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High angular resolution observations of Betelgeuse during its Great Dimming

Published onJun 01, 2020
High angular resolution observations of Betelgeuse during its Great Dimming

Red supergiant stars are essential contributors to the chemical enrichment of our Universe. In 2019 Nov, Betelgeuse, a red supergiant, began its dimming in V-band, and after four months, it became the faintest ever recorded in its photometric history. The spectrophotometric (Levesque & Massey, 2020) and SOFIA-EXES high spectral resolution (Harper et al., 2020) observations recorded during this Great Dimming do not report any notable changes in comparison to its past non-dimming observations indicating a presence of dust in the line of sight. VLT/SPHERE images (Montargès et al.) have shown that the star shape has been changed significantly, inferring some change has occurred near the photosphere. This could be a clump of dust emitted from the star, and if this is true, this event will be an opportunity to directly witness the formation of dust in a Red supergiant star. We have observed Betelgeuse during this unusual event with the Large Binocular Telescope in several near and far-infrared wavelength filters and also with the CHARA interferometer. We will present the preliminary results.

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