Betelgeuse’s ‘Great Dimming’ had an unlikely observer: a Japanese weather satellite

Astronomers have a new way to study stars: take advantage of meteorological satellites orbiting Earth.

That’s the conclusion of a new paper that presents new data from a Japanese weather satellite that just so happened to observe the red supergiant star Betelgeuse during a period of inexplicable dimming. The serendipitous observations could mean a new tool for astronomers trying to understand how a red supergiant star loses mass and ultimately explode as a supernova.

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