Betelgeuse is the eighth brightest star in the night sky and second
brightest in the constellation of Orion, only rarely outshining Rigel.
It is a distinctly reddish, semiregular variable star whose apparent
magnitude varies between 0.2 and 1.2, the widest range of any first-
magnitude star. Betelgeuse's name is thought to be derived from the
Arabic يد الجوزاء Yad al-Jauzā' meaning "the Hand of al-
Jauzā'", i.e., Orion. It is classified as a red supergiant of spectral
type M2Iab and is one of the largest and most luminous known stars. If
positioned at the center of the Solar System, its surface would extend
past the asteroid belt, possibly beyond the orbit of Jupiter, at least
wholly engulfing Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars. Less than 10 million
years old, Betelgeuse has evolved rapidly due to its high mass. Ejected
from its birthplace in the Orion OB1 Association, this crimson runaway
has been observed moving through the interstellar medium supersonically
at a speed of 30 km/sec, creating a bow shock over 4 light-years wide.
Now in a late stage of stellar evolution, the supergiant is expected to
proceed through its life cycle before exploding as a type II supernova
within the next million years.
Read more: <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Betelgeuse>
Today's selected anniversaries:
The Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, the longest and highest aqueduct in
Great Britain, opened.
Unable to resolve disputes with Eddie Livingstone, owner of the
Toronto Blueshirts, the other ice hockey clubs of Canada's National
Hockey Association officially agreed to leave that sports league and to
form a new one: the National Hockey League.
Howard Carter and Lord Carnarvon became the first people to
enter the tomb of Pharaoh Tutankhamun in over 3,000 years.
Six robbers broke into the Brink's-MAT warehouse at London
Heathrow Airport and stole three tonnes of gold bullion, much of which
has never been recovered.
U.S.-led NATO forces engaged Pakistani security forces at two
Pakistani military checkposts along the Afghanistan–Pakistan border in
a friendly fire incident.
Wiktionary's word of the day:
1. To curl.
2. To crease, wrinkle.
Wikiquote quote of the day:
I know nothing of man's rights, or woman's rights; human rights are all
that I recognise.