Miguel Montargès a observé l'étoile supergéante rouge Bételgeuse pour la première fois au Chili grâce aux trois télescopes géants derrière lui sur cette photo.

It all started in a small garden in the heart of the Collioure in Pyrénées-Orientales. Miguel Montargues, who was then in college, observes the Milky Way and sees the star for the first time The red giant Betelgeuse, the most famous in the constellation Orion. This Thursday, June 16, 2021, twenty years later, the Catalan publishes his discoveries about this star as lead author in the very prestigious British magazine nature, one of the oldest and most famous scientific publications in the world.

A local boy becomes a star for scientists

Long before he became the star of astrophysics for scientists, Miguel Montargues was a young boy like everyone else. He started becoming interested in stars at the age of ten. In 1998, his parents gave him a cheap telescope. “horrible experienceKouliurenc, who is now a postdoctoral researcher in the Laboratory for Space and Instrumentation Studies in Astrophysics (LESIA) at the Paris Observatory, smiles.They thought they were doing a good job, but it’s hard to use. You have to know where to direct and adjust especially, so by the time you end up in the garden hut collecting dust‘, the world remembers.

He was still a student when he started his research

After several years, After being educated at the Pyrenees Orientales until middle school حتىHe learned to use a telescope at the ENS de Cachan astronomy club in 2008. Then, by chance, he went to the Atacama Desert in Chile for his thesis at the Paris Observatory studying the red giant star Betelgeuse.

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Miguel Montargues in Chile in December 2018, a few days before he discovered the red giant star. In the photo, Betelgeuse is above his left ear. © Radio France
Miguel Montargues

His discovery is world famous today

Thanks to his first research, which he conducted at the end of his studies, Miguel Montargues was able to explain the sudden change in the star of the constellation Orion. in 2019, Many scientists have found that it loses its luster. Its brightness has not been so low for two centuries. Some, “I thought the star was going to explodeAn assumption that turned out to be wrong.

The interior of one of the four giant telescopes, installed in the Atacama Desert in Chile, which enabled Miguel Montargues to photograph the Peltigiuz.
The interior of one of the four giant telescopes, installed in the Atacama Desert in Chile, which enabled Miguel Montargues to photograph the Peltigiuz. © Radio France
Miguel Montargues

Thanks in particular to the enormous telescopes of Chile called very large telescopeAnd the The Catalan managed to photograph the surface of the star Betelgeuse on several occasions. An exploit in itself, made it possible to discover that it had lost in brightness due to “smotherformed in front of her.

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The current data is already seven centuries old

Little miracle in astrophysics, This discovery is actually seven hundred years old. That’s the light-years time for a peltigiose image to reach the human eye.

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Miguel Montargues and his team were able to photograph Betelgeuse, a scientific achievement in itself.
Miguel Montargues and his team were able to photograph Betelgeuse, a scientific achievement in itself.
Miguel Montargues

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