The Rigel System
Rigel or Beta Orionis is a Quadruple star system consisting of the two primary star's dubbed colloquially Rigel A, and the two secondary stars nearly half a light year away Rigel B &C. Rigel A is a blue-white super giant Type B star circled by a smaller blue giant over 200 AU's from the systems center. Rigel B is a large Type K orange giant orbited by a smaller and unusually bright Type M red dwarf star Rigel C which revolve around Rigel A and the Hakiel in a roughly perpendicular elliptical pattern.
Revolving around each other in their respective orbits, pending on the time of year and on which of the fourteen native Rigel worlds the light spectacle of the three stars causes amazing spectral displays throughout the varied landscapes of the planets, and make 'day' and 'night' rather confusing if not frustrating to outsiders.. The peculiar nature of the stars orbits around each other partially explains the unusual abundance of class M worlds and generally habitable planets. The nearby star Betelgeuse is a large type M red super giant star that is over 5 light-years from Rigel. Aside from the primary Rigel stars, Betelgeuse is the brightest star in the Rigellian night sky. Rigel A is classified a type B8 la star. Relatively dim compared to other blue-white super giants, but yet still much brighter then Sol. Even the farthest planets in both systems receive an abundance of starlight at nearly any given point in their orbits. This could also explain the lack of gaseous giant planets that are fairly common within habitable star systems, as the region between the stars is filled with a myriad number of asteroids and left over stellar matter. It had been speculated that Rigel was originally a quintuplet star system billions of years ago as the Rigel stars first formed. Rigel 'X' underwent nova, expelling enormous amounts of matter and energy into the region. The strange large amounts of exotic materials such as dilithium, latinum, and neutronium, lends some evidence to this partial explanation. Considering the power of a nova however, this theory holds very little weight within the circles of science in the Federation. The almost 'fateful' arrangement of this uncanny jewel of a star system almost defies stellar logic, and has led to the creation of some radical hypothesis of artificial creation and/or manipulation of the Rigel stars and planets. This however, is a theory as tenuous as the Rigel 'X' proposition. Undoubtedly, the debate will continue for millennia more as awe of the Rigel sector further clouds it's historic and defining charismatic enigma.
Rigel incorporates a total of fourteen planets, more than half of them are inhabitable. This large number of class M worlds is attributed to the Hakiel radiation belt that encompasses Rigel A-I, filtering out most of the deadly UV radiation. The belt is a collection of left-over stellar fragments concentrated around the primary core star, Rigel A-I, which include common and rare materials amongst an almost incalculable array of asteroids, planetoids and dense gaseous anomalies. Rigel A supports twelve Planets, while Rigel B&C support several large mining, layover/refueling, and construction hubs between two designated worlds.
For countless millennia, Rigel has been used by endless interstellar races for a variety of reasons, due to its relative rich collection of resources in a resource poor section of space. It was also popular due to its unique positioning in the galactic setting of the Orion Arm, giving any race easy access to either end of the Alpha and Beta Quadrants.
Autographically, the Rigel star system resides just on the core ward side of the Orion Arm of the Milky Way Galaxy, a belt of ionized hydrogen rich with large bright stars. With equal access to both sides of the Arm, the Rigel system resides almost exactly between the Federation and the Klingon Empire. Core ward lies the Triangle (a triangular slice of territory, unclaimed by all 3 major powers), the Borderlands on the edge of the Triangle and it's border with the Klingon Empire infamous for it's rugged nature and attraction of the worst aspects of both the Orion culture and Klingon imperialism. Beyond that, the Romulan Star Empire.
In a region locally poor in planets, Rigel has an embarrassment of riches: fourteen planets, more than half of them habitable; twelve orbiting Rigel A, two orbiting Rigel B and C. Archaeological evidence shows that hundreds of space faring races have visited Rigel for tens of thousands of years, and a few have claimed it; it is prime real estate in a commanding location. The Orions originated in the Rigel system, and for more than 5,000 years it has been under their exclusive control. Although Rigel is not the sole reason for their power, it shaped them and helped them to achieve all they have.