Deep Sky
Rigel

Star
Constellation: Orion
This is one of my old friends and I had a chance to image it the other night (much to Mr. Voss chagrin).   Known as Beta Orionis, it is the brightest star in Orion coming in as the sixth brightest star in the heavens.   A blue-white supergiant, not just a giant but a supergiant, Rigel’s has an absolute magnitude of -7.84, hum put another way, this bad boy is some 130,000 times brighter than the sun!  It is also a Alpha Cygni variable star, meaning that it will pulsate every now and again.
Rigel is between 700 and 900 light-years away and is not a single star.  Known as the Rigel Star System, and visual binary, there are a total of 3 stars in the system.  Rigel A, the 600 lb gorilla, is some 500 times brighter than Rigel B, it little friend is some 12 light-days away.   You can just barely see it down at 5:30 on this image.          --- also the star my dog is named after…….
5 images stacked
5 sec
03-12-13