DAVIDE DE MARTIN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DAVIDE DE MARTIN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Alnilam (Epsilon Orionis). Optical image of Alnilam, the central and brightest star of Orion's belt. Alnilam is a blue-white supergiant, and the 30th brightest star in the sky. It is losing material at a rate of two millionths of a solar mass a year, 20 million times the rate lost by the Sun. This cuases a powerful stellar wind around the star. It is a young star at only around 4 million years old. However, it is predicted to die an explosive death as a supernova in another million years. It lies 1,340 light years away.
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