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Beta Rigel, or simply "Rigel", was a star system located in Federation space, in the Kandari sector of the Beta Quadrant. To its inhabitants, the star was known as Raij, and the associated planetary system the Raij'hl system. Because the name was a homophone with the Human name for the much more distant star Rigel (Beta Orionis), it was also referred to as Beta Rigel. (ENT - Rise of the Federation novel: Tower of Babel)
It was named "Beta Rigel" by astronomers on Earth, due to its apparent proximity to the "true" Rigel, also called Beta Orionis. It was in fact much closer to Earth. It consisted of a single star, an A class blue star with spectral class A5V, and a brightness of absolute magnitude 6.2. (ST reference: Star Charts)
- Beta Rigel was likely created to solve the problem of how the Enterprise (NX-01) managed to travel the 773 light-years (according to the source) to Rigel in only 4 days at warp factor 4 in the ENT episode: "Broken Bow", by positing a much closer star instead. As a supposed companion of Rigel, it may in fact be the fourth star of Beta Orionis once postulated by astronomers.
The Beta Rigel system comprised 10 planets. Remarkably, four of these were class M and six were inhabited. It also had an asteroid belt lying between the first and second planets. (ST reference: Star Charts)
- Beta Rigel I
- Beta Rigel II
- Beta Rigel III
- Beta Rigel IV
- Beta Rigel V
- Beta Rigel VI
- Beta Rigel VII
- Beta Rigel VIII
- Beta Rigel IX
- Beta Rigel X
- Star Charts mirrors many of the Rigel planets mentioned in the television series—Rigel II, Rigel IV, Rigel V, and Rigel X—as planets of Beta Rigel, and leaves only Rigel VII and Rigel XII orbiting Beta Orionis. However, many other sources have left all these planets around Beta Orionis. As such, it is impossible to separate the Beta Rigel and Beta Orionis planets. In other continuities where they do not contradict, they are likely to be the same. Therefore, all the planets of the Beta Rigel system are included in the articles for the Rigel planets, not including the separate case of the planet also called Beta Rigel.
- Though Beta Rigel was first mentioned in Star Charts as a ten-planet star system, subsequent references to Beta Rigel do not make this connection clear. The Destiny novel series refers to Beta Rigel in a context that implies it is a single planet, as does "Seeds of Dissent", below. Information pertaining to this planet is placed here. In other continuities, this is likely to be one of the Federation member worlds of Rigel.
In an alternate universe in which Khan Noonien Singh won the Eugenics Wars, he went on to fight across the ironfields of Beta Rigel on his way to creating an interplanetary Khanate. (ST - Myriad Universes novel: Seeds of Dissent)
A major heist occurred in the city of Kefvenek on Beta Rigel in March 2261. Although the crime was never solved, Lieutenant Haniff Jackson of Starbase 47-Vanguard suspected one Joshua Kane of perpetrating the robbery. (VAN novel: Precipice)
The planet Beta Rigel was targeted by the Borg during their invasion in 2381. The assault on this world was halted by Erika Hernandez—as were simultaneous assaults on Vulcan, Andor, Coridan III, and Qo'noS—and the Borg forces destroyed. (ST - Destiny novel: Lost Souls) Among the ships defending Beta Rigel was the USS Nansen. (TNG novel: Losing the Peace)