back to article I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Winking red supergiants sneezing hot gas 650 light years away

The light from the red supergiant Betelgeuse dimmed to a record low earlier this year, leading stargazers to speculate it was about to explode as a supernova. But now it appears the aging sun merely had a stellar sneeze. Last autumn, Betelgeuse started going dark, losing two thirds of its brightness by February. Yet by May, …

  1. Anonymous Coward

    Just brilliant

    > Dupree compared the behavior to a “sneeze”

    Just brilliant. Now even stars are sneezing in our direction without wearing a facemask.

    1. Terje

      Re: Just brilliant

      No no no, Betelgeuse is a polite star, the dimming is because of wearing a mask!

  2. USER100

    Scientifically speaking

    It appears that Betelgeuse had too much beer and curry, which may have caused a severe outgassing event.

  3. DS999 Silver badge

    An "outgassing event" is not a sneeze

    It has another name I guess the scientists were too polite to say.

    1. grndkntrl

      Re: An "outgassing event" is not a sneeze

      Stellar Parp‽

      Stellar Fart‽

      Stellar Shart‽

      1. Anonymous Coward

        Re: An "outgassing event" is not a sneeze

        From the pictures the star clearly lit it so it would be scientifically classified as a Stellar Flaming Fart.

        For Dupree's information, US science shows typically refer to it as a burp. But that may be too risque for Haavaard.

        I'm still hoping for a supernova in my lifetime. Make it happen boffins.

        1. Bowlers

          Re: An "outgassing event" is not a sneeze

          "I'm still hoping for a supernova in my lifetime. Make it happen boffins."

          But not too close please.

        2. DJO Silver badge

          Re: An "outgassing event" is not a sneeze

          I'm still hoping for a supernova in my lifetime. .

          You don't have to wait all that long.. there's one..

          There's another, pause, and another.......

          On average, a supernova will occur about once every 50 years in a galaxy the size of the Milky Way. Put another way, a star explodes every second or so somewhere in the universe.

          Naked eye visible supernova is what I suspect you meant. Be careful of what you wish for.

        3. MCMLXV
          Thumb Up


          +1 for the Tom Lehrer reference :)

      2. Evil Scot

        Re: An "outgassing event" is not a sneeze

        Stelar Shart.

        Do. Do. Do. Do. Do. Do.

    2. Hamish McNish

      Re: An "outgassing event" is not a sneeze


    3. Chris G

      Re: An "outgassing event" is not a sneeze

      The outgassing is probably due to an upcoming election, all the politicians are talking at the same time.

    4. bombastic bob Silver badge

      Re: An "outgassing event" is not a sneeze

      birthing pains for a baby planet?

      first thought: that gas and dust may someday coalesce into a stable orbit...

      also thought: Planet Pffffft

  4. John McCallum

    Stelar Fart ?

    From the Southern End? Where I come from that would be refered to as a wet fart.

  5. RM Myers

    "...the supergiant was undergoing a severe outgassing event..."

    I had one of those in college after eating Egg Foo Yung and drinking beer at a seriously dodgy Chinese restaurant. I thought I was going to get thrown out of the car on the way back to our rooming house, and no, I don't mean after the car was stopped. My roommate wouldn't speak to me for about a week.

  6. Sanguma
    Paris Hilton

    “All stars are losing material to the interstellar medium ..."

    Bad girl!

  7. Neil Barnes Silver badge

    It’s very unique.

    Enough said.

  8. I am the liquor

    Headline for the win

    Kudos to El Reg for the headline, given that Betelgeuse is indeed the shoulder of Orion. Or possibly the armpit of Orion.

  9. Twanky

    A star does something 650 years ago and you call this news??

    (OK. Actually really interesting stuff.)

  10. Roger Kynaston

    Ford! Zaphod! Don't go home.

    Looks like your home planet may not be around much longer.

    Apologies for the Yahoo title as well.

    1. stuartnz

      Re: Ford! Zaphod! Don't go home.

      Perhaps it's not an outgassing event, nor a sneeze, but a Hrung, collapsing.

  11. John Jennings

    we get the fart jokes - enough allready !

    Seriously, though....

    This is interesting. We reckon that all elements heavier than Iron are the products of supernovae. Assuming that Bg is about to supernova, it is likely that the outgassing is more than just hydrogen/helium. If the content of the materiel could be tested, there might well be an oppertunity to calculate when it will go bang - by estimating the percentage of Iron and other elements in the outgas This might not be possible, but it would be interesting to find out. It spat out a massive amount of material (which will never fuse now that its left the caronasphere). If we know the ratios of material, we might also learn if this is common to pre-supernovae stars as we have an idea of the ratios of stardust elswhere....

    This is possibly a big deal! Well done spotting it.

    1. JCitizen

      Re: we get the fart jokes - enough allready !

      @John Jennings

      Just what I was thinking; but then I'm trying to formulate a joke about dark matter.

      Mine is the one with the iron filings in the pockets!

    2. Claptrap314 Silver badge

      Re: we get the fart jokes - enough allready !

      Not the rare earths...

  12. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    The iron only gets formed in the impreeive heat and pressure of the an explosion.

    The current out flow is a bit of the surface layer which is almost all hydrogen

    1. DJO Silver badge

      The iron only gets formed in the impreeive heat and pressure of the an explosion.

      No, Iron is the end product of fusing progressively heavier elements until the star runs out of fuseable material.

      With no more fuel to burn it goes kaboom and releases the Iron from the core to space.

      Elements heavier than Iron come from a variety of stellar explosions, either collisions or death rattles.

  13. Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

    "Betelgeuse is once again growing fainter before our eyes, and has been fading away since June."

    I wouldn't know - I've not seen the night sky since May. Even on clear days it seems to cloud over at night. I've seen one Perseid - it literally fell out of Perseus's pocket like the old boy was dropping change on the floor. That's it.

  14. Claptrap314 Silver badge

    Betelgeuse! Betelgeuse! ...

    Ten times on a page. Trying to start something? Or finish it?

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