Rigel (Beta Orionis) -- Double Star in Orion
Rigel is a supergiant star shinning with the equivalence of 58,000 times our sun. If
Rigel was placed at the distance of Sirius (our brightest nighttime star) it would
shine as bright as a half-moon. At the unbelievable distance of 500 light years it still
shines as the 7th brightest star in our night sky.
“Exquisite! Rigel shines like a brilliant blue-white diamond with a delicate blue
companion”. This quote from Kepple & Sanner’s book “The Night Sky Observer’s
Guide Volume 1” is right on! With a separation of 9 arcseconds I find this an easily
split double at moderate powers in modest amateur telescopes and one of finest
doubles to be found in Orion.