Betelgeux, Bectelgeuze, Betelgeuse

Origin of the name Betelgeuse

Betelgeux, Bectelgeuze, Betelgeuse–over time the name has morphed.  Sleuthing through history, the origin of the name is fraught with mistranslations from the original Arabic.  A logical choice would be “Bait al Jauza”.  The House “bait” of the Central One “Al Jauza”.  The western most star of the belt of Orion grazes the celestial equator thus making this constellation in the middle of the north and south poles in the sky, hence central one.

Location of the Star in the Constellation of Orion

This star marks the east shoulder of Orion.  It is variable in brightness and varies between magnitude 0.3 and 1.2.  Thus putting it in the top 10 brightest stars ranking at 9th place.

Physical Attributes

Betelgeuse is a red supergiant star over 1,000 times the diameter of our Sun.  If our sun was a 4.5mm BB, Betelgeuse would be the size of a 4.5 meter automobile (Toyota Camry).  It has a mass of between 8 to 20 solar mass.  Stars of this mass range typically have lifetimes of only 10 million years before transforming as a Type II Supernova into a neutron star.  Current estimates are that Betelgeuse is about 10 million years old and will Supernova anytime in the next 100,000 years.

Photo Credit: The Spotty Surface of Betelgeuse: Xavier Haubois (Observatoire de Paris) et al.

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