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.
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?
A total solar eclipse is a rare event that can be an amazing thing to witness. Learn about solar eclipses and how to observe one safely.