(covers information from several alternate timelines)
The Rigel system was an inhabited planetary system in the Alpha Quadrant. The system consisted of the primary Rigel, at least twelve planets, and an asteroid belt, and was home to the Rigel, or Rigellian, colonies. (TOS: "Mudd's Women", "The Doomsday Machine"; TNG: "Hollow Pursuits")
In the mid-23rd century, the Rigel system was part of the most densely populated section of the Milky Way Galaxy. (TOS: "The Doomsday Machine") The species living in the system include the Rigelians of Rigel V, (TOS: "Journey to Babel") the similarly-named Rigellians, (Star Trek: The Motion Picture) the Kalar of Rigel VII, (TOS: "The Cage") and the Hill People of Rigel IV. (TOS: "Wolf in the Fold") By the mid-23rd century, there were also Humans living in the Rigel system. (TOS: "Mudd's Women", "Shore Leave") The Rigellian hypnoid and Rigellian ox were animal species native to the Rigel system. (TAS: "Mudd's Passion"; TNG: "The Schizoid Man") Ratana trees were also from this system. (DS9: "Rejoined")
The Barros Inn was known to be one of the wildest bars in the system. (DS9: "Rejoined") Rigelian chocolates and the Rigelian flamegem were other items that originated from this system, as were the diseases Rigelian fever and Rigelian Kassaba fever. (TOS: "By Any Other Name", "Requiem for Methuselah"; ENT: "Twilight"; DS9: "Chimera") "Moon over Rigel VII" was a song with fairly simple lyrics, inspired by a natural satellite of Rigel VII. (Star Trek V: The Final Frontier)
In 2293, the location of Rigel in the Milky Way Galaxy was labeled in a star chart that was in Captain James T. Kirk's quarters aboard the USS Enterprise-A. (Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, okudagram)
In 2366, in an alternate timeline, during the Federation-Klingon War, the location of Rigel was labeled on a tactical situation monitor in the ready room aboard the USS Enterprise-D. (TNG: "Yesterday's Enterprise", okudagram)
By the mid-22nd century, this system had been charted and explored by several species including the Klingons and the Vulcans. Both races knew it as Rigel. In 2151, the system became known to Humans as well, when Captain Jonathan Archer used Vulcan star charts to plot a course there. The Rigel system was the first star system visited by Enterprise NX-01, the first Earth starship with the warp 5 engine, after it departed from the Sol system. The Rigel colony on Rigel X was a popular trade complex at the time, visited by numerous species. (ENT: "Broken Bow")
By the mid-2150s, Rigelians from Rigel V were visiting Earth. (ENT: "Home", "Affliction") In early 2155, the Rigelians participated in talks discussing their wish to join as a possible member in the Coalition of Planets along with Humans, Tellarites, Andorians, Coridanites, Denobulans, and Vulcans. (ENT: "Demons", "Terra Prime")
In 2254, a landing party from the USS Enterprise was attacked by the native Kalar warriors on Rigel VII. (TOS: "The Cage", "The Menagerie, Part I", "The Menagerie, Part II") By the 24th century, the Kalar castles of Rigel VII had become tourist attractions. (DS9: "What You Leave Behind")
In 2266, several women on Rigel IV were murdered by Redjac. (TOS: "Wolf in the Fold") During the same year, Harcourt Mudd, using the illegal Venus drug, attempted to sell Eve McHuron, Ruth Bonaventure, and Magda Kovacs to lithium miners on Rigel XII. (TOS: "Mudd's Women")
In 2267, the Rigel system had a population in the millions. This system was threatened by the planet killer until the combined efforts of the starships USS Constellation and USS Enterprise destroyed the extragalactic doomsday weapon. (TOS: "The Doomsday Machine")
|Rigel II • Rigel III • Rigel IV • Rigel V • Rigel VI • Rigel VII • Rigel X • Rigel XII • An asteroid belt|
|See also: • Beta Rigel • Rigel Beta|
In "Two Days and Two Nights", the NX-class Enterprise set a milestone several months after its mission to Rigel X by becoming the first Earth ship to travel ninety light years away from the Sol system.
In the real world, the star Rigel, or Beta Orionis, is a star located 773 light years from the Earth in the constellation Orion. This constellation was seen on screen in TNG: "Family" and on a constellation star chart in the TOS: "The Corbomite Maneuver".
According to Star Trek: The Next Generation Technical Manual and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Technical Manual, Starbase 134 was located in the Rigel system, on Rigel VI. It was home to one of Starfleet's many ASDB Integration Facilities and was a major production base for building Miranda-class starships and Type 15 shuttlepods.
According to Star Trek: Star Charts (pp. 36, 45, 59, "United Federation of Planets II") and the Stellar Cartography: The Starfleet Reference Library ("Federation Historical Highlights, 2161-2385"), there were in fact two systems, both located in the Beta Quadrant, that were called the Rigel system. These were Beta Rigel and Beta Orionis.
- Beta Rigel was a star named by Earth astronomers for its perceived proximity to Beta Orionis. Beta Rigel was a spectral type A5V star with an absolute magnitude of 6.2. The Beta Rigel System was in fact located relatively close to the Sol system and was explored in the mid-22nd century. Of the ten planets in this system, four of them were classified as M class. In the mid-22nd century, the Beta Rigel system was a destination on the Vulcan space lanes. In 2151, the Enterprise visited this system on its maiden voyage. The system, in 2378, was a destination on the major space lanes, and the system's inhabited planets were Federation members. A similarly named Rigel Beta ultimately made its way into canon in Star Trek Into Darkness.
- Beta Orionis, also known as Rigel, was a binary star system. Rigel A was a B class star with a magnitude of -7. Rigel B was a B class star. Beta Orionis was located 773 light years from the Sol system, in non-aligned space in the Beta Quadrant.
According to the reference book The Worlds of the Federation (p. 36), the Rigel system and the Orion system are one and the same, Rigel VIII being the homeworld of the Orion species. According to the book, Rigel II and Rigel IV were colonized by Humans. According to Star Trek Maps ("Chart D"), the Rigel system was located around the real star Beta Orionis. The chart also references Rigel VIII as the planet Orion.