The famous bluestarRigel
forms the western foot of the HunterOrion, and
indeed its Arabic name means 'Leg of the Giant'.
The pattern of Rigel'svariability suggests that it is
turbulent and energetic, with the star's internal processes sending complex patterns of waves and
ripples across its surface regions.
The galactic position and direction of Rigel relative to Earth'sSun. Note that, at this
extreme scale, the two stars are effectively in the same place.
The three most prominent stars surrounding Rigel in the sky are Tau Orionis (to the north), e Orionis (to the east) and Lambda Eridani (to the west). The nebulous region in the southeast of this image represents the southern end of the structure known as Barnard's Loop. The blue-grey streak in the north and west is the Witch Head Nebula, IC 2118, which is actually in the foreground of this image, lying about a hundred light years closer than Rigel to the Sun. Imagery provided by Aladin sky atlas