Your Guide to the Solar System and the Night Sky
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public Observing fromLocation: Greenwich, United Kingdom edit_location_alt
north SunriseRise: 6:59  
clear_day Transit: 12:48  
SunsetSet: 18:36 south
sunny DaytimeWhat's Visible Now
All Constellations » Orion » 

Betelgeuse - α Orionis (alpha Orionis)

Altitude: 3.3°   Azimuth: 277.7°   Direction: West

Betelgeuse, also designated as α Orionis (alpha Orionis), is a variable and multiple supergiant star in the constellation of Orion.

Betelgeuse visual magnitude is 0.5, making it the 10th brightest star in the sky. Thanks to its high brightness, Betelgeuse is clearly visible when observed from locations with dark skyes, and should be also quite easily visible from light polluted areas.

The table below summarizes the key facts about Betelgeuse:


Betelgeuse - α Orionis (alpha Orionis) is above the horizon from Greenwich, United Kingdom edit_location_alt.

Altitude: 3.3°
Azimuth: 277.7°
Direction: West

Celestial coordinates and finder chart of Betelgeuse

Betelgeuse is situated close to the celestial equator, as such, it is at least partly visible from both hemispheres in certain times of the year. Celestial coordinates for the J2000 equinox as well as galactic coordinates of Betelgeuse are provided in the following table:

05h 55m 10s
+07° 24’ 24”

The simplified sky map below shows the position of Betelgeuse in the sky:

Finder chart Betelgeuse - α Orionis (alpha Orionis) star
Simplified finder chart for Betelgeuse - α Orionis (alpha Orionis).

Visibility of Betelgeuse from your location

Location: Greenwich, United Kingdom edit_location_alt
Latitude: 51° 28’ 47” N
Longitude: 0° 00’ 00” E
Timezone: Europe/London

Today's Betelgeuse - α Orionis (alpha Orionis) rise, transit and set times from Greenwich, United Kingdom edit_location_alt are the following (all times relative to the local timezone Europe/London):

Azimuth: 82.6°
Max altitude: 45.9°
Azimuth: 277.4°

Digitized Sky Survey image of Betelgeuse

The image below is a photograph of Betelgeuse from the Digitized Sky Survey 2 (DSS2 - see the credits section) taken in the red channel. The area of sky represented in the image is 0.5x0.5 degrees (30x30 arcmins). The proper motion of Betelgeuse is 0.026 arcsec per year in Right Ascension and 0.009 arcsec per year in Declination and the associated displacement for the next 10000 years is represented with the red arrow.

Image of Betelgeuse - α Orionis (alpha Orionis) star
DSS2 image of Betelgeuse. The red arrow shows the motion of Betelgeuse during the next 10000 years (4.33 arcmin in Right Ascension and 1.50 arcmin in declination);

Distance of Betelgeuse from the Sun and relative movement

Betelgeuse is distant 427.26 light years from the Sun and it is moving far from the Sun at the speed of 21 kilometers per second.

131.06 pc
427.26 ly
21 km/s
0.026 arcsec/year
0.009 arcsec/year

Spectral properties of Betelgeuse

Betelgeuse belongs to spectral class M1 and has a luminosity class of I corresponding to a supergiant star.


The red dot in the diagram below shows where Betelgeuse is situated in the Hertzsprung–Russell diagram.

HR Diagram
H-R diagram showing the position of Betelgeuse. Attribution: Richard Powell / CC BY-SA

Betelgeuse star system properties

Betelgeuse is a visual double star which can be observed only with the help of very large telescopes. The table below shows key information about the Betelgeuse double sysyem:

174.4 arcsec

Alternative designations of Betelgeuse

α Orionis
(alpha Orionis)