Due to its brightness and distinctive color, Betelgeuse is one of the most notable stars in the earthly sky. This is lone a red supergiant located from us at a distance of 640 ± 150 light-years.
Betelgeuse is associated with many astronomical mysteries. Some Chinese astronomers of antiquity had described the star as having a yellow (white) color. But after three centuries Ptolemy mentioned that it has a reddish tint.
The exact diameter of the giant is still not known — according to various estimates is from 500 to 800 diameters of the Sun. But recent observation has been that the visible size of the stars decreased.
As it turned out, the giant is rotating too quickly for the body this class. A team of astronomers from the University of Texas published an article in which he compared the results of computer simulation of the evolution of a red supergiant and Betelgeuse. According to their calculations, Betelgeuse rotates 150 times faster than it should.
According to astronomers, the discrepancy may be explained by the fact that once in the past Betelgeuse has swallowed the star-companion mass comparable to the Sun. This has led to the promotion of the supergiant. In favor of this theory says that astronomers found a gas cloud about the place where they were supposed to be a release of substances during absorption the stars.