star system in the constellation Orion

Rigel is a hot supergiant star in the Milky Way Galaxy. It is a blue supergiant. It is in the constellation Orion. Rigel is the youngest star in the constellation.

Rigel viewed from 1 au
The Orion constellation

Rigel is much larger than our Sun. It is 78 times the Sun's radius, with a diameter of more than 100 million kilometers.[1] Rigel is 778 light-years from Earth in Orion. Because it is near the equator, Rigel is seen from Earth as a small, bluish circle on clear nights from both hemispheres.


Rigel pulsates.[2] The color of this star is bluish-white, hotter than a star with a yellow color. It will use its energy quickly. The Sun uses the same gases as Rigel; hydrogen and helium make it shine. When Rigel loses its fuel inside the very hot core, it will blow up into the red supergiant stage of its life and explode in a supernova. A black hole or a pulsar might be left.


  1. Moravveji, Ehsan; Guinan, Edward F.; Shultz, Matt; Williamson, Michael H.; Moya, Andres (2012). "Asteroseismology of the Nearby Sn-Ii Progenitor: Rigel. I. Themosthigh-Precision Photometry and Radial Velocity Monitoring". The Astrophysical Journal. 747 (2): 108. arXiv:1201.0843. Bibcode:2012ApJ...747..108M. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/747/2/108. S2CID 425831.
  2. Georgy, Cyril; Saio, Hideyuki; Meynet, Georges 2014. The puzzle of the CNO abundances of α Cygni variables resolved by the Ledoux criterion. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society: Letters. 439: L6–L10. arXiv:1311.4744. Bibcode:2014MNRAS.439L...6G. [1]