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For an alternative to the usual Valentine's gifts for kids, consider stars as a personalized Valentine's gift. This is an ideal way to get a young one interested in astronomy because February 14th offers some prime viewing time for one of the strongest Valentine's Day-related stars in the sky, Betelgeuse. Also known as the Valentine's Star, Betelgeuse is what's known as a red supergiant, one of the largest star classifications, and is visible in the constellation Orion.
Betelgeuse is gigantic. It's approximately 1,000 times the size of the sun. With all that mass, it's easy to assume the Valentine's star would be much brighter than the sun, but only 13 percent of the Valentine's Star's light is in the visible spectrum.
Even so, the star appears as a bright orange point on a shoulder of Orion, The Hunter. If you name a star on Valentine's Day for kids, be sure to point out Betelgeuse star with its reddish-orange pulsating features.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|