Student: Connor Bronson-Doherty
Mentor: Cassandra Fallscheer
The red supergiant star, Betelgeuse, was first reported to be dimming beyond its usual fluctuations in October 2019. Since then, many professional and amateur members of the astronomy community have been observing the star, analyzing the data, and trying to determine the cause of its dimming. From 28 January to 27 February 2020 we observed Betelgeuse using the CWU 0.6-meter research telescope with Bessel Blue and Ultraviolet filters. Our magnitude data were submitted to the American Association of Variable Star Observers’ (AAVSO) database where we found our magnitude trends to be consistent with the trends from other submissions while exhibiting a slight offset in actual values. Our data, along with other AAVSO data submissions, and recent findings by other AAVSO partners have found that Betelgeuse has ceased dimming and is slowly rising in magnitude in line with its variable cycle putting some theories to rest but creating even more questions as to why Betelgeuse exhibited the anomalous dimming behavior.