Scientists believe that a convective plume, stretching more than 1 million miles (1.6 million kilometers) across, originated from inside the star.


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