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  how far are the other stars?
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what do the other stars look like?

 

That isn't an easy question to answer. Most stars are so far away we cannot yet see them as anything but points of light. Recently though some progress has been made.

 

This is Betelgeuse, it is very far away and is enormous. It’s known as a red super giant.

This is the first image astronomers have been able to get of a star other than the Sun. Betelgeuse (pronounced Beetle-juice) can be found in the constellation of Orion.

 

Orion is the Greek god of hunting; the three stars in a row are his belt. mouse over arrow
Betelgeuse is situated at the left side of Orion - we've put an orange circle around it to show you which star it is.

 

 

The picture of Betelgeuse was taken with NASA's Hubble Space Telescope.

 

Betelgeuse is about 50,000 times as bright as our Sun and its mass is about ten times that of the Sun. On a clear night you should be able to see that it is one of those stars that is not white. It definitely looks reddish.

 

Betelgeuse is so big that, if it were in the same position as our Sun, it would extend almost out to the orbit of Jupiter mouse over arrow. This picture of the planets has been squashed up so we can get them all on the page. But you get the idea - Betelgeuse is big!

         
   

 

   
 
 

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