Beta Orionis


Distance (Light Years) 770 ± 150
Apparent Magnitude 0.18
Color (B-V)-0.03

Names For This Star

The name Rigel derives from the Arabic phrase Rijl Jauzah al Yusra' meaning "The Left Leg of the Central One."

Alternative names for the star are Algebar or Elgebar, clearly Arabic, and according to Allen deriving from poetry. However Allen gives no translation.

Description of the Star

Rigel A is a hot, blue B8Ia supergiant having perhaps 40,000 times the luminosity of the sun and 60 times the sun's diameter. The spectral type implies a temperature of about 16,000 K and a mass about 20 times that of the sun.

Rigel is a a multiple star system. According to Burnham Rigel B is separated by 9 arc seconds from A, that is, at a projected distance of more than 2000 AU.

Rigel B is itself in fact a close binary star with Rigel C. Each of these two stars is of Apparent Magnitude 7.6 with a separation of 0.12 arc seconds, corresponding to a separation of 28 AU. Rigel B and C are thought to be two similar stars of spectral type B revolving in an elliptical orbit of low eccentricity.

Other Designations For This Star


19 Orionis

Hipparcos Identifier (HIP Number)


Harvard Revised (HR Number)


Henry Draper Catalog (HD Number)


Bonner Durchmusterung (BD Number)

BD-08 1063
Smithsonian Astrophysical
Observatory compendium (SAO Number)

Fundamental Katalog (FK5 Number)



Copyright © 1998 - 2010 by Arnold V. Lesikar,
Professor Emeritus
Dept. of Physics, Astronomy, and Engineering Science,
St. Cloud State University,St. Cloud, MN 56301-4498

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