Rigel is the brightest star in the constellation Orion (the Hunter). It is comparatively young with an age of almost 10 million years. Do you know the age of our Sun? The Sun is almost 4.5 billion years old. Rigel or RigelA has two companions – RigelB and RigelC.
RegelA is a supergiant, which has at least 73 times the radius of the Sun. This supergiant is also not less than 100,000 times luminous than the Sun. However, RigelB is 500 times dimmer than that of its big brother – RigelA. It is believed that the supergiant – Rigel – will eventually explode into Supernova.
Rigel is almost 800 light years far from Earth and in the coming few million years it will expand to be a further greater star on our sky. It is now a blue supergiant but later it will be a red supergiant and may explode as a supergiant slowly.
Rigel, as we were discussing, has a very large mass and is expected exhaust its fuel at a quicker rate. Thus it is expected to have a shorter life than the smaller stars. Some of the researchers believe that the star has already lost almost 3 solar masses of material during its short life of 7 to 9 million years.