Rigel, or Beta Orionis, a bright star in the southwest corner of the constellation Orion. Rigel is a supergiant and one of the brightest stars known. In absolute magnitude it is some 50,000 times brighter than the sun. Although Rigel is a young star, it is using up its supply of hydrogen fuel at such a rapid rate that it will burn itself out in a few million years. Rigel is about 800 light-years distant from the earth.
It's tough to wrap your mind around a time when the Earth wasn't here. So how do Earth and the rest of the planets out there get their start in the universe?
The occasional sunspot can interrupt communications here on Earth. But major solar flares have the potential to cause more havoc. Could a flare-up wipe out all our electronics?