The Atmosphere of Betelgeuse

This is the first direct image of a star other than the Sun, made with the Hubble Space Telescope. Called Alpha Orionis, or Betelgeuse, it is a red supergiant star marking the shoulder of the winter constellation Orion the Hunter.

The Hubble image reveals a huge ultraviolet atmosphere with a mysterious hot spot on the stellar behemoth's surface. The enormous bright spot, more than ten times the diameter of Earth, is at least 2, 000 Kelvin degrees hotter than the surface of the star.


Andrea Dupree (Harvard-Smithsonian CfA), Ronald Gilliland (STScI), NASA and ESA

About the Image

NASA press release
Release date:10 December 1996, 06:00
Size:100 x 100 px

About the Object

Type:Milky Way : Star : Evolutionary Stage : Red Supergiant
Distance:650 light years

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