JOHN CHUMACK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JOHN CHUMACK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Betelgeuse. Betelgeuse is a massive red supergiant star located 650 light years from Earth in the constellation of Orion. The tenth brightest star in the sky, it is about 17000 times brighter than our Sun and 300 times wider. It has a turbulent, convective atmosphere, a strong stellar wind, and a variable diameter. Astronomers believe Betelgeuse is near the end of its life and will soon explode into a supernova. Its name is a contraction of an Arabic phrase meaning "armpit of the central one", referring to the armpit of Orion.
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