Rigel, also known by its Bayer designation Beta Orionis (β Ori, β Orionis), is the brightest star in the constellation Orion and the sixth brightest star in the night sky, with visual magnitude 0.12. The star as seen from Earth is actually a triple star system, with the primary star (Rigel A) a blue-white supergiant of absolute magnitude −7.84 and around 130,000 times as luminous as the Sun. An Alpha Cygni variable, it pulsates periodically. Visible in small telescopes, Rigel B is itself a spectroscopic binary system, consisting of two main sequence blue-white stars of spectral type B9.
Although Rigel has the Bayer designation "beta", it is almost always brighter than Alpha Orionis (Betelgeuse). Since 1943, the spectrum of this star has served as one of the stable anchor points by which other stars are classified.