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The blue star Rigel lights up a nearby nebula
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Matt BenDaniel

Rigel - Bluish-white Supergiant

What's in a Name: Arabic for "foot"
Claim to Fame: One of the galaxy's brightest stars. Apparent visual magnitude = 0.1
Type of Star: Brilliant bluish-white Supergiant (B8 1a Spectral Type)
How Far Away: 775 light years away
How Big: 70 times the sun's diameter
How Bright: 40,000 times the sun's luminosity (Absolute visual magnitude = - 6.8)
Where to View: Brightest star in Orion (Star Map).
When to View:December through March from Northern middle latitudes

Last modified January 26, 2006 by Travis Metcalfe.

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The Summer 2010 issue of The Earth Scientist, available in our online store, includes articles on rivers and snow, classroom planetariums, satellites and oceanography, hands-on astronomy, and global warming.

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