Release 835 of 1,056
Hubble Space Telescope Captures First Direct Image of a Star
Release date: Dec 10, 1996 12:00 AM (EST)
Release type: American Astronomical Society Meeting

This is the first direct image of a star other than the Sun. Called Alpha Orionis, or Betelgeuse, the star is a red super giant, a Sun-like star nearing the end of its life.

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

Release ID: STScI-1996-04
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Hubble Space Telescope Captures First Direct Image of a Star
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Credits

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