BELLATRIX

Star Struck Project By: Akila Muthukumar p.4

Must Know Info


What is a Star? A luminous object in space that is made of burning gases.

What is Luminosity? The amount of energy or power released from a star due to nuclear fusion

What is apparent magnitude? A term used to describe how bright an object appears when seen from the Earth.

What is absolute magnitude? The apparent magnitude of an object as though it were 32.6 light years away from the Earth and no objects is space could block it's light. Using a fixed distance helps scientists directly compare the brightness of stars.

Basic Facts

  • Name: Bellatrix

  • Scientific Designations: Gamma Orionis or 24 Orionis

  • Also Called: The Female Warrior; The Amazon Sat

  • Temperature: 21,500° Kelvin
  • Luminosity: 4000 times the sun (optimum viewing time is during January/December)
  • Apparent Magnitude: 1.64

  • Absolute Magnitude: -2.72

  • Color: blue/white

  • Distance (in light years): approx. 243 light years away

  • Size-radius: about 4,178,000 kilometers (6 times the radius of the sun and 655 times the radius of the Earth)

  • Mass: 8.4 times the sun
  • Stage in stellar evolution: Blue Giant (part of main sequence)
  • Next Stage: Orange Giant, estimated to change in a few million years
  • Death: Since it isn't massive enough to burst as a supernova it's fate if similar to the sun-it will just cast its outer layers into space and form a bubble around itself until the bubble dissipates only a hot dense core remains.
  • Spectral Class: B2III

The Past

Bellatrix is 20 million years old and was discovered along with all of the Orion almost 32,000-38,000 years ago by cavemen in Germany. They carved/mapped out the constellation and this was found by anthropologists in present day. In the early 1600s Johann Bayer designated the name Gamma Orionis to it. Earlier it only had the Arab name Bellatrix (loosely translates to "The Female Warrior").