Waiting for Betelgeuse: What’s Up with the Tempestuous Star?

Orion rising on December 21, 2019 with yellow-red Betelgeuse at upper centre reportedly dimmer than usual as it drops to one of its occasional dim episodes as a long-period variable star. It is a red supergiant that varies between 0.0 and +1.3 magnitude. rrThis is a stack of 6 x 1-minute tracked exposures plus a single exposure through the Kenko Softon A filter to add the star glows. All on the iOptron Sky Guider Pro and with the stock Canon 6D MkII and 35mm lens at f/2.8. Taken from home in Alberta on a partly cloudy and foggy night.

Have you noticed that Orion the Hunter—one of the most iconic and familiar of the wintertime constellations—is looking a little… different as of late? The culprit is its upper shoulder star Alpha Orionis, aka Betelgeuse, which is looking markedly faint, the faintest it has been for the 21st century.

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