Blue supergiant in Orion

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Last seen on: Wall Street Journal Crossword – May 19 2020 – On the Move

Random information on the term “RIGEL”:

Coordinates: 05h 55m 10.3053s, +07° 24′ 25.426″

Betelgeuse is usually the tenth-brightest star in the night sky and, after Rigel, the second-brightest in the constellation of Orion. It is a distinctly reddish semiregular variable star whose apparent magnitude, varying between +0.0 and +1.6, has the widest range displayed by any first-magnitude star. At near-infrared wavelengths, Betelgeuse is the brightest star in the night sky. Its Bayer designation is α Orionis, Latinised to Alpha Orionis and abbreviated Alpha Ori or α Ori.

Classified as a red supergiant of spectral type M1-2, Betelgeuse is one of the largest stars visible to the naked eye; imagined as being at the center of the Solar System, its surface would lie beyond the asteroid belt and it would engulf the orbits of Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, and possibly Jupiter. Nevertheless, there are several larger red supergiants in the Milky Way, including Mu Cephei and VY Canis Majoris. Calculations of Betelgeuse’s mass range from slightly under ten to a little over twenty times that of the Sun. It is calculated to be about 700 light-years from the Sun, indicating an absolute magnitude of about −6. Less than 10 million years old, Betelgeuse has evolved rapidly because of its large mass and is expected to end its evolution with a supernova explosion, most likely within 100,000 years. Having been ejected from its birthplace in the Orion OB1 Association—which includes the stars in Orion’s Belt—this runaway star has been observed moving through the interstellar medium at a speed of 30 km/s, creating a bow shock over four light-years wide.

RIGEL on Wikipedia