Betelgeuse the red giant of Orion

Looking up into the night sky, I identified the constellation of Orion. Orion is  depicted in astrology as the mighty hunter.

The stars of orion are particularly interesting, not least a orange looking star at the constellations right arm.

This star is Betelgeuse, a red giant so massive that its diameter is similar to the orbit of Jupiter.

The star is approximately 640 light years away.

REcently I was able to take a photograph of this star with my Fuji camera. By sitting the camera on the tripod and selecting the multi focus option on the camera, I was able to zoom to the maximum the camera would zoom to and take the shot.

My camera has the ability to zoom to 30 times which is equivalent to having a 750mm lens. At this magnification the star was represented as a dot of light on the LCD screen.

Because I have 12 megapixels available to me on the camera, once on my PC iwas able to zoom in a further 800 times without extensive distortion and the photoograph below is the result.


As you are able to play around with the amount of light captured by the camera by altering the shutter speed, a faster shutter speed produced the following photo.  This shows that there is zones of higher and lower fusion activity on the surface of the star.

Betelgeuse High shutter speed



by David Holland


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