Betelgeuse may have swallowed a companion star

Betelgeuse may have swallowed a companion star

The rotation speed of the supergiant Betelgeuse is about 150 times faster than it was assumed. The discovery is believed to show that in the past Betelgeuse swallowed another star, what made the supergiant speed up. The research’s results of the University of Texas at Austin were published in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

The view of Betelgeuse

The view of Betelgeuse was captured from McDonald Observatory (an orange dot on the left). Credit: Tom Montemayor

Betelgeuse in the constellation of OrionBetelgeuse is a red supergiant in the constellation Orion. This is one of the biggest stars known to astronomers. According to the calculations, its stellar mass is about 13-17 solar masses and its diameter is approximately 950-1000 times the Sun’s diameter.

According to the scientists, the rotation speed of the star should slow down after its transformation into a red supergiant. However, the results of new studies have not proved it. The astronomers calculated a possible rotation speed of the star with a mass of 15-25 solar masses, which then became a red giant. When they compared the results of the calculations with the speed of Betelgeuse, it was found that the outer layers of the star are moving at a speed of 15 kilometers per second and the star is spinning about 150 times faster than the calculations suggest.

A computer generated image of Betelgeuse, observed from a distance of about 8 astronomical units. The image on the right shows the Sun, observed from the same distance.

A computer generated image of Betelgeuse, observed from a distance of about 8 astronomical units.
The image on the right shows the Sun, observed from the same distance.

The authors believe that the increase in orbital angular momentum may indicate that in the past the star Betelgeuse swallowed its "partner", which had the size equal to the Sun. However, if this phenomenon occurred, then the collision of stars had to eject matter at a speed of about 10 kilometers per second. The scientists have identified where the substance might be and discovered somewhere in this place a gas cloud. However, they cannot say for sure whether it appeared as a result of Betelgeuse’s collision with its neighbor or not.

The astronomers are going to continue the study of the red supergiant using asteroseismological method. Also, they are planning to create models, enabling to show the process of Betelgeuse transformation after it swallowed a star with a mass equal to the mass of the Sun.
The phenomenon, discovered by the astronomers, is quite fascinating, besides it can be observed at different levels of matter organization. It is quite interestingly described in the book "AllatRa":

«Manifestations of domination of one matter over another exist everywhere, including in space. This has also been observed by astronomers also in the behavior of planets and star systems. For instance, not far from us, in the star clusters of the Milky Way there are giant stars, which are inherently vampires. These are binary stars, where one of the stars simply pulls on itself matter in the form of gas from its “partner”, to which it is located very close. And then it completely absorbs this star, consequently, extending its life and becoming a supergiant star for some time. It is all the same, according to the same laws of the domination of matter. Not to mention a collective impact of communities of planets and galaxies on the processes occurring in outer space, that is, that which humanity still cannot study as of today, given the insufficient level of technological capacity. But these phenomena do exist, and even today one can find many indirect evidence of this».

Independent studies in various fields lead to amazing discoveries. People begin to see the connection between all processes taking place in the visible world and the harmonious, ordered world structure. In their turn these observations lead to the understanding of human nature, which is the main discovery.


Author: Arina Kalinina

It's interesting

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