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: 7:04  
clear_day Transit: 12:47  
SunsetSet: 18:30 south
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All Constellations » Orion » 

Rigel - β Orionis (beta Orionis)

Altitude: -40.8°   Azimuth: 321.5°   Direction: North-West

Rigel, also designated as β Orionis (beta Orionis), is a variable and multiple supergiant star in the constellation of Orion.

Rigel visual magnitude is 0.12, making it the 7th brightest star in the sky. Thanks to its high brightness, Rigel 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 Rigel:


Rigel - β Orionis (beta Orionis) is below the horizon from Greenwich, United Kingdom edit_location_alt.

Altitude: -40.8°
Azimuth: 321.5°
Direction: North-West

Celestial coordinates and finder chart of Rigel

Rigel 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 Rigel are provided in the following table:

05h 14m 32s
-08° 12’ 06”

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

Finder chart Rigel - β Orionis (beta Orionis) star
Simplified finder chart for Rigel - β Orionis (beta Orionis).

Visibility of Rigel 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 Rigel - β Orionis (beta 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: 98.2°
Max altitude: 30.3°
Azimuth: 261.8°

Digitized Sky Survey image of Rigel

The image below is a photograph of Rigel 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 Rigel is 0 arcsec per year in Right Ascension and -0.001 arcsec per year in Declination and the associated displacement for the next 100000 years is represented with the red arrow.

Image of Rigel - β Orionis (beta Orionis) star
DSS2 image of Rigel. The red arrow shows the motion of Rigel during the next 100000 years (0.00 arcmin in Right Ascension and -1.67 arcmin in declination);

Distance of Rigel from the Sun and relative movement

Rigel is distant 772.51 light years from the Sun and it is moving far from the Sun at the speed of 21 kilometers per second.

236.97 pc
772.51 ly
21 km/s
-0.001 arcsec/year

Spectral properties of Rigel

Rigel belongs to spectral class B8 and has a luminosity class of I corresponding to a supergiant star.


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

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

Rigel star system properties

Rigel 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 Rigel double sysyem:

9.5 arcsec

Alternative designations of Rigel

β Orionis
(beta Orionis)