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Rigel's Life cycle, by Seth Husney

Rigel is a blue supergiant found in the Orian constellation

Seth Husney

on 15 April 2013

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Transcript of Rigel's Life cycle, by Seth Husney

By Seth Husney Rigel: Blue Supergiant What and Where is Rigel? Stage 1: Protostar Main Sequence Supernova The Death of Rigel: Supernova Red Giant Rigel is a blue supergiant about 18 times the mass of our sun. Rigel is located nearly 773 light years away from us and is found in the Orion constellation. A cloud of dust and gas contracts, and becomes increasingly dense. The dense area attracts more dust and gas, as its gravity increases. While condensing, this cloud of gas begins to heat up. Finally, the cloud becomes is so hot, it starts to fuze. The newly born star is now on the main sequence. The main sequence is the longest stage in a star's life. The main sequence is when a star is steadily and actively fusing hydrogen to helium. In this stage, it is stable, and giving off many different waves on the electromagnetic spectrum; from colors, to heat, to gamma rays. Rigel's time on the main sequence will be relatively short, because the star's mass is very large and it burns through hydrogen fuel very fast. As time goes on, hydrogen fusion, in the core of a star, becomes inefficient and can no longer hold the other layers of the star. The layers collapse on the core. As this happens, the temperature rises in the star until it is hot enough to fuse helium into carbon. To radiate the energy made by the fusion of helium, the star expands outwardly, becoming much larger than it originally was and forming a red giant. Many think of Rigel as Orion's knee or foot Rigel Protostar Rigel on the main sequence stage of it's life. As Rigel begins to run out of fuel (hydrogen), the star will start fusing other elements. It will continue to progress and fuse the elements of the periodic table, in order, until it reaches Iron. At this point, the iron element is too heavy for the core, and the core of Rigel will collapse on itself. After collapsing, the outer layers of the star will explode outward. The star will emit as much energy, in 100 seconds, as it has in its entire time in the main sequence stage and at very high speeds. A red giant stage of a star This image shows the remnant of the star Kepler, which became a supernova in 1604. Black Hole Rigel's large mass (18 times that of the sun) will mean Rigel will become a black hole. When the star runs out of fuel, it can no longer push gravity back, and the core will collapse. After the core collapses on itself, gravity, pushing against the star, will compact the core until it is very small. It will become so small, that it has no volume. At this point, the core will have infinite density. In fact, a speed faster than light is required to escape its gravitational pull. Black Hole Although we cannot take a picture of a black hole itself, light bends around black holes and the stars in the black hole's orbit light up and outline the black hole. Rigel is actually three stars, two of which are in a binary orbit with each other Fun Facts Rigel is Arabic, for foot, as Rigel is the "foot" of Orion Rigel has a surface temperatures of around 12,000 degrees Fahrenheit , more than twice as hot as the sun. Rigel is the seventh brightest star in the night sky No one is cited with discovering Rigel, as it is very easy to find in the night sky, and was likely discovered thousands of years ago Rigel is about 117,000 times the luminosity of the sun Rigel Fun Facts Rigel has has likely already exhausted the supply of hydrogen in its core. When Rigel becomes a supernova, it will be the brightest object in the night sky, apart from the moon. http://earthsky.org/brightest-stars/blue-white-rigel-is-orions-brightest-star Sources http://www.universetoday.com/45186/rigel/ http://astrobob.areavoices.com/2013/01/05/meet-rigel-in-orion-a-star-with-supernova-potential/ http://space.about.com/od/stars/p/rigelinfo.htm I created this diagram to display the stages of Rigel's life
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