Scroll down to read this post.


Without the support of my readers I could not keep doing this, not so much because of the need for income to pay the bills, but because it tells me that there are people out there who want me to do this work. If you wish to add your vote of support to Behind the Black, by giving either a one-time contribution or a regular subscription, you can do so in any one of the following ways:


1. Zelle: This is the only internet method that charges no fees. All you have to do is use the Zelle link at your internet bank and give my name and email address (zimmerman at nasw dot org). What you donate is what I get.


2. Patreon: Go to my website there and pick one of five monthly subscription amounts, or by making a one-time donation.

3. A Paypal Donation:

4. A Paypal subscription:

5. Donate by check, payable to Robert Zimmerman and mailed to
Behind The Black
c/o Robert Zimmerman
P.O.Box 1262
Cortaro, AZ 85652

Betelgeuse continues to fluctuate in unexpected ways

An optical image of Betelgeuse taken in 2017 by a ground-based
telescope, showing its not unusual aspherical shape.
Click for original image.

After the star’s light dimmed for almost a year in 2019 to 2020 due to what astronomers believe was a dust cloud that was released from the star, it has continued to fluctuate differently than in the past.

Now, it is glowing at 150% of its normal brightness, and is cycling between brighter and dimmer at 200-day intervals – twice as fast as usual – according to astrophysicist Andrea Dupree of the Harvard-Smithsonian Centre for Astrophysics. It is currently the seventh brightest star in the night sky – up three places from its usual tenth brightest.

The astronomers believe the star is recovering from the ejection of material from that 2019-2020 dimming, its gas bag shape bouncing in and out like a blob of water floating in weightlessness. They also think it might take five to ten years for those reverberations to settle down.

Betelgeuse, a red giant star, is theorized to go supernovae sometime in the next 10,000 to 100,000 to a million years.

Conscious Choice cover

Now available in hardback and paperback as well as ebook!


From the press release: In this ground-breaking new history of early America, historian Robert Zimmerman not only exposes the lie behind The New York Times 1619 Project that falsely claims slavery is central to the history of the United States, he also provides profound lessons about the nature of human societies, lessons important for Americans today as well as for all future settlers on Mars and elsewhere in space.

Conscious Choice: The origins of slavery in America and why it matters today and for our future in outer space, is a riveting page-turning story that documents how slavery slowly became pervasive in the southern British colonies of North America, colonies founded by a people and culture that not only did not allow slavery but in every way were hostile to the practice.  
Conscious Choice does more however. In telling the tragic history of the Virginia colony and the rise of slavery there, Zimmerman lays out the proper path for creating healthy societies in places like the Moon and Mars.


“Zimmerman’s ground-breaking history provides every future generation the basic framework for establishing new societies on other worlds. We would be wise to heed what he says.” —Robert Zubrin, founder of founder of the Mars Society.


All editions are available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and all book vendors, with the ebook priced at $5.99 before discount. The ebook can also be purchased direct from my ebook publisher, ebookit, in which case you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner.


Autographed printed copies are also available at discount directly from me (hardback $24.95; paperback $14.95; Shipping cost for either: $5.00). Just email me at zimmerman @ nasw dot org.


  • go supernovae sometime in the next 10,000 to 100,000 to a million years.

    So, don’t hold our breath. Is that actually a reasonable range for this sort of thing? It doesn’t seem much different from saying it will go supernovae “someday” or “eventually”.

  • Call Me Ishmael

    10,000 years really is “real soon now” on stellar evolution time scales. A million years, for a star massive enough to go supernova, is more like “eventually”.

  • Call Me Ishmael: The range of time doesn’t tell when this will happen, it tells us how much guesswork is involved and how little astronomers know about supernovae. Since they don’t know the process that initiates this type of supernova, in a single star, how can they with any accuracy predict when the star will explode?

    They can’t. All they are doing is making educated guesses, which are still guesses having little connection to reality.

  • Gina Marie Wylie

    A great many violent physical processes are triggered by what is really a minor stimulus that throws the system out of balance at just the right instant. Something like a mass ejection at the right time could be like a snowball starting an avalanche. “Predicting” such events would be a lucky guess.

  • Localfluff

    Beetle juice, that’s what the EU, of which I am occupied over here, forces us to drink these days. A (German) food retailer in Sweden in their commercials even brags about they now selling processed food products containing “insect flour”. How tasty, yum yum. Makes the climate cooler too, they madly claim. As if this Spring hasn’t been extremely cold already. Methinks there’s a good evolutionary reason why human beings don’t eat bugs and why we find them disgusting. The foul.

    So I make sure that I don’t buy any processed food products at all. No bread or pasta, no fast food or canned soup. Nothing that has gone through any extensive processing/mixing by the politically regulated food industry. Just raw vegetables and raw meat and fish. It is more expensive and takes more of an effort to prepare, but it is at least edible. They might be infested by a few bugs to a naturally acceptable degree, although farmers take extensive precautions to prevent that. Those milled bugs are now added afterwards to the good food.

    I can cite my favorite Shakespeare to eloquently express my disgust:
    “How horrible! How horrible! Hooow horrible!” Terrible!

  • GaryMike


    I’m old enough that whatever it does won’t matter to me.

Readers: the rules for commenting!


No registration is required. I welcome all opinions, even those that strongly criticize my commentary.


However, name-calling and obscenities will not be tolerated. First time offenders who are new to the site will be warned. Second time offenders or first time offenders who have been here awhile will be suspended for a week. After that, I will ban you. Period.


Note also that first time commenters as well as any comment with more than one link will be placed in moderation for my approval. Be patient, I will get to it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *