Science

Betelgeuse’s mysterious spin could be a cosmic illusion caused by its enormous ‘boiling’ surface

Scientists may have finally solved the mystery of why the gigantic, dying star Betelgeuse appears to be spinning faster than is theoretically possible. What scientists previously interpreted as rapid rotation may actually be an optical illusion caused by the behemoth’s “boiling” surface, a new study argues.

Betelgeuse is a red supergiant that is around 1,000 times more massive than the sun, making it one of the largest known stars in the universe. To put that into context, if you swapped the sun with Betelgeuse, the giant star would extend past the orbit of Jupiter (and Earth, along with Mercury, Venus and Mars, would be instantly incinerated). 


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