(Submitted March 03, 1997)
Are there any clear and real photos of any red or blue giants? If there
are, where can I find them?
Stars are so small on the sky that they appear as points in optical
telescopes. There is only one case that we are aware of where a resolved
picture of a star was taken with the Hubble Space Telescope (resolved)
means that the resolution of the telescope was high enough to see
structure or any spatial extent). The star was Betelgeuse, a red
supergiant which is the "largest" star in the sky (other than
the Sun, of course) in terms of its angular size. By this we mean
how big the star appears in the telescope, as opposed to its physical
size. The paper on this includes pictures and can be found in the
Astrophysical Journal, volume 463:L29L32, 1996 May 20. This periodical is,
unfortunately, usually only found at Universities or Research Institutions.
Here is are links to the image of Betelgeuse and its caption.
http://oposite.stsci.edu/pubinfo/pr/96/04.html and http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/ap980419.html
Steve Drake and Andy Ptak
for Ask an Astrophysicist