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With Explore the Planets, investigate the planets, their moons, and understand the processes that shape them. By G. Jeffrey Taylor, Ph.D. See our DVD collection.
The blue star Rigel lights up a nearby nebula
Click on image for star map
© 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 Fall 2009 issue of The Earth Scientist, which includes articles on student research into building design for earthquakes and a classroom lab on the composition of the Earth’s ancient atmosphere, is available in our online store.

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Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part is sponsored in part through grants from federal agencies (NASA and NOAA), and partnerships with affiliated organizations, including the American Geophysical Union, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Earth System Information Partnership, the American Meteorological Society, the National Center for Science Education, and TERC. The American Geophysical Union and the American Geosciences Institute are Windows to the Universe Founding Partners. NESTA welcomes new Institutional Affiliates in support of our ongoing programs, as well as collaborations on new projects. Contact NESTA for more information. NASA ESIP NCSE HHMI AGU AGI AMS NOAA