Thursday, April 21, 2016

Rigel, Orion's left foot.

Rigel lighting up the Witch Head cloud. Image Source
The brightest star in the Orion constellation? That would be Rigel a blue white star, or should I rather say a triple or even possibly a quadruple star system with the brightest of them being Rigel A. The other two are a bit out done by this Super giant star and also a binary star with possible two other stars in this so called binary system, They can only be seen with a telescope because of their faintness, only one five hundredth the brightness of Rigel A.  Rigel is visible from all over the world and has served as a navigation star for eons. It's best viewed in the southern hemisphere in summer and in winter up north.
Rigel is a supergiant star that is so bright it lights up the Witch Head Nebula which is about forty astronomical units away. An Astronomical unit is the distance from the Sun to the Earth, 149,597,870,700 kilometers. Quite far.
In the Star Trek movies Rigel is mentioned quite often and is also mentioned in Douglas Adam"s Hitchhikers guide to the galaxy and there are all those computer games and comics.
I'm not sure just how much information there is on Rigel, quite a lot I would imagine but for me today, time's up and off to work I go. So with that let me bid you farewell, live long and prosper. Geoff signing out.

1 comment:

  1. I've never heard of Rigel, but I love learning anything about astronomy, and staring up at the night sky.