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The Red Supergiant!

The red supergiant Betelgeuse is a star that is following a very different life path from our Sun.

Bright Blue Betelgeuse 

In this photograph taken using infrared light, Betelgeuse shows up as the bright blue spot in the corner of the picture.

The green cloud of dust and gas is sometimes called the Meissa ring, and is an area of intense star formation.

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ESA

This video, also taken in infrared light, shows what it was like for Tanno and Iguda as they arrived in the area and zoomed in close to Betelgeuse.

10th Brightest Star in the Sky

This image of Betelgeuse shows the cloud of material close around the star. This dust and gas has been released by the star as it became a red supergiant, and the shape of the clouds shows that the star is on the loose, travelling at 30 km/s through space.

It’s the 10th brightest star in the sky. Betelgeuse’s surface temperature is only 3,600 degrees, but, in its core, it is burning helium (to be totally correct, we should say ‘the helium is undergoing nuclear fusion’).

If you want to go outside at night and wave to Tanno and Iguda near Betelgeuse, the star map below shows you where to look. In the constellation of Orion, it’s the top left star shown here.

Image credits: ESA/Herschel/PACS/L. Decin et al.

YOUR MISSION, SHOULD YOU CHOOSE TO ACCEPT IT …

YOUR MISSION, SHOULD YOU CHOOSE TO ACCEPT IT …

YOUR MISSION, SHOULD YOU CHOOSE TO ACCEPT IT …

YOUR MISSION, SHOULD YOU CHOOSE TO ACCEPT IT …

Big star lifecycles

Betelgeuse is so large that it’s following a different lifecycle from our Sun. You can find out about star lifecycles from this video.

Your Task

Once you’re clear on how Betelgeuse has developed to get to where it is now, and what is going to happen to it in the future, draw a poster to illustrate this lifecycle. Make sure you include a bright, colourful image for each stage in its life.

Lost in Space???

Learn about how we measure the huge distances in space …

What is a Light Year?

– MISSION END –

– MISSION END –

– MISSION END –

– MISSION END –

Your Journey So Far …

Tanno and Iguda have explored these places up to now. You can go back and visit again by clicking below.

Universe

Black Holes

Dark Matter

Galaxies

Supernovas

Neutron Stars

Blue Ring Nebula

Betelgeuse

Great to see you here, thank you for the visit! See you next time …

Tanno & Iguda