Betelgeuse, the nearest Red Supergiant star to us underwent an unusually deep minimum at optical wavelengths during its most recent pulsation cycle. We present submillimetre observations taken by the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope and Atacama Pathfinder Experiment over a time span of 13 years including the optical dimming. We find that Betelgeuse has also dimmed by ∼ 20% at these longer wavelengths during this optical minimum. Using radiative-transfer models, we show that this is likely due to changes in the photosphere (luminosity) of the star as opposed to the surrounding dust as was previously suggested in the literature.
|The Astrophysical Journal Letters
|Accepted/In press - 14 Jun 2020