This star is a blue giant, located about 525 light-years from Earth.
This star is a blue giant, located about 565 light-years from Earth.
This star is a blue-white subgiant, located about 510 light-years from Earth.
Distance (Light Years) 4.395 ± 0.008
Visual Magnitude -0.01
Color (B-V) 0.71
Names For This Star
Rigel Kentaurus derives from the Arabic Al Rijl al Kentaurus, "The Centaur's Foot." This is often shortened to Rigil Kent.
The The Bright Star Catalog lists Toliman as an alternative name for this star.
Description of the Star
The stars of the Rigel Kentaurus system represent the nearest stars to the earth other than the sun.
A Triple Star System
The Rigel Kentaurus system is a triple star system. The A star primary is of spectral type G2V, that is yellow star of the same type as our sun. This star is slightly larger in mass and diameter than the sun, and slightly more luminous.
The B component of the system is separated by about 24 AU from A (that is somewhat greater than the distance between the sun and planet Uranus) and revolves with a period of 79.9 years.
Rigel Kentaurus C is a cool red M5.5Ve main sequence dwarf with a Visual Magnitude of 11.1, corresponding to a luminosity of about 1/17,000 that of the sun. This star is known as Proxima Centauri.
The Nearest Star
Proxima is separated from the other two stars of the system by about 1/6 of a ly. At 4.22 ly from the earth, Proxima is actually the nearest single star to the earth.
See this German site for a nice three-dimensional representation of our nearby neighbor stars.
See this page for more information on the Rigel Kentaurus system.
Rigel Kentaurus B
Distance (Light Years) 4.395± 0.008
Visual Magnitude 1.33
Color (B-V) 0.88
Description of the Star
Rigel Kentaurus B is an orange K1V main sequence star having about 46% of the luminosity of the sun. The spectral type implies a temperature of 4750 K, a mass of 70% of that of the sun, and a 83% of the sun's diameter. See this page for more information on this star and the Rigel Kentaurus system.
ι Aurigae est une étoile de la constellation du Cocher. Dans l'atlas d'Antonín Bečvář, elle porte le nom traditionnel Hassaleh mais elle est aussi appelée Kabdhilinan.
Iota Aurigae est une géante lumineuse orange de type K avec une magnitude apparente de +2,69. Elle est à environ 512 années-lumière de la Terre.
Elle est appelée 五車一 (La première étoile des cinq chariots) en chinois.
ε Aurigae is a star in the constellation Auriga. It also has the traditional names Haldus, Almaaz, or Al Anz. Epsilon Aurigae is an eclipsing binary, whose brightness varies in apparent visual magnitude between +3.0 and +3.8 with a period of about 9,890 days (~27.1 years). It is approximately 2,000 light years distant.
The visible component is a supergiant belonging to the spectral class A8 and is among some of the most luminous stars within 1000 parsecs of the Sun. Its diameter corresponds to about 100 solar diameters. The other (eclipsing) component is not visible.
The most-favored speculation is that it consists of one or two small stars with a ring of opaque dust set nearly edge-on, producing the observed eclipses of 2 years' duration.
The alternate hypothesis is that it is immense, but of low density, and thus semi-transparent.
One of the phenomena exhibited during the eclipse is that the level of obscuration of the A star by the companion diminishes briefly, as though there were a hole in the companion.
This system was an early candidate for containing a black hole but the two models given above are now preferred.
The next eclipse occurs from 2009-2011, and it is hoped that the extensive observations that will likely be carried out may yield further insights into the nature of this system. Finding the star is not difficult; it is the apex of the isosceles triangle formed as the 'nose' of the constellation Auriga, and is visible throughout the winter at northern latitudes, not far from brilliant, yellow Capella.
η Aurigae is a star in the constellation Auriga. Along with ε and ζ Aurigae, it forms an asterism known as "the kids", from which it gets its Latin traditional name Hoedus II.
ζ Aurigae is a star in the constellation Auriga. It also has traditional names Azaleh, Haedus (or Hoedus), Saclateri, Sadatoni.
Zeta Aurigae is an eclipsing binary, which varies from magnitude +3.61 to +3.99 with a period of 972 days.
The main star is a red supergiant, the companion belongs to the spectral class B8. Zeta Aurigae is approximately 790 light-years from Earth.